U.S. National Park Service
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Working at U.S. National Park Service: 46 Reviews

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4.0Work-Life Balance

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Fun volunteer work

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It's a good way to get a workout, and visitor interaction experience. You're out in nature the whole time. You'll learn first aid and bike repair/maintenance.
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Sea turtle Science & Recovery team at Padre Island International Seashore

If you enjoy fieldwork and the beach as much as I do, then this would be a great fit!You patrol the beach in a utv looking for endangered turtle tracks to locate their nests to be excavated and taken back to headquarters. You also help with releasing the baby turtles once they hatch, and other projects that arise.
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U.S. National Park Service insights

Based on 58 survey responses
What people like
  • Inclusive work environment
  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Ability to learn new things
Areas for improvement
  • Fair pay for job

Productive and fun workplace

If you love serving your public lands and enjoy working around people who also care about preserving and preotecting public lands this job is for you. I was just an intern but I want to make a career of working on federal lands management. However it is very difficult to get a job as it is extremely competitive and most jobs are not open to the public because the gov't likes to hire from within.
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Great place to work

If you like to enter act with people on a daily basis this job will be great for you, Always in the public eye for Question and Answers, management is great
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One of the worst jobs I've ever had and I've had many. Management consists of 2 lazy supervisors who don't care about their people. If a customer makes a complaint about you, be prepared to fight that battle alone whether the complaint is true or not. Management will not have your back in any circumstances and take everyone's word over yours. The hours vary by season but are terrible. DO NOT TAKE THIS JOB unless you don't care about your own morale. Several people have left in the last year for the same reason. There's no parking here also so be prepared to walk a nice distance everyday just to get to work.


job security


micro-management, long hours, and just a thankless job overall
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Productive workplace

Very fun job. Get to interact with the public and enjoy nature. Every park is different. Management is good, coworkers are good. So far so good love working here.
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Fun place to work with great people.

The work is enjoyable and my coworkers are amazing. The pay is “ok” but not really a living wage. If it weren’t for government housing i couldn’t do this job. The environment is very inclusive and diverse. My supervisors are the best I’ve ever had.


Great supervisors and coworkers, rewarding work in beautiful locations


Low pay
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Work with a purpose

Wonderful pace to work - can vary somewhat from park to park, but overall this is work you can do with a purpose, feel fulfilled, excellent work life balance.
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Interesting job

Overall a good in between job. It was a seasonal position with some good experiences. As a career option its non-existent. Politics are an unfortunate part of the job that tend to play favorites.
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Great People and work environment

Loved working here but upper management completely sucked. I've never worked for such a close group of people and haven't came close to working other jobs. The job can get monotonous at times but the people keep you going.
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Great organization to work for

I very much enjoyed my time working here. Unfortunately, I was in a test program in a term position that did not get funded for another year of service.The management was very helpful and encouraging. Their support was there any time it was needed.The position required a lot of travel, which was very helpful for the position, as well as it allowed me to go to places I had never been before.Working for NPS was a great experience, and I would definitely apply for another position I am qualified for if the opportunity arises.
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The National Park Service does not care for employees mental health or advancement. They use their employees for a period of time and view them as replaceable.




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Incredibly rewarding work

I greatly enjoyed my time at NPS. Unfortunately, I had to leave because of pay. It is an extremely competitive environment but the work is so rewarding. Being able to share history with people is a literal dream job.
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Great locations, personal experience depends on many variables

Great sense of purpose and great locations to work and fair pay. Primary cons being that you are treated as expendable as you are not a permanent employee. Also, you will have many bosses which can directly have an effect on your experience at that park. There will be a lot of decisions made by upper management that don't make sense or directly apply. A good supervisor and is a must. Promotions are generally not based on merit but length of time you are there. You will always be underfunded and under staffed and expected to do jobs outside your job description. Overall if you can balance all the positives and negatives, this job can be extremely rewarding.
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Outstanding opportunity to work in. National Park

You have the opportunity to live and work in a beautiful National Park.Quite satisfying when visitors thank you for maintaining a beautiful park.Great opportunity to learn more skills.
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Volunteer work is awesome

worked as a volunteer, had a great experience would highly recommend that people interested in gaining experience with the NPS consider volunteer work
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Tough place to love

Some love this kind of work. But the pathway program is almost always a dead end. Do it bc it's easy to go to school, but don't expect permanent positions. People work their entire careers as GS-5s. Your only hope for promotion is to move to sites around the country. That's not to mention higher management is awful, terrible employee retention rates and generally bad working conditions. (Collapsing historical buildings/forts and constant budget issues)
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Depends on site and management

Your career can be awesome, but it will all depend on the site. Some have management that cares about your advancement. Other’s don’t. Best part is meeting people from all over the world. Note also it all depends on your GS/Wg grade when it comes to pay. Lower grades isn’t good higher management grades great. Make sure you follow all requested material when applying.
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Good place to work but hard to advance

The National Park Service has a great work culture and you get to work at some really great places. However, it is hard to advance and the pay isn't great. There are great benefits though.
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Great mission. Low pay and advancement opportunities.

Worked for 2 seasons as a seasonal Interpretive Ranger. Great place to learn a lot of history and interact with a lot of different people. However, pay wasn’t that great and there is little opportunity for promotion.
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Steady pay with opportunity across the country

The park offers a steady pay check and many options to work because there are National Parks across the country. The work is repetitive at times, but the job security is nice.
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Overall rating

Based on 46 reviews

Ratings by category

4.0 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.7 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
3.4 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
3.4 out of 5 stars for Management
3.8 out of 5 stars for Culture

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