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The U.S. Department of the Interior protects America’s natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures and tribal communities and supplies the energy to power our future.

The agency employs about 70,000 people in approximately 2,400 locations with offices across the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States.
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smashes2002  
#1 Posted : Monday, May 30, 2016 6:28:46 PM(UTC)

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I've been giving my career as a contract specialist a chance for the last few years, but have really desired to be a park ranger, for about 4 years now- I keep telling myself I'll do it when I retire, but I watched a video today at Yosemite that literally had me in tears and reinforced the impression that it's a job I'd really enjoy. I've read a few years' worth of personal accounts, the good, bad, ugly- and to be honest they remind me of my old days as a lifeguard, which I would have made a career of if I could have!!

Anyway, I'm a GS-13 contract specialist, work TS-SCI in our nation's Capitol, and have a BS in liberal arts and minor in business, with 1 year of graduate studies in Strategic Leadership. I know hiring is down with NPS, and the campaign this year will probably bring in twice the applicants. Does anybody else have any experience with similar career changing? I also wouldn't mind making friends with rangers from all walks, as I don't know any currently.. Regardless of all, I'm looking to make a career change, one away from the city and without so much repetitive quantitative analysis.
FS0201  
#2 Posted : Monday, May 30, 2016 9:49:28 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: smashes2002 Go to Quoted Post
I've been giving my career as a contract specialist a chance for the last few years, but have really desired to be a park ranger, for about 4 years now- I keep telling myself I'll do it when I retire, but I watched a video today at Yosemite that literally had me in tears and reinforced the impression that it's a job I'd really enjoy. I've read a few years' worth of personal accounts, the good, bad, ugly- and to be honest they remind me of my old days as a lifeguard, which I would have made a career of if I could have!!

Anyway, I'm a GS-13 contract specialist, work TS-SCI in our nation's Capitol, and have a BS in liberal arts and minor in business, with 1 year of graduate studies in Strategic Leadership. I know hiring is down with NPS, and the campaign this year will probably bring in twice the applicants. Does anybody else have any experience with similar career changing? I also wouldn't mind making friends with rangers from all walks, as I don't know any currently.. Regardless of all, I'm looking to make a career change, one away from the city and without so much repetitive quantitative analysis.


I have had a similar dream, but couldn't afford the cut in pay. Most of the park ranger (or similar) positions are so low graded, that even if stepped out, there would be a huge cut. You could have some of the same benefits (working in the park, etc...) by taking an admin role, such as Admin Officer: https://www.usajobs.gov/...b/ViewDetails/438896300/

Quote:
This vacancy is located at the administrative offices at the Fossil Butte Visitor Center. Fossil Butte National Monument is located 12 miles west of Kemmerer, WY, pop: 3,000. Doctors, dentists, shopping, churches, and schools (K-high school) are available in Kemmerer. Bus service is provided to local schools.

No government housing is available. Ample housing is available for purchase or rent in the local area.

Fossil Butte National Monument encompasses a high desert environment with a rich and diverse fossil deposit. Altitude is 7,000 feet. Climate is high-cold desert-type with strong winds. Temperatures range from -30 in winter to low 90s in summer.
Fossil Butte is a 50-million year old lake bed; one of the richest fossil localities in the world. Sagebrush is the dominant vegetation at the lower elevations, while limber pine and aspen occur on the slopes. Pronghorn, Mule deer and a variety of birds are commonly seen. Moose, elk and beaver are sometimes observed.
The excuse of, "I read it on FederalSoup..." won't work. Please do your due diligence.
crossbow  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, May 31, 2016 5:47:23 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: smashes2002 Go to Quoted Post
I've been giving my career as a contract specialist a chance for the last few years, but have really desired to be a park ranger, for about 4 years now- I keep telling myself I'll do it when I retire, but I watched a video today at Yosemite that literally had me in tears and reinforced the impression that it's a job I'd really enjoy. I've read a few years' worth of personal accounts, the good, bad, ugly- and to be honest they remind me of my old days as a lifeguard, which I would have made a career of if I could have!!

Anyway, I'm a GS-13 contract specialist, work TS-SCI in our nation's Capitol, and have a BS in liberal arts and minor in business, with 1 year of graduate studies in Strategic Leadership. I know hiring is down with NPS, and the campaign this year will probably bring in twice the applicants. Does anybody else have any experience with similar career changing? I also wouldn't mind making friends with rangers from all walks, as I don't know any currently.. Regardless of all, I'm looking to make a career change, one away from the city and without so much repetitive quantitative analysis.





