If you’re nuts about nature, have a penchant for peacefulness, or simply want to get up-close-and-personal with the planet’s finest eye-candy, then a job in a national park is the trail for you. Just in case the bonfires aren’t draw enough, you’ll also be able to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, get to know Mother Nature on a whole new level, and spend your time off feeling the crunch of Earth under your boots. Although many national park jobs are linked to hospitality, the experience of living far from civilization will be one you’ll never forget. Ready to take off your proverbial pants and jump into that Alpine Lake?
Why Work Abroad in a National Park
Let’s face it, if stunning scenery and proximity to nature is your jam, what better way to indulge your love than with a job in a national park? With national park jobs available in some of the furthest reaches of the globe, it can be the perfect opportunity for those seeking an escape from the daily grind. Professionals with experience in environmental conservation or education will find many opportunities to live and breathe everything this Earth has to offer, with national park jobs available that involve working directly within the the park to preserve our finest wildernesses. Those seeking seasonal jobs to escape the city will also not be disappointed, and will gain tangible skills within the hospitality sector, all while living in an incredible setting.
Given that nearly 100 countries around the world have areas designated as national parks, you’ll never be stuck for choice when it comes to finding a job in one of nature’s finest spots. At present, national park jobs are easiest to come by in more economically developed countries, and given the plethora of national parks available in these nations, there should be more options than you can shake a stick at.
A vast number of national park jobs are available across the United States, which has an impressive array of protected natural hotspots. Find a job in America’s first and most famous, Yellowstone in Wyoming, where steam-puffing geysers intermix with grizzly bears and six-foot tall bison, all topped off with incredible canyons and stunning alpine rivers.
For a higher altitude experience, how about heading over to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado? Here, landscapes range from lush meadows to arctic tundra and granite formations boasting a mind-boggling 130 million years of existence, plus a diverse selection of flora and fauna reflecting this astounding variety. You’ll also come face to rocky face with the Colorado 14ers: 14,000 foot mountain whoppers, which are just itching to be climbed. Staggering views and an appreciation of how much you really do need oxygen will be the treat waiting for you at the top.
Even further into the inhospitable, but incredible, Alaskan wilderness, find adventurous jobs in Kenai Fjords National Park. The park takes its name from the fjords etched out by glaciers descending into the sea, and the vast majority is only accessible by boat or kayak. Discover a whopping abundance of land and marine life, including wolves, Alaskan brown bears, Steller sea lions, orcas, and humpback whales.
If you’re more at home with cold climes, look no further than a national park job in the Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to sixteen glaciers and its importance as a habitat for grizzly bears and reindeer, national park jobs here straddle both land and sea. You can also apply for jobs in nearby Tongass National Forest, which is home to Alaskan native communities who exist in harmony with the world’s largest remaining temperate rainforest. Capturing Alaska at its most raw and wild, this is a national park where you’ll encounter numerous species of salmon, black and brown bear, and bald eagle at every turn.
For an experience of some of the globe’s toughest landscapes, try Australia for size. Many available national park jobs in Australia are found in The Northern Territory, an area of arid Outback desert and home to the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and other important Aboriginal monuments. If kicking back in the absolute middle of nowhere with only kangaroos and the occasional snake to keep you company sounds like your idea of fun, then you didgeridoo need to be getting yourself a national park job here!
National Park Jobs Abroad
While it might be your dream to become the next Crocodile Dundee or Bear Grylls, unless you have some serious qualifications in the field of natural resources, land management, or conservation, then you might find yourself disappointed. Instead, the vast majority of national park jobs are seasonal, summer work within lodges or national park-run cabins, which provide the chance to absorb the tranquility while earning and getting useful experiences in a range of sectors.
The most prolific national park jobs are in the hospitality sector, where employees are sought to work either within catering or housekeeping and maintenance. Although this doesn’t pay an awful lot, many companies provide free or discounted accommodation and meals to their staff, plus other perks for visiting and making most of the surrounding national park. Most positions are seasonal, so expect to work either between May and October or November and April.
Those with experience in adventure sports, camping, or hiking can also look for jobs as tour guides at national parks abroad. Often requiring qualifications in the field, these types of roles are perfect for adventurous souls who enjoy opening up new experiences to other like-minded explorers.
For professionals with some experience in the education or environmental sector, many national parks advertise positions for field instructors or guides who deliver workshops about the wildlife and geology of the park, or present cultural content to local schools or other visitors. If you’ve got the gift of the gab, this is an opportunity to spread your passion for nature and the awareness of why national parks across the globe are critical for protecting our natural heritage.
The cherry on the top of all national park jobs abroad is the park ranger. This type of job can have various different responsibilities: helping to protect the habitats of endangered species, surveying and monitoring wildlife, overseeing the maintenance of the visitor services within the park, and protecting historical sites. However, bear in mind that these positions require experience in land management, animal handling, a relevant degree, and work experience in the required field for your application to even be considered. For park ranger jobs abroad, you’ll often find that agencies based in your country of choice are your best bet for helping you to track down a position.
Being proactive and communicating with the relevant people, after having done some extensive research on exactly where you’d like to be based, will give you the best possible chance of securing your dream national park job abroad.
Benefits & Challenges
Explore your passions while earning. Waking up each morning in a beautiful location and knowing that you can explore your love of adventure in your free time is one of the greatest benefits of working in a national park abroad. Depending on your location, you might have access to barely-touched slopes for skiing, or excellent hiking routes for exploring the nearby countryside. Either way, living side-by-side with nature is a guaranteed way to appreciate what a stunning planet we live on.
Persistence and relevant qualifications will pay off. It’s no mean feat securing one of the highly competitive park ranger jobs around the globe, however for those dedicated to protecting our planet, persistence and study will pay off. Waking up each morning knowing that it’s just you and the countryside will be more than ample reward for your hard work.
So, get your hiking boots on, escape the city, and succumb to the charms of nature with a job in a national park abroad. What are you waiting for?