Would You Like to Work for the Park Service?
Thank you for considering the South Carolina State Park Service as a potential employer. A variety of career opportunities are available through our organization. These opportunities range from the field of natural or cultural resource management, to construction and maintenance, and from environmental education to basic park administration. Check out our Day in the Life of a Park Ranger series to learn more about our rewarding career opportunities.
Career Opportunities with the South Carolina State Park Service
The South Carolina State Park Service offers a variety of career opportunities in the following areas:
- Administration and Operations
- Natural and Cultural Resource Management
- Education and Interpretation
- Construction and Maintenance
As standard practice, personnel are promoted from within the ranks of the Park Service to fill management and advanced positions. Park Manager is the highest-ranking position at the park level. Park Managers are responsible for the overall direction and operation of a park. The information below provides a description of most key entry-level positions. Qualified applicants from any of these entry-level positions will be eligible to apply for vacant Park Manager positions as they become open.
Administration and Operations Entry-Level Positions
The day to day operation of the South Carolina State Park Service is a complex process requiring more than 200 full-time personnel and hundreds of additional temporary employees year-round. The administration and operations processes involve a variety of activities, from policy development, personnel management, fiscal management, revenue and enterprise development, training, safety and compliance, law enforcement, and customer service.
- Ranger: (Ranger I is the entry level position.) Assists with the operation, administration and maintenance on all classifications of parks. Assists with park administrative duties; collects and accounts for revenue; instructs, supervises and performs routine and preventative maintenance. Performs law enforcement activities within specified authority and Park Service policy. Assists in control of inventories. Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: Associate Degree in Park Management or related field with one year of related experience.
- Administrative Assistant: The Park Service's front-line employees are most often administrative assistants. These employees assist with the management of the park's visitors center/office to include scheduling and training of office staff and handling reservations for cabins, campsites, shelters, etc. in accordance with agency guidelines. Maintains related files. Participates in the preparation of the park's fiscal records to include daily and weekly operational reports and daily bank deposits. Processes central and local purchase orders and is responsible for the tracking of specific budgets. Receives and disseminates incoming correspondence and screens that which needs to be handled personally by supervisor; forwards remainder to appropriate staff members. Prepares all outgoing correspondence for mailing. Completes hourly employee payrolls. Directs requisitioning, storage and distribution of forms and supplies.
- Retail Sales Manager: Some parks have retail sales managers on staff to coordinate and manage the stores, gift shops and other retail outlets. Basic duties include inventory control, purchasing and sales.
Resource Management Entry-Level Positions
The natural and cultural resources within state parks are conserved, managed and planned for through the disciplines of botany, biology, history, archaeology, historic preservation and forest management. Personnel collect field samples and conduct surveys to evaluate the health of our precious resources. Through such research efforts, our staff can conserve and better protect South Carolina’s parks. Whether their focus is animal care or historical preservation, our talented staff are the guardians of the parks’ natural and cultural resources, carefully studying and protecting these resources to improve and enhance their beauty and value. (Personnel in the interpretive and operational positions are also committed to natural and cultural resource management.)
- Archaeologist: (Archaeologist I is the entry-level position.) Conducts archaeological projects including preliminary documentary research, surveying, exploring, excavating and analysis of findings; collects, sorts, prepares, describes, photographs, and catalogues archaeological materials for interpretive display; conducts archaeological education programs; supports operations staff and functions as required. Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology or Archaeology plus one year of archaeological field experience.
- Resource Manager: (Resource Manager is the entry-level position.) Plans and conducts natural resource management surveys, inventories, research and assessments. Records results in appropriate databases and analyzes findings through written reports/presentations. Assists in the development and implementation of natural resource management plans. Develops and presents programs and educational activities relating to natural resources. Advises park and regional management on natural resource issues. Conducts appropriate training. Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: Bachelor's Degree in Natural Science or History and one year experience in their related field.
Education and Interpretation Entry-Level Positions
The State Park Service’s naturalists, historians and archaeologists also preserve natural and cultural resources through educational programs. These individuals have a passion for educating others about the preservation of our natural resources and the rich culture of our historical sites. State Park Service interpreters conduct various workshops and educational programs including programs for schoolchildren. Communicating the beauty and importance of South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources can be a rewarding job.
- Interpreter: (Interpreter I is the entry-level position.) Under limited supervision, directs and performs duties related to the educational and interpretive programming for a park. Develops and manages the educational/interpretive plan. Plans, promotes and directs tours, programs and workshops. Directs the management of exhibits to include planning, implementation and curation. Coordinates community and volunteer programs. Responsibilities may also include resource management and administration and operation duties. Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science or History. Must be able to relate well with the general public and deliver programs in a positive manner. Effective written and oral communication skills are necessary.
Construction and Maintenance Entry-Level Positions
As caretakers of the parks, our maintenance staff takes pride in keeping South Carolina’s state parks clean and beautiful. The State Park Service’s construction and maintenance staff strategically repair and maintain historic, recreational, administrative and rental facilities and structures. Our caring staff accomplish these important tasks by way of landscaping, carpentry, electrical work and various building skills and techniques. Whether our staff is involved in repairs or through custodial duties, each employee works hard to keep our state parks inviting and picturesque.
- Park Technician: (Park Technician is the entry-level position) – Performs duties necessary for maintenance and upkeep of state parks, which include repair and construction of facilities, operation and repair of motorized equipment, grounds keeping and landscaping activities. Assists with the administration and operation of a state park, and assists visitors including registering campers and performing routine patrols. May also be required to assist in the operation of retail sales as well as assist planning and scheduling of the park’s maintenance program. Minimum Education/Experience Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent and one year of general maintenance experience. Ability to read and understand written procedures and directions as well as perform simple arithmetic computations. Ability to operate a variety of power tools.
How to apply
View a list of our current openings and complete a state application at careers.sc.gov. All applications must be submitted online. You may attach a resume, but you may not substitute the online State Application – in total or in part – with a resume. We only accept applications for actual vacant positions. We also offer a variety of seasonal and part-time employment opportunities. For more information about the seasonal and part-time positions, click here.
The overall benefits package represents a significant addition to your salary. Here is a quick overview of what the State Park Service offers:
- 13 paid holidays
- 15 annual leave/vacation days
- Additional annual leave is earned after 10 years of service with maximum annual leave earned in a year being 30 days
- 15 sick/medical leave days
- Health, dental, disability and life insurance
- Deferred compensation 401(K) and/or 457 savings program
- South Carolina Retirement System membership
- Annual health screening program at reduced rates
- Many positions offer housing, some utilities, uniforms and more
There are minimum educational requirements for each position within the Park Service which new personnel must meet or exceed prior to hiring. Employee development, however, does not stop there. There is a strong commitment to provide personnel with opportunities for professional and personal growth after coming on board. Core training programs are regularly available to personnel to develop core Park Service skills and knowledge. There are also specialized training and development opportunities available to personnel with special needs or for personnel involved in special programs like:
- Journeyman and Master Mechanical Trades
- Remote Search and Rescue
- Bike Mounted Ranger
- Law Enforcement
- First Aid
- Trail Management
- Environmental Certifications
- Supervisory and Managerial Development