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About us

Work as a ranger or field officer

Rangers help and educate visitors and coordinate, implement and supervise projects to manage the natural and cultural heritage.

The Office of Environment and Heritage has a diverse range of positions available. Popular career inquiries include:

Working as a ranger in a national park

Rangers coordinate, implement and supervise projects for managing the natural and cultural heritage in an area. They also help visitors and community members, giving them information that is educational and conservation-oriented.

Work performed

A ranger's major role is to implement the functions, policies and legislative requirements of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), both on and off conservation reserves. Their tasks include:

  • assisting visitors and generally managing park visitation
  • managing wildlife
  • enforcing park regulations
  • controlling weeds and feral animals
  • managing fire
  • planning and carrying out the improvement and maintenance of park facilities
  • preparing environmental assessments and other statutory responsibilities
  • carrying out natural resource surveys and inventories
  • managing historic sites in the area
  • managing Aboriginal sites and other aspects of an area's Aboriginal heritage, in consultation with the local Aboriginal community.

Rangers need to be good problem-solvers. They need to be able to think quickly in emergencies (such as bushfires), but must also deal with long-term planning issues.

Knowledge, skills and experience

Rangers require skills and knowledge in managing natural and cultural heritage. They must have a degree or equivalent qualification relevant to OEH field operations. They should understand OEH policies and procedures, issues about natural and cultural heritage conservation, and law enforcement.

It is desirable for rangers to know about certain legislation, including the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

Because they frequently liaise with members of the public and various stakeholder groups, rangers need excellent verbal and written communication skills. Rangers also need to write reports and provide advice within OEH about conservation matters.

Working as a field officer in a national park

Field officers are responsible for conserving the parks and reserves of their area. They protect natural and cultural heritage, maintain park facilities, and give information and advice to park visitors and people who live nearby.

Work performed

A field officer carries out works programs in national parks and reserves. These include:

  • protecting Aboriginal sites and historic places, through such things as erosion control, fencing, revegetation, building maintenance and repair
  • conserving landscapes, plants and animals, through measures like stormwater and erosion control, fencing, bush regeneration and weed control, and animal pest control
  • cleaning, maintaining and upgrading park facilities, such as toilets and showers, picnic and camping areas, recycling stations, signs, walking tracks, roads and carparks
  • working with community volunteers on bush regeneration, clean-up days, and other park conservation activities
  • helping carry out hazard reduction burns in the park, both to allow the regeneration of native plants and to protect people and property
  • assisting in emergencies, such as bushfires, whale strandings, and lost or injured park visitors
  • operating and maintaining vehicles, heavy machinery, other equipment and workshops
  • giving information, advice and assistance to park visitors and members of the local community.

The work done by field officers is highly varied, and they need to be flexible, learning and applying a wide range of skills. Because their work often has tight financial constraints, field officers need to be imaginative in finding cost-effective solutions.

Knowledge, skills and experience

A field officer must have skills and experience in managing natural and cultural heritage. They must be able to maintain visitor facilities (such as walking tracks, signs, roads, shelters, buildings, sewage systems and fences), and must be experienced in operating and maintaining plant and equipment.

In addition to these skills, field officers must be flexible and organised, working well in a team environment or alone with minimal supervision. They must be able to rise to the varied challenges of their job – whether that means hopping in a light aircraft, fighting bushfires or wading out to help a stranded whale. They need to have a current driver's licence.

Because they frequently give out information and advice, field officers should have a good knowledge of parks, conservation issues and recreational opportunities in the local area.

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Page last updated: 11 December 2015