If You Want To Work Outside, The U.S. National Park Service Is Currently Hiring

President Obama Changing Mt. McKinley Name Back To Denali
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Are you the outdoorsy type and wish you could make a living off your love for nature? Well, today is your lucky day: The National Park Service is hiring for a variety of positions across its U.S. parks for next year.

Yosemite National Park in California is hiring for 300 different jobs for summer 2018. Some of the positions include backcountry rangers, entrance station rangers, custodial services, forestry technicians, utility systems operators, administrative assistants and traffic control ranges. The jobs pay between $16 and $22 an hour.

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While many of the most famous photographs of Yosemite are taken from meadows and clearings in the Valley facing East, upwards towards the formidable faces of Half Dome and El Capitan; there is something moving about the view West, towards the winding roads that bring everyone into (and out of) the Valley. Leaving Yosemite Valley is often an emotional affair; whether you were here for a day, a week, or much longer, working or living in the park. Leaving Yosemite [A poem written by a seasonal ranger after her first six months working in Yosemite.] Back over the winding forest road, that pours through vistas raw and bold, but this time with a heavy chest weighed down with memory and love. Back over the mountains steep and dark, Their snow-capped splendor gray and cold, this time knowing the depth of the earth and starry sky above. Not once before have I felt so small, so tumbling in the current strong, a part of something so immense: the granite walls that stole my heart. The time slipped by like waterfalls, like shooting stars across the sky And though for once I want to stay, in reverence, from you I part. Yosemite, you gave me life, and beauty like I've never known. Though you slip away in the rear view mirror, I promise some day I'll come home.

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If California doesn’t strike your fancy, there plenty of other jobs around the country. Acadia National Park in Maine are hiring interpretation rangers, who educate guests.

There are also visitor service positions at the Colorado National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado.

In Utah, there are openings at Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Arches National Park.

In addition to the national parks, there are jobs at national sights, such as park ranger positions at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina and park ranger jobs at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York.

Wondering what working these jobs is like? A friend of mine worked at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming for a summer in college, and it was truly a life-changing experience for her. She made lifelong friends and loved the experience of working and living so close to nature.

On the employee-review site Glassdoor, the National Park Service has a 3.6 out 5-star rating with 335 reviews. “Best office view in the world and sometimes you get paid to hike,” reads one review.

Adds another, “If you have a passion for history, the environment, and are a great people person this is the job for you. The job will be fulfilling experience, and it pays decent.”

To view all available positions and apply, visit the USAJOBS website. It is recommended to create a profile on the site in advance, which will save time when the hiring process begins. If you’re interested in one of these jobs with the National Park Service, you should act fast because each job may only be posted for up to five business days, and some of the jobs have application limits ranging from 50 to 100 applicants. Jobs will be posted through January 2018.

Good luck!

About the Author

Kate Streit

Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Learn More.