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What You Need to Know About Park Naturalist

Position Description 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?

  • Perform routine maintenance on park structures.
  • Interview specialists in desired fields to obtain and develop data for park information programs.
  • Prepare and present illustrated lectures and interpretive talks about park features.
  • Prepare brochures and write newspaper articles.
  • Assist with operations of general facilities, such as visitor centers.
  • Confer with park staff to determine subjects and schedules for park programs.

What Every Park Naturalist Should Know

When polled, Park Naturalists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

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

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

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Park Naturalist

  • Parks Worker
  • Naturalist
  • Park Interpretive Ranger
  • Environmental Educator
  • Park Worker

Is There Job Demand for Park Naturalists?

There were about 22,300 jobs for Park Naturalist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,400 new jobs for Park Naturalist by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,000 positions for Park Naturalist per year.


The states with the most job growth for Park Naturalist are Colorado, New Hampshire, and Utah. 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.

Do Park Naturalists Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Park Naturalist ranges between $34,020 and $98,450.


Park Naturalists who work in Connecticut, Alaska, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Park Naturalists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $59,310
Alaska $93,390
Arizona $71,190
Arkansas $70,630
California $75,980
Colorado $71,170
Connecticut $87,710
Delaware $55,300
Florida $40,620
Georgia $69,390
Hawaii $68,360
Idaho $66,510
Illinois $63,840
Indiana $63,320
Iowa $56,820
Kansas $68,910
Kentucky $67,440
Louisiana $61,430
Maine $61,970
Maryland $79,070
Massachusetts $72,200
Michigan $63,460
Minnesota $72,650
Mississippi $54,870
Missouri $57,580
Montana $64,480
Nebraska $65,300
Nevada $61,670
New Hampshire $72,160
New Jersey $85,360
New Mexico $68,710
North Carolina $61,780
North Dakota $64,900
Ohio $55,550
Oklahoma $64,330
Oregon $76,790
Pennsylvania $55,200
South Carolina $56,220
South Dakota $62,390
Tennessee $68,440
Texas $57,990
Utah $63,720
Vermont $55,150
Virginia $75,370
Washington $65,120
West Virginia $50,210
Wisconsin $65,610
Wyoming $71,180

What Tools do Park Naturalists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Park Naturalists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Point of sale POS software
  • Mapping software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker

How to Become a Park Naturalist

Learn what Park Naturalist education requirements there are.


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Park Naturalists Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Park Naturalists employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Lynn Betts via Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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