Career and Education Opportunities for Park Rangers in Norman, Oklahoma
For those living in the Norman, Oklahoma area, there are many career and education opportunities for park rangers. There are currently 490 working park rangers in Oklahoma; this should grow by 10% to about 540 working park rangers in the state 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.
Park rangers earn approximately $30 per hour or $64,360 per year on average in Oklahoma. Nationally they average about $28 per hour or $58,720 annually. Incomes for park rangers are better than in the overall category of Life Sciences in Oklahoma, and not quite as good as the overall Life Sciences category nationally. Park rangers work in a variety of jobs, including: education and information coordinator, park activities coordinator, and historical interpreter.
The Norman area is home to thirty-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Norman where you can get a degree as a park ranger. Given that the most common education level 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 Norman 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
Saint Gregorys University - Shawnee, OK
Saint Gregorys University, 1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee, OK 74804. Saint Gregorys University is a small university located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 705 students and an admission rate of 97%. Saint Gregorys University has a bachelor's degree program in Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Specialties.
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: Norman, Oklahoma
Norman is located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 106,957, which has grown by 11.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Norman, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Norman are priced at $184,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixteen new homes were built in Norman, up from four hundred nineteen the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Norman are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.8% of Norman residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Norman is 4.7%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.
The percentage of Norman residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Alameda Baptist Church, Alameda Church of Christ and All Welcome Victory Church are among the churches located in Norman. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Norman is home to the Cerebral Palsy Institute and the Park on Main as well as Owen Field and Rotary Park. Shopping malls in the area include Colonial Estates Shopping Center, Anatole Shopping Center and Carriage Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Norman can choose from Ramada Days Inn, Montford Inn and Guest Inn - Norman for temporary stays in the area.