Career and Education Opportunities for Park Rangers in Orange, California
If you want to be a park ranger, the Orange, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,000 working park rangers in California; this should grow 10% to 1,100 working park rangers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for park rangers, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. In general, park rangers plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
Park rangers earn approximately $32 per hour or $67,030 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $28 per hour or $58,720 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as park rangers in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: program manager, environmental educator, and historical interpreter.
There are ninety-two schools of higher education in the Orange area, including two within twenty-five miles of Orange where you can get a degree to start your career as a park ranger. Given that the most common education level for park rangers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a park ranger if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Park Ranger
In general, park rangers plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
Park rangers conduct field trips to point out scientific and natural features of parks, forests, historic sites or other attractions. They also ready and present illustrated lectures about park features. Equally important, park rangers have to furnish visitor services by explaining regulations; answering visitor requests, needs and complaints; and providing data related to a park and surrounding areas. They are often called upon to assist with operations of general facilities. They are expected to compile and maintain official park photographic and data files. Finally, park rangers research stories regarding an area's natural history or environment.
Every day, park rangers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.
It is important for park rangers to interview specialists in desired fields to obtain and design data for park data programs. They are often called upon to perform routine maintenance on park structures. They also perform emergency duties to safeguard human life and natural features of park. They are sometimes expected to formulate and design audiovisual devices for public programs. Somewhat less frequently, park rangers are also expected to ready brochures and write newspaper articles.
Park rangers sometimes are asked to talk with park staff to establish subjects and schedules for park programs. They also have to be able to take photographs and motion pictures for use in lectures and publications and to evolve displays and research stories regarding an area's natural history or environment. And finally, they sometimes have to ready and present illustrated lectures about park features.
Like many other jobs, park rangers must believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Orange include:
- Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
- Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
- Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
- Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
- Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
- Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
- Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
- Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
- Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Park Ranger Training
Saddleback College - Mission Viejo, CA
Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Pky, Mission Viejo, CA 92692-3635. Saddleback College is a large college located in Mission Viejo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,706 students. Saddleback College has a two to four year program in Natural Resources/Conservation.
Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA
Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has 2 areas of study related to Park Ranger. They are:
- Forestry, associate's degree.
- Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management, associate's degree.
Accredited Agricultural Consultant: The Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC) designation was developed and first offered by the ASFMRA in 1997.
For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.
Arborist / Municipal Specialist: This credential was developed by the ISA and the Society of Municipal Arboriculture for those involved in managing the complex aspect of trees in an urban environment.
For more information, see the International Society of Arboriculture website.
Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in all phases of erosion and sediment control work.
For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Orange, California
Orange is located in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 136,392, which has grown by 5.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orange, 134, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Orange are priced at $136,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-nine new homes were built in Orange, down from two hundred sixty-two the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Orange are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.0% of Orange residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Orange is 8.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Orange residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.
Orange is home to the El Modena Branch Orange Public Library and the Santiago Golf Course as well as Plaza Historic District and Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Shopping malls in the area include Village Plaza Shopping Center, Villa Park Town Center Shopping Center and Mall of Orange Shopping Center. Visitors to Orange can choose from Anaheim-Days Inn Orange, 7 Crowns Motel and American Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.