Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Employee Reviews

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Be a Ranger in a different state
Park Ranger (Current Employee) –  Various locationsJuly 3, 2019
If the excitement of rescuing people in danger, catching poachers, leading interpretive talks about natural and cultural resources, gettin' the bad guys, fighting fires, promoting conservation and stewardship, tearing across the lake with lights and sirens to go to the rescue seems like a dream come true to you, then don't work here.

You'll mostly be cleaning toilets and spraying off poo and graffiti from Rest Area walls and won't really get to do any of the cool Ranger stuff that the NPS or Park Rangers in other states do. You'll also do a little landscaping and collecting campsite payments, too, but most of everyone's day is restroom detail.

Work/Life Balance is terrible. Training and support is extreme minimum for doing the job.

Safety is supposed to be priority but Park Rangers are put into situations that jeopardize their safety almost daily without the tools and support to do those tasks. Management denies safety PPE that is listed in the contract and weasels their way out of having to provide it. You'll get to wear a uniform every day, though, but your badge isn't much more than a decoration. When you're not scrubbing toilets, you will also be working solo night patrols in the dark and on foot, armed with nothing more than "presence-and-words" verbal judo. Not even pepper spray or a radio to communicate to the main police dispatch center.

Did I mention the work/life balance stinks? I haven't had a full Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend or 4th of July Weekend off with my family since I started with the agency. You'll never ever see a manager working
  more... weekends with OPRD when you need their support the most, either, but you sure as heck will be working nights and weekends. Even in early March, when it's raining and dark at 430pm and there's 3 campers in the campground and your training for the extremely rare occasion when there actually is an emergency is to just call 911.

If you're exploring a career with Oregon State Parks, don't waste your time. Try the NPS, Washington, California, Colorado or Texas, Oregon Department of Forestry or ODFW, Oregon State Police, County or City Parks, the library or even Mall Security. Unless the only appeal is the health insurance, working outside and wearing a uniform, I would highly recommend putting your eggs in a different basket.
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Pros
A good union. Get to wear a uniform and work outside.
Cons
Life work balance/ competition/poor training and support
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5.0
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Fun and productive workplace
PARK RANGER ASSISTANT (Former Employee) –  Brookings, ORSeptember 25, 2018
Fast passed workplace, great staff and management to work with. Cleaned restrooms and showers each day and it was great to hear the guests thank us for such clean restrooms and showers.
Pros
Great Workplace
Cons
Clean restrooms every day some were extremely filthy
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4.0
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okay, would like more challenges
Park Ranger Assistant (Current Employee) –  Tumalo, ORJuly 19, 2018
typical day- toilets toilets toilets
learned- be more diplomatic with all sorts of types of people
management- some good and some play favoritism
workplace culture- pretty positive except there's always 1 rotten apple
hardest part- hard to say, really like the job.
most enjoyable- making some one happy and helping out
Pros
union rights
Cons
working all nights
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5.0
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Great Working Environment
Assistant Park Ranger (Former Employee) –  Port Orford, ORDecember 14, 2017
Co-workers were fun to work with and you are treated with respect. Lots of opportunities to learn how to complete new maintenance tasks. Even the visitors generally have a friendly disposition.
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4.0
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OPRD is a great organization to work for - it's forward looking and professional
Park Ranger (Current Employee) –  Albany, OregonAugust 17, 2015
At my location, there really isn't a typical day of work, there is always something unplanned that needs to be addressed, such as trees falling on roads, picnic areas, trails. Part of the job description is "flexibility." In 2013, our staff received the Director's Award for "Crew of the Year." The most enjoyable part of the job is the satisfaction that I am helping a little part of the world better for current and future generations. The hardest part of the job is sometimes too much office work.
Pros
Very satisfying making a little piece of the world better for everyone.
Cons
Too much office/administrative work
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5.0
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Busy, challenging, and fun place to work
Seasonal Ranger Assistant (Former Employee) –  Salem, ORJanuary 28, 2015
A typical day at work consisted of running a campground, checking in guests, cleaning campsites, conducting park facility and grounds maintenance, etc. I was never bored and always had something to do on a day-to-day basis. I loved that all my co-workers got along with one another and if they had a problem would confront it right away. In my opinion, the most enjoyable part of the job was that the daily tasks constantly changed and I was never stuck doing the same thing every day. Everyday was a surprise. The hardest part of the job was angry guests that I sometimes had to encounter. I always had to remain calm under pressure and ensure that the customers lefts happy.
Pros
constantly busy
Cons
hard to take vacation
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4.0
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Overall a great agency to work for.
I appreciate being able to work for Oregon State Parks. It is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy interacting with various people from all over. Challenges can be the odd hours and working weekends, if you want a more traditional work week. The seasonal nature is a challenge as well. A great place to advance is looking to work your way up the ladder.
Pros
great people and locations
Cons
hours and seasonal schedule
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Overall rating

4.1
Based on 8 reviews
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3.9Work/Life Balance
3.9Compensation/Benefits
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4.0Management
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