State park manager salary

State park manager salary DEFAULT
Newman, Tyler RPark Ranger 1Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$26,Davey, Matthew APark Ranger SupervisorOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$65,Rhead, Megan Park Ranger 1Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$9,Seeger, Billie LeePark SpecialistOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$49,Simans, Kevin Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$2,Warren, Ryan DuanePark Ranger SupervisorOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$57,Pfuntner, Erin Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$2,Piccolotti, James GPark Ranger 2Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$59,Janicek, Melissa Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$2,Barnum, Josie MPark Ranger 2Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$62,VanWinkle, Jeanne Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$2,Memminger, Steve SPark District Manager 2Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$95,Ambrose, Bryan Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$1,Sestrich, Douglas OPark Ranger 2Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$59,Plouff, Joseph Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$1,Woodruff, Robert BrucePark Ranger 1Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$52,Palmer, Blakely Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$1,Tate, Gerardo AInformation Systems Specialist 5Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$83,Butler, Kevin Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$1,Stevenson, Mark APark District Manager 2Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$93,Tuttle, Aaron Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$2,Kenick, Joseph CPark Ranger SupervisorOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$59,Garcia, Gabriel Park Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$6,Rodda-Bullington, Clar Procurement & Contract Specialist 3Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept$3,Henninger, Jesse RPark Ranger AssistantOregon Parks & Recreation Dept$4,

Park Manager II

Submit a Resume and Cover Letter* during the announcement period listed above to:

Human Resources
ATTN:  HR Recruiter
N Stiles Ave, Ste.
Oklahoma City, OK
[email protected]

**Review of documents will begin immediately**


TITLE: Park Manager II - Unclassified

LOCATION: Great Plains State Park – Mountain Park, OK

SALARY: $41, Annually plus Benefits

*Cover Letter must include an accurate address and telephone number, as well as the title of the position for which you are applying.

• Any individual may apply for this posting.
• Applicants who are current permanent classified employees must submit a written request attached to a Personal Data Summary Sheet (OPM-4B) and a cover letter to the above listed address and postmarked no later than the specified closing date.
• OTRD is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Incumbents in this job family may perform duties and responsibilities involving assistance to a higher level manager or regional manager in the operation of a state park, or may manage a smaller state park or serve as a manager for a small park which is part of a “pod” management configuration.

• Responsible for the operation and supervision of all park staff.
• Assures a safe, well-maintained park facility through the efforts of a properly supervised and trained staff.
• Provides an efficient operation that stays within budget constraints and which assures fiscal control and accountability.
• Provides park visitor service and promotes usage through positive community relations, developing local partnerships and volunteer programs and aggressive marketing efforts.
• Assumes natural resource protection and environmental education as a manager of park operations and visitor programming. Some specialized training may be necessary to meet environmental demands of park operation.
• Analyzes financial information and operational requirements in order to plan, prepare and manage the park’s operating budget. Helps ensure an efficient operation, within budget constraints and assures fiscal control and accountability.                                            

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Knowledge of strategic planning and ability to plan strategically; knowledge of the principles of park management and business administration; of marketing and advertising methods and principles; of general construction methods and maintenance procedures; of personnel and financial management; of public relations; of laws, rules and regulations concerning the operation of state parks, contracts, purchases of state equipment and supplies and property management; and of supervisory principles and practices.  Ability to market and advertise; ability to make independent decisions; ability to supervise the work of others; to maintain effective working relationships and public relations; to formulate goals and objectives; to apply rules and regulations; to maintain records and prepare reports; to use basic computer applications such as Windows, Outlook, Word, Excel and SharePoint; to perform basic computer tasks such printing, scanning and electronic filing; and to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Education and Experience
A bachelor’s degree; or an equivalent combination of education and experience substituting one year of experience in park management or operations, business administration, building and grounds maintenance, general construction or natural resource management or operations for a maximum of ninety semester hours of the required education; OR Five years of continuous experience in park operations may substitute for the education requirement if directly applicable to the work performed in Oklahoma State Parks. PLUS two additional years of experience in park management or operations, business administration, building and grounds maintenance, general construction, or natural resources management or operations.  

Some positions may require the incumbent to live on park property. Applicants for these positions must possess a valid Oklahoma driver’s license to operate state vehicles at the time of appointment, be willing to work irregular hours including nights and weekends; also must pass a thorough background check.

