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Countryside ranger

Countryside rangers look after green spaces, woodlands and animal habitats that allow entry to the public.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 hours per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a qualification in countryside or conservation management and work experience. You could get experience by volunteering with organisations like National Parks or conservation charities.

You’ll need to meet the physical demands of the job and may have to pass a medical.

A first aid qualification may help when applying for jobs.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship. You could also work your way up from assistant or seasonal ranger.

You may need a criminal records check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical ability in using tools and equipment
  • excellent communication skills
  • leadership skills

3. What you'll do

You could work for local authorities, National Park authorities, the Forestry Commission or charities like the National Trust, the RSPB and local wildlife trusts.

You'll usually:

  • plan and create habitats to protect plants, animals and birds
  • plant trees and manage ponds
  • lead guided walks, talks and educational visits
  • work with volunteers and encourage community involvement in projects
  • balance the needs of conservation and visitor management
  • manage exhibitions and resource centres and talk to the public
  • maintain machinery like chainsaws and mowers
  • order materials, keep records and write reports

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000

Experienced: £24,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 37 hours a week, which may include evenings and weekends. You may work more weekends during busy tourist times.

You'll spend some time inside, but there’ll be lots of active outdoor work and walking in all weathers. You’ll need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the job you’re doing, like using a chainsaw or dealing with vermin or moulds.

You may spend periods working alone.

You’re likely to have to lift and move heavy objects.

You’ll usually need a full driving licence and may need to drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or pull a trailer.

6. Career path and progression

You could join a professional body like the Countryside Management Association, which may improve your career prospects.

With experience, you could become a senior, district or head ranger or warden. You could also become a countryside officer.

Another option is to move into more specialised work like forestry or coastal area management, or wildlife conservation.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017