Many young Australians are interested in a career as a national park ranger. It’s a job with a high-level of personal satisfaction and it pays rather well.
The average salary for an entry level position is $64,511 per year, while those in senior positions can earn as much as $87,750 per year. There’s also a high degree of job stability, since most park rangers are basically government employees.
Here’s what you need to know about becoming a national park ranger in Australia.
Do I need a qualification to work as a national park ranger?
That’s the beauty of it. You don’t need any special qualification to be employed as a national park ranger in Australia. However, if you do have a qualification relevant to this type of job this will help you get a senior position, and more money.
The work of a park ranger is very diverse. You can be deployed in various areas, like national parks, forests, fisheries, etc. You can transfer from one place to another and discover new parts of the country, with different climate conditions, and their own flora and fauna.
Also, there are a variety of roles waiting for you. You can work in the preservation of various sites, or the conservation of endangered species. This is a very hands-on type of work experience, which many people find most rewarding.
At the same time, you can get a position in the visitors’ experience department. This can be anything from selling tickets to guided tours and helping tourists have a wonderful adventure.
If you choose to pursue tertiary qualification in fields such as biodiversity or conservation and land management, you will be able to access a specialized position.
Do I need a background check to work as a national park ranger?
Why would you need a criminal history check if you’re going to work all day in the wilderness protecting an endangered species from feral animals? If you put it like that, a background check doesn’t seem relevant for such a job.
However, you need to understand that since national park rangers are federal employees they must submit mandatory background checks. That’s the law and it doesn’t distinguish between someone working in the capital or a national park.
If you work in the state of NSW, then you will need to submit a national criminal history check for NSW. If you look for employment in Western Australia, then a national police check Western Australia will be sufficient. Depending on the State or Territory in which you apply for the job, you will need to obtain a criminal record check in that relevant State.
Would a criminal record prevent me from getting a job as a park ranger?
That depends on the seriousness of the offences on your record. A minor offence committed a few years ago, won’t be an obstacle to you becoming a park ranger.
If you were convicted for some type of offence, you should consider getting a background check on yourself before applying for a position. You can get a criminal history check using an online service provider. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that some old offence is no longer on your record if it has become spent.
If there are disclosable convictions on your record, having a good look at your own criminal record allows you to prepare for a job interview where you will be required to talk about your past.
If you can successfully explain why and how you ended up committing a certain offence, chances are the employer will be willing to overlook it and give you a second chance.