Park Ranger Trainee 2019

State of Colorado Job Opportunities - Denver, CO

Department Information




If your goal is to invest in a career that makes a difference, consider joining the dedicated people of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Our professionals are committed to supporting state government and the citizens of Colorado.

Our mission is to develop, preserve, and enhance the state's natural resources for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future citizens and visitors. In an effort to build diversity and inclusion we welcome applications from people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.

Customer service is a key component for every position across state government. We are focused on improving Efficiency (use of resources), Effectiveness (impact of our work), and Elegance (graceful service interactions).

Our Mission is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado's natural resources. Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Attracting over 11 million visitors per year, Colorado's 41 State Parks are a vital cornerstone in Colorado's economy and quality of life, offering some of the highest quality outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks offer exceptional settings for renewal of the human spirit. Residents and visitors enjoy healthy, fun-filled interaction with the natural world, creating rich traditions with family and friends that promote stewardship of our natural resources. Parks employees and their partners work together to provide ongoing and outstanding customer service through recreational programs, amenities and services.
Description of Job

Applicants who successfully pass all training must be willing to be assigned to one of Colorado's 41 State Parks, and remain for a minimum of two years.

This position functions at a training classification level for entry into the Park Manager series, working title for the first year "Park Ranger Trainee" (Classification -Park Manager I) and year two as "Park Ranger" (Classification -Park Manager II).

As a Park Ranger Trainee, this position attends a Colorado POST certified law enforcement academy and at the successful completion of this training is certified as a Colorado Peace Officer in accordance to the official duties and authority of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife. After certification, additional training continues with regard to classroom education and field exercises to provide knowledge and 'real-world' experience in order to be successful as a Park Ranger and provide future opportunity as a Park Manager. At this time positions are assigned to CPW's Law Enforcement and Public Safety Unit and trained in CPW park operations, application of the State's laws, rules, regulations, statutes, beginning supervision, and park management techniques.

YEAR ONE (Examples of learning objectives):
Participate in POST training to achieve certification and ultimately commissioned at the discretion of the Director of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and apply the knowledge and techniques in a field setting.
Disseminate and communicate information concerning park management, data, regulations, public outreach and conduct educational and interpretive activities to internal and external stakeholders (schools, civic groups, sporting clubs, etc.).
Learn communication skills, customer service skills and the overall responsibilities of a Park Ranger in order represent the Division in a professional manner.
Participate in a number of certification trainings including Wilderness First Responder, Swift Water Rescue, and other valuable skills.
Learn the operation of boats, Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) and snowmobiles and perform patrols related to each.
Apply natural resource management plans, stewardship plans, improvement projects, habitat assessment, inventories and other field training in order to protect and preserve native wildlife, plants, and ecosystems in and around state parks.
Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree. (Transcripts must be submitted at the time of application).

Preferred Qualifications:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in natural resources management, natural sciences, earth sciences, environmental science, biology, ecology, forestry, geology, range management, wildlife biology, wildlife management, zoology, or outdoor recreation/parks management/parks administration, related to the environment or natural resources.

  • OR-
A combination of education (degree) and *appropriate experience in natural resource management, outdoor recreation management, parks enforcement or parks administration of at least 24 months (40 hours a week).

  • Appropriate work experience includes the following:
Preparing and delivering environmental education and/or interpretation programs for park visitors on a regular basis, park enforcement (any title of law, county or municipal code enforcement that applies to laws regulations) in a park (equivalent to a State, County or National park) or outdoor recreation setting.
Applying the principles, practices and techniques of natural resource management to resolve problems and effect improvements in habitat and/or environmental impact statements; supervising, planning, organizing and/or directing a program for the development and utilization/protection of a park or outdoor recreation facility.
Assisting in/overseeing the collection, recording, presentation, and/or analysis of research data (related to natural resources, recreation, forest management, etc.); professional forest or range management; designing, conducting, analyzing and interpreting the results of resource management experiments; and protecting the quality of natural resources/the environment.

Candidates must possess and maintain a current and valid State of Colorado driver's license at the time of hire (first day of employment).
Must be willing and able to submit to a drug screening and suitability interview, fingerprinted and successfully pass a background investigation, including a polygraph exam.
Former employees of the State of Colorado MUST have concluded employment in good standing to be eligible for rehire.
Must be willing and able to complete and pass a medical physical examination, psychological examination and drug screen if a conditional job offer is extended.
IMPORTANT: If you have used marijuana within the last year or any illegal drugs in the past three years, been convicted of a felony, been convicted of any domestic violence charge, or been convicted of any misdemeanors which preclude POST certification as a Colorado Peace Officer (see link below), you will be disqualified from the process and will not advance to the next phase.

