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Park Ranger I

County of Santa Clara
Santa Clara, California, US
Closing date
Jun 13, 2024

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type

Under close supervision, learns the principles and techniques of assisting and protecting the public in the use of County park and recreation facilities and participates in the improvement, maintenance and protection of an assigned area.

This is the trainee-level classification in the Park Ranger series. Incumbents receive on-the-job and classroom training in law enforcement-related duties, protection of life and property, development of interpretive programs, and improvement and preservation of natural resources. Upon hire, incumbents will be required to attend a mandatory Park Ranger Training Academy. Santa Clara County offers unique and competitive perks, including a comprehensive benefits package, and opportunities for career growth.

In order to qualify for the Park Ranger position, applicants MUST possess a current California Penal Code Section 832 Powers of Arrest certificate at the time of application. Obtaining this certification requires completion of a 40-hour course of instruction and courses are held at various locations in California. To find available courses please click here.Please note, these courses fill up quickly so it is recommended to sign up as soon as possible.

A letter from a certified swim instructor issued within the last 12 months, verifying the ability to swim one hundred (100) yards within five (5) minutes, is also required and must be attached to the application.For information on where you can obtain a swim letter, please contact

NOTE: Candidates who meet the employment standards will be required to submitproof of successful completion of a POST-standardized physical agility test within the last 12 months. All candidates who meet the employment standards will be supplied with dates and availability of the agility test.

Following the interview process, if selected, candidates will be required to successfully pass a full background investigation, medical exam, and psychiatric evaluation.

COVID-19 Risk Tier - Intermediate Risk

Pursuant to California Senate Bill 960, effective January 1, 2023, it is no longer required for peace officers to either be a citizen of the United States or be a permanent resident who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship; instead, peace officers must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

Typical Tasks

* In a trainee capacity, assists in law enforcement and public safety duties;

* Patrols County parks by car, bike, boat, on foot, on horse, or motorcycle to prevent and discover the commission of crime;

* Preserves law and order within an assigned park or recreational area;

* Learns how to conduct initial criminal investigation by interviewing witnesses, protecting crime scenes, and gathering/preserving evidence;

* Issues warnings and citations under appropriate laws or ordinances;

* May make court appearances;

* Greets park visitors, provides information; directs them to specific areas and provides aid in emergencies;

* Rescues and provides aid to stranded and/or injured park visitors;

* Checks for hazards or potential hazards to provide for the safety of the public and fellow employees;

* Plans, prepares, markets and presents public interpretive programs, including natural and historical features of park areas, to a variety of audiences;

* Plans and participates in group tours and special programs;

* May collect and account for fees;

* Assists in the design and production of various interpretive media;

* May assist in developing publication materials;

* Conducts searches and analysis of various forms of information to determine the status of park biological information;

* Maintains records and prepares reports;

* May supervise wards of the court and volunteers in special maintenance or resource management projects;

* Assists in general field survey work of natural resources, which may involve fisheries, wildlife, botanical, and/or wetland resources;

* May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as required;

* Performs related work as required.

Employment Standards

Sufficient education, training and experience, which demonstrates possession and application of the following knowledge and abilities.

The knowledge and abilities required to perform this function areacquired through possession of a two (2) year degree from an accredited college. Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college is desirable.

It is expected that a Park Ranger I will promote to Park Ranger II upon successful completion of all Park Ranger II qualifications and in-house training. A Park Ranger I that is not promoted within two (2) years of appointment must vacate his/her position.

Possession of a valid California Drivers license prior to appointment, and the ability to qualify for and maintain a County Drivers Permit.


* Possession of, or ability to obtain an American Red Cross Emergency Response card or equivalent before completion of the probationary period;

* Possession of, or ability to obtain a CPR for the professional rescuer card before completion of the probationary period;

* Possession of currentCaliforniaPenal Code Section832 Powers of Arrest certificate.

Special Requirements:

Eligibility for appointment as a peace officer as provided in Sections 1029, 1030 and 1031 of the California Government Code. This requires that candidates:

* Must not have been convicted of a felony or equivalent offense as outlined in California Government Code Section 1029;

* Must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship;

* Must be at least 18 years of age as outlined in California Government Code Section1030;

* Must be free from physical, emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect exercise of peace officer powers as determined by a licensed examining authority in accordance with California Government Code Section 1031;

* Must pass a background investigation conducted in compliance with the California GovernmentCodeSection 1031;

* The ability to swim one hundred (100) yards within five (5) minutes (verification) from a certified swim instructor issued within the lasttwelve (12) months);

* Must successfully demonstrate and maintain physical fitness in order to perform the full scope and functions of the job.

Knowledge of:

* Basic mathematics;

* Principles and practices of first aid and safety;

* Record keeping and report writing;

* Customer service principles;

* Operation of communication equipment such as two-way radios, pagers and cell phones;

* Computer applications such as email, word processing, and internet.

Ability to:

* Work irregular work hours including weekends and holidays;

* Wear and maintain peace officer protective equipment;

* Protect and maintain natural resources;

* Perform initial fire assessment and response duties;

* Complete department approved Park Ranger Academy;

* Complete department approved Field Training Program;

* Read, interpret and enforce appropriate laws and regulations;

* Plan, prepare and present historical and natural science interpretive programs;

* Maintain records and prepare clear, complete, and concise reports;

* Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action;

* Speak and write effectively and clearly;

* Perform calmly and exercise sound judgment in stressful or emergency situations;

* De-escalate hostile and aggressive behavior and handle sensitive or tense situations with tact and diplomacy;

* Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted through the course of work;

* Provide effective customer service;

* Perform a wide variety of physical tasks requiring strength, coordination, endurance and agility.

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