Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
We are looking for park rangers!

Applications for the 2023 season are open! Read on to learn how you can spend your summer working with Ontario Parks.

Ontario Parks currently manages 340 parks. In doing so, we protect more than 8.2 million hectares of land, lakes and rivers, while providing habitat for more than 140 different at-risk species. At the same time, we provide recreational opportunities by operating more than 20,000 car campsites, 170 covered accommodations and 8,000 backcountry campsites.

How do we do this?

The success of our organization is a direct result of the hard work of our incredible staff. Park rangers are an integral part of our operations and play an important role in helping us achieve our goals.

A couple of guards walking on the beach.

What do park rangers do?

Ontario’s provincial park system is diverse, as are our ranger positions.

In any park, the role of our wardens is the same: to protect park property and resources (the natural and cultural features of a park) and ensure that all park visitors can have a peaceful and enjoyable visit.

Masked guardian helping camper in car.

The experience and daily routine of a park ranger will vary depending on the park in which they work.

Common duties may include:

  • Protect park resources by enforcing legislation and providing information to park visitors.
  • Provide high-quality customer service by answering questions, providing information, and resolving visitor comments/complaints.
  • Ensure the protection of public safety by providing leadership and support in accidents or emergencies.
  • Support park operations by assisting staff with facility cleaning, campground maintenance, and water system operation.
  • Support backcountry hiking and paddling opportunities by maintaining trails, shuttles, and campgrounds.
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What do we look for in candidates?

Guardian writing in a notebook

You must meet specific mandatory requirements to be considered a park warden with Ontario Parks.

Mandatory qualifications include:

  • minimum 19 years of age
  • valid Ontario class “G” driver’s license or equivalent
  • ability to obtain a criminal background check
  • Successful completion of multi-week Provincial Ranger Course (included)

Beyond the basic requirements, park rangers have a challenging job and require specific skills to be successful.

Three guards standing outside.

Additional skills that will make your resume stand out:

  • Oral and Written Communication Skills: The ability to effectively resolve customer conflicts/complaints, convey important information, document observations and activities, and write clear and concise reports.
  • Problem Solving and Decision-Making Skills: The ability to make difficult decisions related to public safety, emergency response, and officer safety.
  • Leadership and Initiative Skills: The ability to work independently without direct supervision and the initiative to remain productive and support other park programs when necessary.
  • Experience or education working in/with law enforcement.
  • Experience or education in the management of natural or cultural resources.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Ontario parks and the goals of our organization.

Previous park experience is always a plus!

What hours/seasons do park rangers work?

Contract lengths vary across the province, but the majority of our ranger positions occur during our peak operating season (June-September).

warden looking at the post

Park rangers work most nights and weekends during our peak operating season and must be able to work independently.

Do park ranger contracts lead to careers in Ontario parks?

Many of our superintendents and assistant superintendents began their careers as park rangers and spent a few years on seasonal contracts (often changing parks) before obtaining their current positions.

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Warden talking to a visitor in front of a sign.

Senior leadership opportunities in Ontario parks often require knowledge of law enforcement programs, so experience as a park warden is a great step along the way.

Park rangers gain experience in resource management protection, public safety, law enforcement, Ontario park policies, provincial laws and regulations, conflict resolution, customer service and park operations.

Do you have more questions about what it’s like to be a park warden?

Three years ago (January 2020), we sat down for a live Q&A session with some experienced park rangers. Watch the replay:

Applications for 2023 Park Ranger positions are open!

Review the “Park Guards” section of our careers page and submit your resume through our website.

We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the communities we serve and promoting a diverse, anti-racist, inclusive, accessible, merit-based, respectful and equitable workplace. We invite all interested persons to apply and encourage applications from people with disabilities, Indigenous, Black and racialized people, as well as people from a diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Visit the OPS Anti-Racism Policy website and the OPS Diversity and Inclusion Plan pages to learn more about OPS’ commitment to advancing racial equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in public service.