National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Interagency Fire Center
National Park Service Fire Management Careers
Looking for a job and/or a career which combines love of the land, science and
technology skills, leadership and people skills? Then you may be the right person
for a job or career in Fire Management in the National Park Service.
There are many different specializations in the Smokejumper: Specialized, experienced
NPS Fire Management Program, some of which firefighter who works as a team with other
require special skills and training, and all of smokejumpers, parachuting into remote areas for
which require enthusiasm and dedication. This initial attack on wildland fires.
is a competitive arena which places physical and
mental demands on employees. Helitack Crewmember: Serves as initial attack
firefighter and support for helicopter operations
Employees are hired for temporary and per on large fires.
manent jobs, year round depending upon the
area of the country. As an employee’s compe Fire Use Module Member: Serves as a crew
tencies and skills develop, their opportunities to member working on prescribed fire, fuels
advance in fire management increases. reduction projects, and fires that are managed for
Firefighter: Serves as a crewmember on a Dispatcher: Serves as central coordinator for
handcrew, using a variety of specialized tools, relaying information regarding a fire as well as
equipment, and techniques on wildland and pre ordering personnel and equipment.
scribed fires. Job announcements for firefighter
Fire Lookout: Serves as locator for fires in remote
positions may be titled as Forestry Technician or
locations and informs emergency response
units of new fires. Please note that there are also
positions as volunteer fire lookouts through
the National Park Service VolunteersInParks
Handcrew members use specialized firefighting tools,
including the pulaski.
Engine Crewmember: Serves on a fire crew that
uses equipment associated with wildland fire Fire lookouts keep a watchful eye for new fires.
engines, including pumps and hoses as well as
traditional handcrew equipment. Communication and Education Specialist: Serves
as media contact and educates the public about
Hotshot: Experienced firefighter who works on a wildland fire as well as safety measures that may
Hotshot Crew specializing in extended attack on be taken to protect property from wildland fire.
The Faces of Firefighting wildland fires.
E X P E R I E N C E YO U R A M E R I C A National Park Service Fire Management Careers 1
GIS Specialist: Uses satellite technology to map Pay and Benefits
fire perimeters, vegetation areas, and other Employees are hired under the Federal Civil
scientific studies. Service System. Pay ranges from about $10.00 per
hour to over $17.00 per hour, depending upon
Biological Technician / Fire Effects Monitor: the position and your experience. Firefighting
Studies and collects data on the effects of fire positions are paid overtime for any hours worked
on plants and animals in burned and unburned beyond the regular shift.
Temporary and permanent employees receive
Biological technicians and fire effects Other Support Positions: Warehouse worker, sick leave, paid vacation, paid holidays, and train
monitors collect data from burned and administrative positions, management positions, ing. Permanent employees also receive health
vehicle operators and other positions will be and life insurance and are covered by the Federal
advertised under several job titles. Employee Retirement System. Some fire posi
tions qualify for retirement after 20 years.
Generally, unless a different minimum entry Where to Find Job Announcements
age is contained in the standard or examination USAJobs – http://www.usajobs.opm.gov.
announcement for a particular position, appli USAJobs is the official site for federal job
cants for any position in the competitive service announcements. You may search for fire jobs as
must be (1) at least 18 years old, or (2) at least 16 well as other federal jobs across multiple agencies
years old and: and geographic areas. Each job announcement
• Have graduated from high school or been will have specific information on how and where
awarded a certificate equivalent to graduating to apply as well as who to contact if you have
Fire management can be an exciting,
rewarding career in the National Park from high school; or questions.
Service with many opportunities. • Have completed a formal vocational training
program; or Fire Integrated Recruitment Employment
• Have received a statement from school Systems (FIRES) – http://www.firejobs.doi.gov/
authorities agreeing with their preference index.php?action=home. Under this hiring pro
for employment rather than continuing their cess you can select up to seven different fire job
education; or locations within the Department of the Interior
• Be currently enrolled in a secondary school using one application.
and either work only during school vacation
periods or work parttime during the school NPS FireRelated Job Searches – You can find
year under a formal student employment customized firerelated searches for employment
program. with the National Park Service by beginning at
An applicant must be at least eighteen (18) years • Click on the Employment link at the top of
old to become a wildland firefighter. the page
• Click on Job Search
College coursework or a college degree aids in • Choose which type of search to do (if you
being hired at a higher pay level. The course are looking for fire jobs and have no previous
work or degree can be in a variety of fields, but federal employment, have not served in the
many choose forestry, biology, natural resource military, and have no preferential hiring
management, and the like, especially for wildland status, then choose National Park Service
firefighting. If you are entering into the wildland Fire Jobs – Public NonStatus applicants)
fire arena without any previous experience you • On the Employment page, you will also find
may want to complete some basic classes locally, information on how to apply, the application
which will increase your chances of being hired, forms, a brief description of the fire positions
such as S130 Firefighter Training and S190 and a link to frequently asked questions.
Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior. Contact
your State Forestry agency or a nearby communi For more information, contact a specific national
ty college to see if they offer any of these classes. park unit to learn more about their fire manage
ment program and what jobs may be available
Requirements vary by job so read the announce – http://www.nps.gov/fire and click on the link
ment or contact the specific location where you for “Park Contact Information”.
would like to work for more details.
E X P E R I E N C E YO U R A M E R I C A National Park Service Fire Management Careers 2