Senior Park Ranger

County of Santa Clara, County Parks and Recreation Department Published: May 15, 2019
Santa Clara County, California
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Skilled & Technical Labor /
(Number of Job Posting Views: 476)

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~ County Park’s six decade legacy of providing outstanding recreational opportunities in beautiful natural locations has resulted in one of the largest regional park systems in the California. Since the first County parkland was acquired in 1924, the Santa Clara County park system has grown to include 28 regional parks encompassing over 52,000 acres of land. ~

Our dedicated ranger, maintenance and interpretive staff are necessary complements to the overall park experience, taking an active role in the stewardship of the County’s finest natural resources and waterways especially with the assistance from our 1,400 volunteers who selflessly donate more than 60,000 hours of labor each year.

Position Overview

Under direction, to provide lead supervision to Park personnel, including sworn Park Rangers, and to participate in the improvement, maintenance, protection, general law enforcement and day to day operation of a county park unit(s).

The Senior Park Ranger is responsible for the development and/or implementation of Parks programs and policies through the lead supervision of subordinate personnel within a park unit. Responsibilities include patrolling an assigned area, interpretive education, volunteer coordination, natural resource management, general park operations, and providing information to the public. The Senior Park Ranger works in coordination and collaboration with the Senior Park Maintenance Worker in the unit, as well as supervisors of the region, to ensure the Department meets the recreation, trail, and natural area needs of the public by achieving the vision of the parks system.  

In order to qualify for the Senior Park Ranger position, applicants MUST possess a current California Penal Code Section 832 Powers of Arrest Certificate at the time of application, and a copy of the certification must be attached to the electronic application. 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 as well. 

The County of Santa Clara has an exceptionally generous benefit program, including medical, dental, vision, retirement, deferred compensation and retiree medical coverage. For more information about benefits and retirement, please click here.


  • Leads, monitors and assigns the work of Park Ranger and other personnel engaged in implementing park programs and in enforcing appropriate laws, park rules and regulations in accordance with County policy.
  • Conducts interpretative programs and manages resource projects.
  • Monitors park entrances and exits and collects fees.
  • Reviews and evaluates the work of park personnel, answers procedural and work related questions and resolves work related problems within set guidelines.
  • Facilitates, plans, attends and conducts or assists in conducting meetings, information exchange sessions, staff briefings, training classes and new employee orientations and may make public, written and/or oral presentations, etc. 
  • Ensures the proper use and maintenance of resources and equipment allocated to subordinate personnel. 
  • May participate in the interview process for new workers. 
  • May plan, assign and direct the work of wards of the court, volunteers and other special work crews and inmate programs. 
  • Patrols assigned and/or other park or recreational area. 
  • Greets park visitors, provides information and directs them to specific areas. 
  • Prepares and provides budget recommendations and implements and monitors the assigned park budget. 
  • Assists in developing, interpreting and implementing division, unit and program policies, procedures and standards.  
  • Initiates custodial maintenance as necessary and reports maintenance problems. 
  • Plans, develops, markets and interprets the natural and historical features of park areas. 
  • Maintains records and prepares reports. 
  • Plans and coordinates special events. 
  • Issues warnings and citations under appropriate laws or ordinances and may make arrests.
  • Responds to all serious incidents and crimes which occur on shift and takes charge of the scene or provides assistance within the scope of departmental policies and procedures. 
  • Initiates joint command structures based on severity of emergency. 
  • Rescues and provides aid to stranded and/or injured park visitors. 
  • Performs initial fire size-up and suppression response duties. 
  • Conducts investigations and reconstructs accident scenes.
  • Ensures accuracy of bank deposits and accounting of daily use fees and related charges.
  • May make court appearances. 
  • May work with park maintenance personnel in minor construction, maintenance and repair of park structures, facilities and grounds. 
  • Performs related work as required.


Employment Standards:

  • Possession of a two (2) year degree from an accredited college.  Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college is desirable.


  •  Two (2) years experience as a Park Ranger.
  • Possession of a valid California driver's license and an acceptable driving record that will qualify for a County driver's permit at the time of appointment.


  • Possession of a valid Emergency Response Certificate and CPR for the Professional Rescuer issued by the American Red Cross before completion of the probationary period.
  • Possession of current California Penal Code Section 832 Powers of Arrest certificate.

Special Requirements:

Must meet all required minimum standards for peace officers as described in the Government Code Sections 1029, 1030 and 1031, and including but not limited to:

  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or equivalent offense.
  • 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 Section 1030.
  • Must be free from physical, emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer as determined by a licensed examining authority in accordance with California Government Code Section 1031.
  • Must pass background investigation conducted in compliance with California Government Code Section 1031.
  • Willingness to work weekends, holidays, or other irregular hours and to conform to departmental uniform standards.
  • The ability to swim one hundred (100) yards within five (5) minutes (verification from a certified swim instructor issued within the last 12 months).
  • Must successfully demonstrate and maintain physical fitness in order to perform the full scope and functions of the job.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of natural resources conservation, park management, and general law enforcement.
  • Principles and practices of emergency medical response and fire suppression and general safety.
  • Methods and materials in preparing and interpreting park interpretive programs, including historical and natural science displays and exhibits.
  • Public relations practices.
  • Applicable laws and ordinances of the State and County.
  • Basic computer applications necessary for email, word documents and budget spreadsheets, etc.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize and direct the work of others. 
  • Read, interpret and enforce appropriate laws, ordinances, and regulations in accordance with County policy. 
  • Deal effectively with the public. 
  • Speak and write effectively and clearly.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with the public and other employees. 
  • Maintain records, prepare clear, complete and concise reports.
  • Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
  • Establish command and maintain control in difficult situations.
  • Train, coach and provide guidance to assigned staff.
  • Assist in the preparation and management of a budget.
  • Perform a wide variety of physical tasks requiring strength, coordination, endurance and agility.
  • Swim 100 yards.

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