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Salary Expectations for Park Rangers

Rangers and other park staff all have a lot in common – an unwavering commitment to preserving our state and national parks and the ecosystems within them, a conservation-minded love of nature and the outdoors, and an understanding of how the big-picture approach to environmental causes has to involve teaching the public how to appreciate the wonders of nature while treating it with care and respect.

But beyond that, the field of professions involved in ensuring visitor safety and attending to parklands—and the salaries they earn—couldn’t be more varied. A lot of that has to do with the way different states and the National Park Service define the different roles, which can cover everything from park maintenance and interpretive roles, to full-on law enforcement duties that include the authority to enforce state and federal laws and make arrests.  Jobs can be full-time and year-round or part-time and seasonal. And because overtime pay can be significant, particularly during the busy summer months, even seasonal work can involve earning significantly more or less in some months than in others.

Seasonal work at a small state park can pay as little as $15 an hour, while career rangers at large state and national parks can pull down salaries in the range of $80, a year.

Just a few of the factors that determine starting salaries for park rangers include:

  • The park agency (federal or state)
  • The size of the park and the scope of the job
  • The park ranger position (e.g., cultural park ranger, protective park ranger)
  • Education and experience

Keep reading to take a closer look at what park rangers are earning at the federal and state level and what you can do to optimize your salary potential:

Park Ranger Salary Information For Your State

Federal Park Ranger Salaries Follow the General Schedule Pay Scale

Salaries for Park Rangers with State Park Departments

Find Park Ranger Salary Info For Your State

Federal Park Ranger Salaries Follow the General Schedule Pay Scale

Park rangers work to preserve, manage, and protect the federal land that falls within the auspices of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)—more than million acres’ worth if you’re counting.

If you’re a federal park ranger, your job duties may range from conducting public education programs to providing law enforcement and emergency services within one of the following DOI agencies:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • National Park Service
  • S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Some park rangers are also employed through the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees more than lakes and river projects in 43 states, as well as more than 7, miles of land and water trail systems. Park rangers through the Army Corps of Engineers are civilian positions and therefore do not require service in the U.S. Army.

Regardless of the agency in which you’re employed, you’ll earn a salary based on the federal General Schedule (GS) pay scale, which features 15 pay grades (GS-1 to GS) and ten pay steps within each grade; or otherwise the GL schedule specifically for federal law enforcement officers.

General and Interpretive Park Rangers

Specialized experience may include working as a park guide or tour leader; working in forestry or fire management in a park, recreation, or conservation area; archeological or historical preservation work; or management, assistant or program specialist work related to protection, conservation, or management of parks and similar areas.

Some of the bachelor’s and graduate degrees recognized include natural resource management, natural sciences, earth sciences, history, archeology, anthropology, park and recreation management, museum sciences, and business administration.

Current salaries (as of ) for park rangers, according to the GS are:

  • GS $30, &#; $39,
  • GS $37, &#; $48,
  • GS $45, &#; $59,
  • GS $55, &#; $71,
  • GS $78, &#; $,
  • GS $, &#; $,

Though the GS schedule starts at GS-1 for candidates with no post-secondary education or experience, most park rangers are hired at GS-5 and above (according to the Park Ranger Series, ):

  • GS Requires a four-year bachelor’s degree with at least 24 semester hours of related coursework or at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-4 level.
  • GS Requires either one full academic year of graduate education or at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level.
  • GS Requires either two full academic years of graduate education/master’s degree related to the occupation or at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level.
  • GS level or above: Requires either three years of graduate level education or Ph.D. or doctoral degree related to the occupation or at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 (or above) level.

Law Enforcement Park Rangers

Specialized experience may include working in law enforcement or investigations.

Some of the bachelor’s and graduate degrees recognized include law enforcement/police science, social sciences, public administration, behavioral sciences, and sociology.

Law enforcement rangers working in protective and law enforcement positions are paid using the GL schedule:

  • GL $37, – $46,
  • GL $39, &#; $29,
  • GL $42, – $53,
  • GL $44, &#; $56,
  • GL $47, &#; $60,
  • GL $51, &#; $66,

Most of these positions require previous law enforcement and/or military training and experience and the completion of a course of training through the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy Training Program.

Locality Pay

You may earn more based on where your duty station is located. Locality pay tables for specific geographic locations ensure park rangers are earning more in places with higher costs of living.

