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Life As a Park Naturalist

Park Naturalist Example Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.

Life as a Park Naturalist: What Do They Do?

  • Prepare brochures and write newspaper articles.
  • Assist with operations of general facilities, such as visitor centers.
  • Interview specialists in desired fields to obtain and develop data for park information programs.
  • Survey park to determine forest conditions and distribution and abundance of fauna and flora.
  • Provide visitor services, such as explaining regulations, answering visitor requests, needs and complaints, and providing information about the park and surrounding areas.
  • Conduct field trips to point out scientific, historic, and natural features of parks, forests, historic sites, or other attractions.

What a Park Naturalist Should Know

These are the skills Park Naturalists say are the most useful in their careers:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Types of Park Naturalists

  • Park Ranger
  • Park Worker
  • Program Production Specialist
  • Parks and Recreation Manager
  • Park Naturalist

Are There Job Opportunities for Park Naturalists?

There were about 22,300 jobs for Conservation Scientists in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,400 new jobs for Park Naturalists by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Park Naturalists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Conservation Scientists are Colorado, Texas, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, New Mexico, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Park Naturalist

The typical yearly salary for Conservation Scientists is somewhere between $34,020 and $98,450. A Park Naturalist median salary is $61,310.

Salary Ranges for Park Naturalists

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$93,390

Connecticut

$87,710

New Jersey

$85,360

Maryland

$79,070

Oregon

$76,790

California

$75,980

Virginia

$75,370

Minnesota

$72,650

Massachusetts

$72,200

New Hampshire

$72,160

Arizona

$71,190

Wyoming

$71,180

Colorado

$71,170

Arkansas

$70,630

Georgia

$69,390

Kansas

$68,910

New Mexico

$68,710

Tennessee

$68,440

Hawaii

$68,360

Kentucky

$67,440

Idaho

$66,510

Wisconsin

$65,610

Nebraska

$65,300

Washington

$65,120

North Dakota

$64,900

Montana

$64,480

Oklahoma

$64,330

Illinois

$63,840

Utah

$63,720

Michigan

$63,460

Indiana

$63,320

South Dakota

$62,390

Maine

$61,970

North Carolina

$61,780

Nevada

$61,670

Louisiana

$61,430

Alabama

$59,310

Texas

$57,990

Missouri

$57,580

Iowa

$56,820

South Carolina

$56,220

Ohio

$55,550

Delaware

$55,300

Pennsylvania

$55,200

Vermont

$55,150

Mississippi

$54,870

West Virginia

$50,210

Florida

$40,620

Tools & Technologies Used by Park Naturalists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Park Naturalists may use on a daily basis:

  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Data entry software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office

How do I Become a Park Naturalist?

What education is needed to be a Park Naturalist?

Park Naturalist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Park Naturalist?

Park Naturalist Work Experience

Where Park Naturalists Work

Park Naturalist Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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