How to Become a Park Ranger in Kentucky

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Individuals wishing to pursue a career as a park ranger in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have several options. According to the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, the commonwealth has five levels of job positions and corresponding pay grades for state park rangers. Beginning with the inexperienced recruit and ascending up the career ladder, the specifications are State Park Ranger Recruit, State Park Ranger I, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. All five jobs are considered part of the state's classification of Police Protection positions.

Recruit

  • Candidates with no experience in law enforcement begin at the entry-level position of State Park Ranger Recruit by applying through the personnel cabinet. Inexperienced recruits undergo training in law enforcement and patrol procedures. In addition, recruits are required to satisfactorily complete a 12-month probationary period. Applicants must be high school graduates, 21 years old, and possess and maintain a valid driver's license.

Ranger I

  • Experienced law enforcement personnel may apply for a position as a Kentucky State Park Ranger I. According to the Commonwealth of Kentucky job class description for this position, a Ranger I candidate must be 21 years old with a high school diploma, must possess and maintain a valid driver's license throughout the employment tenure and have a minimum of one year of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. A State Park Ranger I generally reports to a State Park Ranger Sergeant.

Sergeant

  • A Kentucky State Park Ranger Sergeant supervises rangers of lesser rank and in turn reports to a State Park Ranger Lieutenant. Qualifications for this position are similar to the Ranger I job specification. However, to be eligible for the position of sergeant, an applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience as a sworn police officer.

Lieutenant

  • A Kentucky State Park Ranger Lieutenant meet the prerequisites for the subordinate positions with a stipulation that requires five years of experience as a sworn police officer. The duties of this position include not only enforcement of Kentucky laws, but supervision of less-experienced rangers. The Kentucky State Park Ranger Lieutenant reports to a captain.

Captain

  • The Kentucky State Park Ranger Captain supervises and commands all state park rangers in their assigned region. To be eligible for a captain rank in the state park system, the applicant must have six years of experience as a sworn police officer in addition to the age and education prerequisites of the subordinate ranger positions.

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