For example, park rangers in the Washington D.C./Arlington, VA/Baltimore MD metro area earn between $39, &#; $51, at the GS-5 level &#; about $10, more annually than the national GS-5 pay range of $30, &#; $39,

Federal Benefits

Park rangers within the DOI enjoy outstanding federal benefits and perks that can significantly increase their overall salary package:

  • Health Benefits: Federal employees enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts: The Federal Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS) program offers three different flexible spending accounts: A health care flexible spending account, a limited expense health care flexible spending account, and a dependent care flexible spending account.
  • Dental and Vision Insurance: The Federal Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) includes four nationwide and three regional dental plans and three nationwide vision plans.
  • Life Insurance: The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) offers basic life insurance coverage and three forms of optional life insurance coverage.
  • Long-term Care Insurance: Helps pay for the costs associated with long-term care services in the home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or in other settings.
  • Retirement Benefits: The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered retirement plan consisting of FERS Pension, Social Security benefits, and the Thrift Savings Plan.

 What Rangers in Different Federal Agencies are Earning

Current job openings provide a closer look into what federal park rangers are earning and where:

  • Park Ranger, National Park Service, Tutuila Island, American Samoa
    • Starting at $52, (GS-9)
  • Park Ranger, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Multiple locations
    • Starting at $46, (GS-7)
  • Park Ranger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, multiple locations
    • Starting at $27, (GS )
  • Park Ranger, Bureau of Land Management, multiple locations
    • Starting at $34, (GS )
  • Supervisory Park Ranger, National Park Service, San Francisco, CA
    • Starting at $, (GS)
  • Supervisory Park Ranger, National Park Service, Grand Canyon, AZ
    • Starting at $76, (GS)
  • Supervisory Park Ranger, National Park Service, Washington D.C.
    • Starting at $76, (GS)
  • Park Ranger (Paramedic), National Park Service, Yosemite National Park, CA
    • Starting at $43, (GS )
  • Supervisory Park Ranger Protection, National Park Service, Oneida, TN
    • Starting at $64, (GS)
  • Supervisory Park Ranger (Interpretation), National Park Service, Concord, MA
    • Starting at $85, (GS)
  • Supervisory Park Ranger (Chief of Interpretation, Education & Visitor Services), National Park Service, Springdale, UT
    • Starting at $91, (GS)

Salaries for Park Rangers with State Park Departments

To a far greater degree than federal park rangers, salaries for park rangers working for state parks departments can and do vary widely based on education, experience, and job description, not to mention different budgetary considerations in different states. In places where parks are big business, driving tourism and large scale local use and supporting both state revenue and local businesses, states have no problem finding the money to pay generous salaries. That’s not always the case in places where state parks land on the expense side of the ledger when hashing out how tax dollars should be spent.

For example, state park peace officers (rangers) with the California Department of Parks and Recreation earn between $47, and $76, per year, while those in supervisory ranger positions earn between $63, and $85, per year.

To qualify for a California ranger position, you must have at least 69 semester college units, including 21 general education units in the natural/social sciences, language, humanities, and mathematics, and at least three years of experience in a park ranger cadet or visitor services/resource management/interpretation/parks operations position. You’ll also need to graduate from a POST basic course academy.

In other states, salaries follow a pretty similar schedule, with entry level interpretive positions requiring a couple years of college, and higher ranking positions in law enforcement showing preference to candidates with a bachelor’s degree and some law enforcement experience.

Park rangers working for Washington State Parks earn within these ranges:

  • Park Ranger I: $41, &#; $55,
  • Park Ranger II: $46, &#; $62,
  • Park Ranger III: $55, &#; $74,
  • Park Ranger IV: $69, &#; $93,

Even candidates for the Park Ranger I position must have at least two years of college and must be at least 21 years old.

Oklahoma’s park rangers through the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation earn the following:

  • Park Ranger Level I: $22, &#; $33,
  • Park Ranger Level II: $25, &#; $36,
  • Park Ranger Level III: $27, &#; $40,
  • Park Ranger Level IV: $36, &#; $53,

In Virginia, park rangers (called natural resource specialists and managers) working for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation earn salaries that fall within these ranges:

  • Natural Resource Specialist II: $27, &#; $70,
  • Natural Resource Specialist III: $35, &#; $87,
  • Natural Resource Manager I: $35, &#; $87,
  • Natural Resource Manager II: $46, &#; $,
  • Natural Resource Manager III: $60, &#; $,

Locality pay comes into play even with state parks departments. Natural resource managers working in Northern Virginia, for example, earn more than their counterparts in other parts of the state due to a higher cost of living there that bumps the salary range to $27, &#; $88,

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What Does a Parks Manager Do?

