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Department of Interior


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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IndeRanger  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, July 06, 2011 6:15:25 AM(UTC)
IndeRanger

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Greetings All,
 
I was a seasonal interpretation park ranger about 20 years ago, left the Park Service (currently kicking myself for that decision), worked for the public school system, and now I want to leave the interpretation and teaching arena entirely. I want to work for the NPS as a proofreader/editor and writer.
 
Do these jobs only exist in Harpers Ferry? I'm in the Philadelphia area and would like to stay here, if possible.
 
For my resume, how far back should I go? The trend for non-government jobs is a ten-year resume. I don't know if I should put my Park experience on my resume since it was 20 years ago, as was some other historic site work.
 
I remember that the full time rangers had to undergo a series of physical tests called "Ranger Skills." I wonder - are these tests like the ones that the BOP and FBI use (physical, psych, polygraph, etc.)? Would I need to go through this type of testing if I want to be a writer/editor? (J remember that one of the skills tests involved rappelling down the Grand Canyon. I don't think I'd pass that one.)
 
Finally, I remember that the only way to apply for jobs other than interpretation park ranger, was to be a full time "line ranger" for a year. I remember wanting to apply for a personnel specialist position as I was finishing my seasonal interp work, but wasn't allowed to apply because I wasn't full time for a year. Is this still the case?
 
Thanks so much for your help!
IndeRanger2011-07-08 08:36:24
IndeRanger  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, July 06, 2011 10:18:57 AM(UTC)
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Error in post, can't delete. Just read on. Thanks!

IndeRanger2011-07-08 08:37:22
seschub  
#3 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:54:59 AM(UTC)
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You typically need to have one year's experience in the occupation you are applying for, unless the position is entry level.  You are "allowed" to apply for any job, whether you are selected as minimally qualifying is another matter.  Good luck!

IndeRanger  
#4 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 4:44:23 AM(UTC)
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That is great news. It's so much better than it was 20 years ago. Thanks for replying!
seschub  
#5 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 5:17:15 AM(UTC)
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I have simplified it, but the tests you mentioned are not required.  However, as you were a seasonal employee, you likely can only apply for positions that are open to the public, not merit promotion (internal federal) positions.   It is very competitive and difficult to get in.
IndeRanger  
#6 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 9:02:35 AM(UTC)
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Well, I did figure that I wouldn't be able to go for a position that wasn't open to the public - not after being a ranger for just a season and so long ago.
 
I'm glad to hear about the testing. I know someone who applied to the Bureau of Prisons for an education technician position and told me about the 3-week training in Georgia. That just isn't for me and I thought that all federal employees had to go through that, so thanks for straightening me out.
 
I didn't realize just how competitive it was. I'll still try. Thank you so much for your input.
IndeRanger  
#7 Posted : Saturday, July 09, 2011 10:09:07 PM(UTC)
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Again, how far back should I go with a resume and application - I'd mentioned before that the nonfederal resumes are 10 years.
 
Just a few final questions: Is there a way I can get a hard copy version of an application so I can practicewith it? If I do fill out an application online, is that an application I can use for other positions?
 
Thanks again!
seschub  
#8 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2011 10:40:38 PM(UTC)
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10 years should work.

Each position is different and potentially has a different application process.  You should tailor your resume for each position after reading the vacancy announcement.   There are a number of websites/books that contain helpful tips for applying to federal positions.
 
 
IndeRanger  
#9 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2011 10:43:41 PM(UTC)
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You have been so helpful. Thank you again for explaining. I do appreciate it!
countrychick  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:34:26 AM(UTC)
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There seem to be alot of Forest Service jobs in the fields you mentioned.  There are some seasonal ranger jobs in the NPS and the announcements should start hitting pretty soon.  I am pretty sure they all have to go to FLETC though, but don't know that for a fact.
IndeRanger  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:19:55 AM(UTC)
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You're right; I do see a lot of Forest Service jobs, though I'm interested in the NPS because I'm a  Philadelphia history buff. I have a full time job with benefits now, so I don't want to leave my present position for a seasonal ranger job. I'll just keep trying. I did apply for a Public Affairs Specialist position, that seems to be up my alley. It's with the Education Department, and I've worked in education for years, and in communications for a little while, so we'll see.
 
I still miss the NPS.
 
Thanks for getting back to me!
 
By the way, what does FLETC mean?
countrychick  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:31:11 AM(UTC)
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FLETC is Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and it is in Glynco, GA.  It sounds like you have a good option going on though. 
 
wishing you the best
IndeRanger  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, January 17, 2012 11:16:58 PM(UTC)
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Sorry it took so long to get back to you! I didn't get a notification in my email that I'd received a response.
 
Thanks!
tstapleton  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:12:29 AM(UTC)
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Just to clear it up, the only NPS jobs that have to go to FLETC are commissioned Law Enforcement (or Protection) Rangers. The majority of jobs in the NPS are not commissioned Rangers and do not have to go through FLETC or any rigorous physical tests. I am a permanent NPS employee (non-LE) and the only physical requirements of my job tie into my collateral duties as a wildland firefighter and member of the park dive team.

