20 Odd Jobs With America's National Parks

Employee of Grand Teton National Park seated on a truck.
Employee of Grand Teton National Park seated on a truck. / George Frey/Stringer/Getty Images

To people who love the great outdoors, getting paid to work for one of America's stunning national parks may sound like a dream. Park rangers make up just a fraction of the over 22,000 people employed by the National Park Service. Whether you have a background in finance, history, or education, there may be a position waiting for you in the system.

The National Park Foundation shared a list of unexpected job titles held by NPS workers in a blog post. Many employees deal with the public every day, including greeting and educating guests. Other jobs are done away from heavily trafficked areas of the parks, but they're every bit as important. Some highly specialized roles held by NPS employees include paleontologists, cultural resource specialists, and landscape architects.

While it can be rewarding, working for a national park is hardly a breeze. NPS jobs are highly competitive, and the people lucky enough to land a gig have to deal with everything from dangerous wildlife to difficult guests. But with the diversity of jobs offered by the National Park system, skilled candidates have a decent shot at finding a position that's right for them. Some NPS jobs even offer housing in the parks.

To see the unique jobs available through the United States's national parks, check out the list below. For a more in-depth look at what it takes to work for the service, you can read the behind-the-scenes secrets of park rangers here.

  1. Archaeologist
  2. Budget Analyst
  3. Cultural Resource Specialist
  4. Dispatcher Public Safety
  5. Education Specialist
  6. Facility Management System Specialist
  7. Gardener
  8. Historian
  9. Landscape Architect
  10. Maintenance Worker
  11. Natural Resource Specialist
  12. Operations Manager
  13. Recreation Fee Analyst
  14. Superintendent
  15. Trails Worker
  16. Volunteer Coordinator
  17. Wildland Firefighter
  18. Youth Programs Manager
  19. Biological Science Technician
  20. Paleontologist