FEDERAL LAW maintains the prohibition of the use of illegal drugs.

It is recommended that you contact the Human Resources Specialist listed below to resolve issues related to your possession of minimum qualifications. However, if you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for the position, you may protest the action by filing an appeal with the State Personnel Board/State Personnel Director within 10 days from the date you receive notice of the elimination.

Also, if you wish to challenge the selection and comparative analysis process, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board/State Personnel Director within 10 days from the receipt of notice or knowledge of the action you are challenging.

Refer to Chapters 4 and 8 of the State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures, 4 CCR 801, for more information about the appeals process. The State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures are available at

A standard appeal form is available at: If you appeal, your appeal must be submitted in writing on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative, and received at the following address within 10 days of your receipt of notice or knowledge of the action: Colorado State Personnel Board/State Personnel Director, Attn: Appeals Processing, 1525 Sherman Street, 4th Floor, Denver, CO 80203. Fax: 303-866-5038. Phone: 303-866-3300. The ten-day deadline and these appeal procedures also apply to all charges of discrimination.
Supplemental Information

The Colorado Constitution requires all appointments and promotions in the state personnel system be made according to merit and fitness. Your detailed on-line application will be reviewed by a Human Resource Specialist and/or Subject Matter Expert to determine if you meet the minimum requirements for the position.


Applications not completed and/or indicate "See Resume' or "See Attached" will NOT substitute for the completed on-line application and will not be considered.

Upon meeting the minimum qualifications, the next phase of the assessment process will consist of a structured application review by subject matte Utilizing your detailed on-line application, resume, cover letter and transcripts and experience the review is a comparative analysis against the listed required competencies, job duties and preferred qualifications in this announcement to determine technical competence, depth and breadth of experience and job fit and in comparison to all other applicants for this position. It is imperative that you provide adequate detail on your application, resume and cover letter to describe how you meet and/or exceed the requirements for this position. "See Resume" or "See Attached" will not substitute for the completed and detailed on-line application.

Comparative analysis factors to be assessed:
Technical Competence – Technical experience as it relates to the duties outlined in this job announcement.
Depth and Breadth of Experience – Experience that covers multiple areas outlined in this job announcement; varied and not one dimensional; and demonstrate progressively higher level of responsibility with a wide range.
Job Fit – Experience evaluated to determine how well your experience aligns with and meets the business needs of this position. Current experience is preferred.

PHASE I: Physical Fitness Exam / Written Exam
DATE: July 16-17, 2019
All candidates must successfully pass and complete each exam during each specified time period without exceeding the time limit in order to continue in the selection process. Candidates will only be given one opportunity per selection year.

IMPORTANT: You are encouraged to start your preparation for the physical fitness exam NOW! Train to be sure you can complete each of the fitness standards below in succession. Do not assume that you will be able to meet these requirements because you are "in shape" - MAKE SURE YOU CAN.

The Physical Fitness standards are as follows and applies to all candidates:
Run 300 meters in 72 seconds
21 push-ups in one minute = rest in "up" position only; no knees, arm flex to 90 degrees, stay flat. (This applies to all candidates regardless of gender)
28 sit-ups in one minute = back completely off ground when sitting up. (This applies to all candidates regardless of gender).
Walk/run 1.5 miles in 17:00 minutes.
If you do not pass the physical fitness exam, you do not advance to the written exam.

WRITTEN EXAM: This multiple-choice exam will assess foundational/educational knowledge, knowledge of Colorado Parks & Wildlife (navigate website), outdoor recreation, critical thinking and familiarity with the State of Colorado:

Notification of Written Exam Results
Candidates will receive an email notification of exam results and passing candidates will be invited to Phase II (Oral Panel Assessment) scheduled by the Human Resources office.

PHASE II: Oral Panel Assessment
DATE: August 14-16, 2019
The Oral Panel Assessment will include a question and answer session in front of a panel of subject matter experts regarding broad outdoor recreation issues, CPW priorities and problem solving exercises.
There is no guarantee of the same format each year.
You must be available for one complete day to participate in the assessments during the scheduled Oral Panel Assessment date.
The optimum approach to prepare for the Oral Assessment is to:
Be prepared to stand up and give a five-minute presentation to the panel on a Natural Resource topic of your choice.
Visit the CPWs' website to learn more about who we are and what we do.
Be prepared to answer questions from panel members thoroughly, thoughtfully and in a logical format.
Business Attire
Notification of Oral Assessment Results
Candidates will receive an email notification of exam results and passing candidates will be invited to Phase III (Final Interview).