Good luck!
mooch2112  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:27:48 PM(UTC)
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tstapleton is right on target...only LE/Pro Rangers go through FLETC...NPS has Interp Rangers and other jobs too

there are a bunch of seasonal Ranger jobs being advertised now (in preparation for the Spring / Summer recreation season)...maybe Interp Ranger job would be a "fit" for what you are looking for?

i'm sure there are other jobs like Public Affairs, Community Outreach (not sure the series number for those jobs) which may be a better fit for your interests

one of the problems you may encounter is that you are narrowing your search to one particular geographical area or park...if you have you mind set on one area (unwilling to relocate), then you may have A LOT of difficulty getting that particular job...the competition for all jobs is INTENSE (especially when the jobs are open to everyone, not just for open to "status" employees)

also, maybe you can expand your search to other agencies...US Army - Corps of Engineers have Park Rangers (non LE), Public Affairs, etc.

Forest Service have something called Recreation Technicians and a bunch of other jobs

not sure if COE or FS is near your area?

good luck!



IndeRanger  
#16 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:11:59 AM(UTC)
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Ok, thanks so much for explaining. This is good to hear. I'm in the Philadelphia area (IndeRanger)and for now, there are so many protection jobs out here. I just don't feel comfortable learning how to use firearms.

Wow, a wildland firefighter. I remember sitting in our district office with my ranger buddies (when I was a seasonal ranger a while ago), watching news stories about fires. People were being interviewed - they were crying, gasping, very emotional reactions, and my coworkers were busy discussing what techniques were being used to fight the fires. It was...interesting.

Back to reality, I am so impressed with you!


tstapleton wrote:
Just to clear it up, the only NPS jobs that have to go to FLETC are commissioned Law Enforcement (or Protection) Rangers. The majority of jobs in the NPS are not commissioned Rangers and do not have to go through FLETC or any rigorous physical tests. I am a permanent NPS employee (non-LE) and the only physical requirements of my job tie into my collateral duties as a wildland firefighter and member of the park dive team.

Good luck!
IndeRanger  
#17 Posted : Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:19:59 AM(UTC)
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I was a seasonal temp interpretation ranger years ago. I'd made a stupid decision! When my time was up, I was offered an intermittent job at Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site (I'm in the Philadelphia area), and I turned it down to take a full time job at a day care center. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I loved interpreting historic sites and I love literature and writing! I was just so worried about taking a job that wasn't full time and permanent.

Last year, I looked for public affairs and other public information and education-related jobs. I even applied to a few. I haven't looked for work in a while because I've been in the public school system for too long to just leave. I'll have to retire from public education.

But...you did give me some hope and an idea. I love the park service and I'm now in a position where I CAN look for intermittent work. I can't really move, so I'll have to be narrow with my interests. At least now, I can be picky without feeling like I've made a lousy decision.

Thanks!!!



mooch2112 wrote:
tstapleton is right on target...only LE/Pro Rangers go through FLETC...NPS has Interp Rangers and other jobs too

there are a bunch of seasonal Ranger jobs being advertised now (in preparation for the Spring / Summer recreation season)...maybe Interp Ranger job would be a "fit" for what you are looking for?

i'm sure there are other jobs like Public Affairs, Community Outreach (not sure the series number for those jobs) which may be a better fit for your interests

one of the problems you may encounter is that you are narrowing your search to one particular geographical area or park...if you have you mind set on one area (unwilling to relocate), then you may have A LOT of difficulty getting that particular job...the competition for all jobs is INTENSE (especially when the jobs are open to everyone, not just for open to "status" employees)

also, maybe you can expand your search to other agencies...US Army - Corps of Engineers have Park Rangers (non LE), Public Affairs, etc.

Forest Service have something called Recreation Technicians and a bunch of other jobs

not sure if COE or FS is near your area?

good luck!



outdoorman  
#18 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2013 8:10:23 AM(UTC)
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One other thing: as I recall, if you want a seasonal job with any law enforcement duties you have to put yourself through a seasonal law enforcement program. This used to be a 5 week law enforcement training that would qualify you to be commissioned with a class 2 NPS law enforcement certification.
I too made the mistake of changing careers from the NPS about 25 yrs ago. I had worked a few seasons and finally got on permenant as an interpreter. I left to take a job with a regional park system in California who put me through the NPS seasonal law enforcement program. Later, after marrying I did a career change into the medical field. Ive missed the park service ever since. From time to time, I have read about rangers that I knew who are still with the NPS and now working as superintendants, etc.
If I could wind back the clock, I would have persued my love of being a law enforcement or generalist ranger. I always content that in the heart: 'once a ranger, always a ranger'.
PS- I even still have my complete NPS uniform and some memorabilia from those days.
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