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Park Ranger
Park Ranger
​​​​​​​​Park Ranger leading group of visitors

State Park Rangers … helping to provide safe and enjoyable recreation now and for future generations.


What We Do & How We Do It

Do you want to inspire an appreciation and passion in others for outdoor recreation and natural resources stewardship? Park Rangers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife have the opportunity to work across the entire state, serving all Coloradans as well as the many people who visit our beautiful state. It’s not an easy job — between our varied geography, conditions, and recreational opportunities — but it’s one that matters to the future of Colorado.

State Park Rangers wear many diverse hats, but their general duties are to provide public safety, natural resource protection and administrative management of those areas. Depending on the day, location, and season, you may find yourself involved with many of the following opportunities as a Park Ranger:

  • Law enforcement
  • Environmental education
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Search and Rescue
  • Supervise, train, and evaluate temporary employees or volunteers
  • Administrative duties related to park activities and law enforcement proceedings
  • Trail work
  • Boating, rafting, OHVs, and snowmobiles
  • Wildfires

This is an entry-level position and all of the training and experience truly required for the job will be given to you once you are hired.

What Does it Take to Become a Park Ranger?


Park ranger assisting youth and volunteer to remove fish hook at education event
A four year degree is required, but we will accept any major. The most competitive applicants have a bachelor's degree in biology, ecology, earth sciences, environmental science, forestry, geology, natural resource management, outdoor recreation management, range management, parks administration, wildlife biology, zoology or a closely related field.

Appropriate work experience which provides the same kind, amount and level of knowledge as the required education may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the bachelor’s degree. 

People Skills 

Park Rangers interact with the general public on a daily basis. We are seeking people who are skilled at communicating and engaging with their communities and who are comfortable interacting with people of all ages, viewpoints, and backgrounds. You will also need good public speaking and conflict resolution skills.

Physical Assessment

All applicants must pass a physical fitness test, the requirements of the test are:

  • Run 300 meters in 72 seconds
  • 21 push-ups in one minute
  • 28 sit-ups in one minute
  • Walk/run 1.5 miles in 17:00 minutes

Additional Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Possess and maintain a valid State of Colorado driver’s license at time of hire
  • Submit to a drug screening
  • Be willing to be fingerprinted
  • Successfully pass a background investigation.

Employees offered a conditional employment must successfully complete the Colorado Parks and Wildlife training program including successful completion of the basic Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program for certification as a Peace Officer with Colorado.

NOTE: If you have used marijuana in the past year, used other illegal drugs in the past three years, been convicted of a felony, been convicted of any domestic violence charge, or been convicted of any misdemeanors which preclude POST certification as a Colorado Peace Officer, you will be disqualified and will not be hired.

Get Involved

Female park ranger on location next to waterfallVisit

Familiarizing yourself with our parks and their work gives you an edge over less prepared candidates, so come and visit us! Find a State Park near you on this map.


Volunteering is a great way to learn about the agency and gain valuable experience. Find more information on our CPW Volunteer web page.

Ride Alongs

Interested in seeing what the day-to-day job is like? Apply to go on a ride along with a local Park Ranger. To apply, please fill out this form and return it to Jeremy.Sifuent​​. We will do our best to match you with someone in your preferred location, but this may be dependent on current staff capacity. Please allow for 30 days for us to coordinate a request.

Seasonal and Temporary Positions

Internships, seasonal work, and temporary positions are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door. Apply today!

How to Apply

Applications for the Park Ranger position open once per year, in the late summer or early fall. Stay up-to-date with the application opening date by subscribing to our eNews and signing up for job alerts.