Career and Education Opportunities for Park Rangers in Thousand Oaks, California
Park rangers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Thousand Oaks, California area. Currently, 1,000 people work as park rangers in California. This is expected to grow 10% to about 1,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for park rangers are expected to grow by about 11.9%. In general, park rangers plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
A person working as a park ranger can expect to earn about $32 per hour or $67,030 annually on average in California and about $28 hourly or $58,720 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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. Park rangers work in a variety of jobs, including: parks and recreation manager, education specialist, and park interpretive specialist.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Thousand Oaks where you can study to be a park ranger, among fourteen schools of higher education total in the Thousand Oaks area. The most common level of education for park rangers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 Thousand Oaks include:
- Archaeologist. Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.
- Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
- 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.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Park Ranger Training
Ventura College - Ventura, CA
Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, CA 93003-3872. Ventura College is a large college located in Ventura, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,456 students. Ventura College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Natural Resources/Conservation.
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: Thousand Oaks, California
Thousand Oaks is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 123,091, which has grown by 5.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thousand Oaks, 133, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Thousand Oaks are priced at $499,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, ten new homes were built in Thousand Oaks, down from seventy-one the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Thousand Oaks are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and finance and insurance. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 42.2% of Thousand Oaks residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Thousand Oaks is 8.6%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Thousand Oaks residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. King of Glory Lutheran Church, Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses and Temple Adat Elohim are all churches located in Thousand Oaks. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Thousand Oaks is home to the Rockwell International Science Center Library and the Lang Ranch as well as Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve and Evenstar Park. Shopping centers in the area include Jeffries Center Shopping Center, Evergreens Shopping Center and Westoaks-Hampshire Shopping Center. Visitors to Thousand Oaks can choose from Best Western Oaks Lodge, Best Western Thousand Oaks Inn and Best Value Inn - Thousand Oaks for temporary stays in the area.