Parks are public spaces with or without additional facilities designed to be used by the public. Anything from a small neighborhood park to Yellowstone National Park qualifies as a park. Parks managers oversee the maintenance and operations of these parks.

Not only do parks vary in size, but they also vary in the governments that administer them. Parks managers are employed at all levels of government. The National Parks Service within the US Department of the Interior runs national parks. The individual in charge of a national park is called the superintendent; however, this article primarily focuses on parks managers at the state and local levels.

States have agencies similar to the National Parks Service that operate state parks. Cities and counties also have parks within their jurisdictions. When a city or county has parks, it usually has a park and recreation department within its organizational structure that is led by a ​parks and recreation director. The parks manager reports to this director.​

Parks Manager Duties & Responsibilities

The parks manager job duties consist of varied responsibilities, such as the following:

  • Directs the overall park operation under full delegated government authority.
  • Provides management direction and oversight for the preservation of cultural and natural resources.
  • Manages the planning, construction, and maintenance of facilities.
  • Oversees visitor and resource protection services and interpretive and educational outreach operations.
  • Manages administrative functions and cooperative relations with local, federal, regional, and tribal governments non-profit partners, local communities, and citizen groups.

A parks manager must provide a long-term vision for the park's preservation and public enjoyment, as well as leadership and motivation to staff, volunteers, partners, and the public.

Parks Manager Salary

National park manager jobs are posted as GS and GS positions in the federal General Schedule (GS) salary table, which is found on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website. As of , the base salary range for a GS employee is $76, to $99, The base salary range at the GS pay grade is $90, to $, For areas where the cost of living is higher than the national average, the federal government often offers locality pay to equalize employees’ buying power across geographic locations.

Since parks managers are employed at all levels of government around the country, pinning down an average salary is not easy, but government job postings almost always have a salary range attached to them. For individuals looking for employment in cities, researching salaries of parks and recreation directors in the desired geographical area can be helpful. Parks managers make a little less than their director-level bosses.

Education, Training & Certification

The parks manager position involves fulfilling education and training requirements as follows:

  • Education: Parks managers need a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, leisure studies, landscape architecture, or a similar field. Those candidates with related experience can get a parks manager job with an unrelated bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience: A parks manager should have considerable experience working with public parks or landscape architecture. Supervisory experience is highly beneficial for parks managers at all levels of government.
  • Other requirements: In certain parts of the country, being bilingual in English and Spanish is very helpful because some of the maintenance staff may not speak English. It is incredibly challenging to supervise someone who does not speak your language. Conversely, it is challenging for such an employee as well.

Parks Manager Skills & Competencies

In addition to education and other requirements, candidates that possess the following skills may be able to perform more successfully in the job:

  • Management skills:A parks manager needs to be able to manage staff, situations, and communicate very well with a team.
  • Physical stamina: A park manager may need to walk long distances in wooded and steep areas, and work in extreme heat and cold weather.
  • Analytical skills: The parks manager must be able to analyze situations and act quickly if and when needed.
  • Critical thinking: The individual must be able to use sound judgment and reasoning to make decisions.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't follow the growth of the parks manager job specifically. However, it does follow the job growth outlook for conservation scientists and foresters. The growth in jobs is expected to be 6% for the period between and This growth rate compares to the projected 7% growth for all occupations.

Work Environment

The job is performed mainly indoors in an office setting, with occasional inspections in the field. Individuals may be subject to inclement weather, extreme temperatures, and variances in the terrain.

Work Schedule

The parks manager job is a permanent, full-time position with no eligibility for teleworking. The position may involve travel, of up to two or three nights per month.

How to Get the Job


Brush up your resume to highlight relevant skills and previous experience. Research the job listings on to find out if you have the job requirements. If you have bilingual experience, this can be valuable for certain park locations.


Sharpen your interviewing skills by role-playing with a family member or friend. The job requires a panel interview, and practicing ahead can help you to not feel overwhelmed.

National parks managers are selected through the normal government hiring process; however, hiring managers often involve other people in the process. In cities, other department heads or parks and recreation commission members may sit in on panel interviews. Using panel interviews helps the director gather other perspectives on the interviewed finalists.


Navigate to the job-search resource and search for available positions, then start the application process.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested in a parks manager career also consider the following career paths, listed with their median annual salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,


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