I totally understand your appeal for a "change" and can definitely relate to your desire for getting away from the quantitive analysis, strategic acquisition technologies and quantitative market research! I too am a GS-1102-13 and have successfully served in this role for many years; and share your aspiration to work for the NPS (but in a non-1102 role). I have applied for other NPS positions (even lower-graded roles) but been told I do not qualify (as I 'do not meet requisite level of experience'). Its been VERY frustrating, so I have decided to retire --- then relocate near the park in order to volunteer for awhile in hopes that I can get eventually be hired as an annuitant on a reinstatement eligible announcement. This seems like the only way in for me. Hope you have better luck!



"There is no present like the time."
smashes2002  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, May 31, 2016 2:06:02 PM(UTC)

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Thanks to you both for the replies. I've considered taking an admin job, but I just hate being behind a desk so much! An idea of the kind of work Ive done that I enjoy: construction, lifeguarding, retail sales, pet grooming, museum docent, historic restoration. Ie, I like working with people and my hands and outside :)

I understand the pay cut, that's unfortunate. I've worked on downsizing my life the last few years, I sold my house and 75% of my things. I have zero debt (no student, mortgage, car, credit card, nothing) and don't have subscriptions (no TV, internet, phone, smartphone, magazines, nothing) so I'm pretty prepared for anything I think.

To my understanding, if I really wanted to go back to be an 1102 I would still be able to be a 13 in that field. But I'd hope I wouldn't have to do that. Im not sure I can wait 30 more years til retirement; I wouldn't feel proud of my career choice.
FS0201  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 31, 2016 2:20:09 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: smashes2002 Go to Quoted Post
To my understanding, if I really wanted to go back to be an 1102 I would still be able to be a 13 in that field. But I'd hope I wouldn't have to do that. Im not sure I can wait 30 more years til retirement; I wouldn't feel proud of my career choice.


That's correct, so you would have the safety net of being able to move back to a higher paying position if necessary.

The excuse of, "I read it on FederalSoup..." won't work. Please do your due diligence.
0018 Hopeful  
#6 Posted : Saturday, August 06, 2016 5:54:58 PM(UTC)
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A phd in natural resources managment, wildlife management, zoology, ornitholigy or something like that might help sell yourself but not at the GS-13 level.

One of the guys I work with is a GS-12 in 0017. He tells me regularly he is qualified to my job in 0018 at the GS-13 level. We are similar jobs, but totally different knowledge skillset. I tell him to apply and see how it goes.

He lives 800 miles from his wife, and they are both GS and can't get stationed together. I told him to apply for a GS-11-0018 job in the same town and he acted like I was crazy.

Bird in the hand is always worth two in the bush, but if you are unhappy you are unhappy I get that.

If you are young enough to get into the Park Service as a GS- whatever they will take you at and that is your dream do it.
jacksonpritt  
#7 Posted : Saturday, August 27, 2016 9:06:51 PM(UTC)
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Keep in mind that jobs at locations like Yosemite are INCREDIBLY competitive and very difficult to get. Are there any other locations you would consider, that might be less competitive?

Just from looking at the listings on USAJobs it also seems like a lot of the ranger jobs require a significant amount of related education/experience which you might not have. I don't know if there's any easy way around that... If there is, I'd love to know!
GS-1084 hopeful --- Check out my design portfolio!
someoldguy  
#8 Posted : Sunday, August 28, 2016 3:34:13 AM(UTC)
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Many of those park ranger jobs are seasonal. I knew a guy who worked in the summers then did whatever it took to get by the rest of the year. I think he worked a couple of years in Yosemite and said there are some trailer parks where park workers live in rather squalid conditions in the magnificent surroundings.
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
Yooper  
#9 Posted : Friday, September 16, 2016 5:17:20 PM(UTC)

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Yes, the grade will be lower. That is a given.

Good luck to you! Realize there are also Rangers with Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, US Fish & Wildlife Service.
0018 Hopeful  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, March 14, 2018 10:30:30 AM(UTC)
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I have been applying for perm GS0025 jobs with a variety of agencies to see if I can get my foot in the door. So far not yet.

I even applied in the Mojave Desert with BLM and NPS.


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