The State Worker

Looking for a job? California State Parks is hiring rangers, lifeguards and more

California State Parks is looking to hire full-time rangers and lifeguards — and they’ve extended the deadline to apply for the State Parks Peace Officer Cadet Academy.

Both rangers and lifeguards fall into the peace officer category, according to Adeline Yee, a State Parks public information officer. Anyone hoping to become a permanent State Parks ranger or lifeguard has to attend the academy to be considered.

The deadline to apply for the academy is June 17, State Parks said. The selection process then takes about 15 to 18 months and includes a background investigation as well as a medical and psychological evaluation, according to the agency.

Applicants who are selected to attend the academy will start in the fall of 2020, Yee said. The recruits will learn skills including how to provide emergency medical aid, conduct investigations, make arrests and run public education programs.

Cadets earn a salary ranging from $3,508 to $4,712 while at the academy, according to State Parks.

“You’re protecting our natural, cultural and historic resources and preserving them for future generations,” Yee said. “No two days are the same.”

As of March, the latest month for which data is available, State Parks has 442 peace officers and 161 vacancies, Yee said.

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The hiring comes as some State Parks rangers have raised concerns about hiring shortages. In 2018, the Resource Protection Peace Officers Association, which represents State Parks rangers, noted that the rangers are spread thin, with some parks completely lacking a law enforcement presence.

“We are spread thinner and thinner at a time when park visitation is up,” said Nathan Smith, the union’s treasurer, at the time.

There are other open State Parks positions that don’t require the academy, including seasonal lifeguard, park aide and environmental scientist roles, Yee said. Information on how many full- and part-time positions are open was not immediately available.

State Parks is hiring for positions all over the state, including in Fresno, Sacramento, Merced, Tuolumne and San Luis Obispo counties, according to their website.

In Tuolumne County, State Parks is hiring for a seasonal senior maintenance aide position, and full-time park maintenance supervisor positions are open in Merced County and Fresno County. Multiple permanent full-time and seasonal positions are open in Sacramento and San Luis Obispo counties, including seasonal maintenance aide and senior environmental scientist.

To apply for the cadet academy, or to learn more about other job positions, visit

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