Applying for Park Service Jobs and Forest Service Jobs

If you were thinking about applying for a National Park Service jobs or U.S. Forest Service jobs, here is a little extra information on the process.

| November/December 1980

  • 066 park service jobs forest service jobs - Fotolia - helenos
    You'll encounter stiff competition for  National Park Service jobs and U.S. Forest Service jobs, so file your application early.

  • 066 park service jobs forest service jobs - Fotolia - helenos

Are you ready to hoist your pack and head for a season in the woods? Well, be advised: So are several thousands of others! The competition for temporary National Park Service jobs and U.S. Forest Service jobs is very stiff, so apply as early as possible during their respective filing periods. In general, it's best to apply in only one region (in fact, the Forest Service requires that its applicants choose one area to work in) ... and to request a specific type of job for which you can offer relevant skills and experience.

U.S. Forest Service

All hiring for volunteer posts in national forests is done strictly on the local level, so you should inquire about such positions in person at the district ranger's office in the forest where you want to work.

The Forest Service's paid seasonal employees, on the other hand, are chosen on a national basis. To apply, you should first pick up the agency's Form OMB No. 40-83976 ... which is available from your local ranger station, by writing to the U.S. Forest Service, or online. This booklet contains an employment application, a map of all national forests and experiment stations, and the address of the Forest Service's headquarters office in each region. Send your completed application (between the filing dates of December 1 and January 15) to one of those offices, which will forward your credentials in turn to each national forest in the area until all employment quotas are filled. (No Civil Service exam Is required for seasonal applicants.)

National Park Service

The Park Service employs volunteers—often on a part-time basis—to assist rangers in such areas as interpretation, living history demonstrations, environmental study, and resource management. You can apply for such work by writing to the superintendent of the NPS area in which you want to serve. (For hiring purposes, the United States is divided into nine regions.) In order to obtain the addresses of those regional offices, and to get further information about the program, write to Public Inquiries, National Park Service, and ask for a copy of the free pamphlet "Volunteers in Parks."

If you'd like to land a paid position in a national park, your application must be flied between September 1 and January 15. You can pick up the Park Service's computerized form from any  regional office, request in writing the free "National Park Service Seasonal Employment Brochure" from the agency's national headquarters, or obtain it online. It includes an application form and instruction booklet as well as details on the kinds of jobs available. 

An Additional Aid

Does the whole procedure sound a mite confusing? Well, you can cut through some of the necessary red tape by consulting an excellent book that was published in 1978, entitled Wildiand Agency Employment Guide. The author—Jasper G. Rucker—has worked, for several years, as a Forestry and Range Technician in the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (a division of the Interior Department).


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