Park ranger with Smokey the bear.

Park Ranger 1 Job Information

Learn the duties of a Washington State Park Ranger 1 and the qualifications needed to apply for this role.

Park Ranger 1 Job Information


A Park Ranger 1 is responsible for protecting, preserving and enhancing our state parks and natural resources, while ensuring the safety and welfare of park visitors. The specific duties will vary by park location, but below are the basic duties of a Park Ranger 1: 

Law enforcement 

Limited commissioned, protects park properties and exercises limited commissioned police power. Issues non-traffic civil infraction notices such as Discover Pass violations, boat launch violations and overnight parking violations. May assist with investigations. Must have knowledge of WAC, RCW, policies and directives. Educates the public on park rules and directs traffic. Prepares written reports. Park Ranger 1s do not carry a firearm as part of their duties. 

Public administration

Communicates with the public both verbally and in writing, including providing public information, giving presentations to groups of various sizes, answering questions and giving directions. Informs the local community of park changes. Registers park visitors and assigns them to appropriate areas; collects and accounts for fees; answers questions and explains park policies and regulations.


Performs maintenance and repair of park structures and facilities. Performs groundskeeping activities. Performs clean-up work and ensure standards for cleanliness and sanitation within park areas. Operates light maintenance equipment, such as power tools. Assists with road and trail maintenance. 


Updates manuals; records traffic counter readings; completes law enforcement reports, vehicle and equipment usage reports, attendance reports, incident reports, cash receipt transmittals, purchasing requisitions, employee timesheets, and other reports as assigned or needed; and performs expenditure reconciliations. Maintains records of park activities and prepares reports.

Resource stewardship

Recognizes, understands, values, manages and protects natural resources. Identifies, improves and protects wetlands, archaeological sites and other sensitive or endangered sites. Enforces rules and laws to prevent unauthorized access or damage to park property.


Supervise or serve as a lead worker for less-trained park employees, volunteers, special program workers and temporary employees. Schedules, prioritizes and evaluates work. Promotes teamwork, crew diversity and a safe and respectful working environment.


Prepares and gives interpretive and educational talks to the public regarding park resources and other related topics.


You must meet all of the following to qualify:

  • Have two years of college**
  • Have a high school graduation diploma or GED
  • A valid driver's license
  • Be 21 years of age by date of hire

**Military experience or in a natural resource or recreation field will substitute year for year for education.

Employment standards for law enforcement positions

Law enforcement positions must have no:

  • Criminal activity while working in the criminal justice system.
  • Use of illegal drugs in the last three years.
  • Possession of illegal drugs in the last 10 years.
  • Crime committed as an adult, prosecutable under the statute of limitations.
  • Intentional deception in any stage of the testing process.
  • Intentional deception in the selection process of any law enforcement agency.
  • Domestic violence convictions.
  • DUI within the last five years.