Animal care | Environment and land
Countryside rangers look after green spaces, woodlands and animal habitats that allow entry to the public.
£17,000 Starter - £30,000 Experienced
42 to 44 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeship
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Relevant courses include:
environmental studies, rural resource management or countryside management.
You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-Levels, or the equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma. For a degree you'll need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or the equivalent.
You may be able to get into this job with a college course such as a Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment or a Level 3 Diploma in Countryside Management.
You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), for a Level 2 course. You may need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or the equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
The following Apprenticeships may be relevant to this role a Level 2 Countryside Worker or a Level 4 Countryside Ranger.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or the equivalent, for a higher or Level 6 (degree) apprenticeship.
You could get experience by volunteering with National Parks or conservation charities like The Wildlife Trusts. This will give you an advantage when you're looking for work. A first aid qualification may help when applying for jobs.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Countryside Management Association for professional development training and to build up your contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- knowledge of biology
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of geography
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to use your initiative
to be flexible and open to change
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
- 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
- keep records and write reports
You could work in woodland or in a park.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
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.