PLEASE NOTE that prior to Phase III: Final Interview (below): candidates are required to participate (and pass) a thorough background investigation including a polygraph and have NO
felony offenses, serious misdemeanors, recent DUIs or loss of driving privileges, domestic violence or restraining orders, or crimes of moral turpitude on their record.

PHASE III: Final Interview
DATE: November Week of November 4, 2019
Following the final interview, successful candidates will advance to Phase IV (Conditional Job Offers).

IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION: During the interview process, be honest with your answers. Lying or providing false information will disqualify you from the process.

PHASE IV: Conditional Job Offers
DATE: November/December, 2019
Following the final interview, as stated previously under the "Conditions of Employment successful candidates who receive conditional job offers must have completed and passed a thorough background investigation. If a candidate has used marijuana within the last year or illegal drugs within the past three years, been convicted of a felony, been convicted of any domestic violence charge, or been convicted of any misdemeanors which preclude POST certification as a Colorado Peace Officer, you will be disqualified from the process and the conditional job offer will be revoked.

In addition, following the final interview, as stated under "Conditions of Employment", successful candidates who receive conditional job offers must pass a psychological test, a drug test, and a medical physical exam. The psychological test evaluates mental health and required by Colorado POST. At the same time, any other psychological exams taken up to this point are scored and considered. The polygraph exam confirms statements made and information gathered throughout the hiring process. The medical physical exam identifies ailments that would prohibit a person from performing the functions of the job and is different from the physical fitness test.

Last, following the final interview, as stated under "Conditions of Employment", successful candidates who receive conditional job offers must pass the POST Academy and CPW'S Field Training Program.

At this time, the number of vacancies is not determined and no guarantee that hiring will occur as projected.

As stated under "Conditions of Employment", successful candidates must relocate to the Denver metro area (or to a location where the candidate is willing to commute to the Denver metro area and the Denver Head Quarters (Littleton, CO) at their own expense and time on a daily basis prior to the projected hire/start date. Candidates are not reimbursed for relocation expenses.


Peace Officer's Standards and Training (POST): January 2020 to May 2020 [19 weeks] mandatory training will be in the Denver metro area. Training includes Colorado Criminal Code: laws of arrest; search and seizure; officer survival; use of force; civil liability; suspect/witness interview and interrogation. CPW pays 100% of the tuition and provides training materials and equipment. Training includes physically demanding exercises to develop proficiency in firearms, arrest control, and overall law enforcement activities.

Park Ranger Skills and Field Training Program: May 2020 to November 2020 [7 months] includes classroom and field training (outside) with regard to park-related public relations, customer service and overall law enforcement. Field training requires extended travel away from Denver and CPW provides per diem and vehicles.

It is anticipated that Park Rangers will be placed at their permanent location no later than January 2021 however; specific locations/vacancies have not been determined at this time.

Upon Successful Completion of Training:
Park Rangers must accept any park location assigned to them.
Park Rangers must remain in initial assigned location for a minimum of 2 years from date of placement.
Park Rangers who fail to relocate will be terminated for not meeting the "conditions of employment" and required to reimburse the CPW for all training expenses.
ADAAA Accommodations: Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Mary Vigil by email at least five business days before the assessment date to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.

E-Verify Employer: The Department of Natural Resources participates in E-Verify in accordance with the program's Right to Work for all newly-hired employees. Employees are queried through the electronic system established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify identity and employment eligibility. You may complete section 1 of the I-9 form upon your acceptance of a job offer letter, but no later than your first day of employment and in addition, on your first day, but no later than the third day, you are required to submit original documents to verify your eligibility to work in the U.S. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

Toll–Free Applicant Support - Technical Help

If you experience technical difficulty with the NEOGOV system (e.g. uploading or attaching documents to your online application) call NEOGOV at 855-524-5627 Mon-Fri between 6 am and 6 pm (Pacific Time). Helpful hints: if you are having difficulty uploading or attaching documents to your application first, ensure your documents are PDF or Microsoft Word files and second, close the document before you attempt upload (attach) it.

The Human Resources Office will be unable to assist with these types of technical issues.