How to Become A Law Enforcement Park Ranger


The NPS Law Enforcement Training Center (NPS-LETC) is part of a group of land management agencies located within the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. The primary mission of the NPS-LETC is to coordinate the seasonal, basic, and advanced law enforcement programs for all NPS protection rangers and special agents.

NPS-LETC works in partnership with the NPS cooperative law enforcement training programs (commonly referred to as “seasonal ranger academies”) at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Once the basic law enforcement (LE) training and Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP) are complete, trainees become commissioned rangers. At this point, they are given a permanent park unit assignment.

The NPS-LETC also coordinates Advanced Law Enforcement Training Programs for the NPS, and provides support to the field by managing a variety of field-based training programs.

How to Become a Law Enforcement Park Ranger

Step 1: Enroll in a Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA)

There are seven approved seasonal academies:

  1. Santa Rosa Junior College, CA (currently on hiatus)
  2. Skagit Valley College, WA
  3. Northern Arizona University, AZ
  4. Colorado Northwestern Community College, CO
  5. Southwestern Community College, NC
  6. Temple University, PA
  7. Vermilion Community College, MN

These academies will give you the knowledge and certification needed to work as a Type II LE Ranger. At this level, you will be eligible to work within the agency, under supervision. You will also be eligible for hire as a permanent Type II employee. If you are hired as a permanent employee, your training will continue at NPS-LETC.

Step 2: Enroll in the Basic Academy Training Program at NPS-LETC.

If hired as a permanent LE ranger, your supervisor will add your name to the wait list for the Land Management Police Training (LMPT) program. The LMPT is a 17-week course conducted at FLETC. Upon successful completion of this course, you will advance to the Field Training Evaluation Program (FTEP) under a provisional Type I commission.

Step 3: Complete the Field Training Evaluation Program.

The Field Training Program is an 11-week immersive work experience. You will work under the direct supervision of your Field Training Lead. This training will be conducted at one of our 11 field training parks. Upon successful completion of FTEP, you will be a fully commissioned Type I law enforcement park ranger.

Step 4: Participate in the Advanced Training Program (Optional).

Once all of the required training to become a law enforcement ranger has been completed, further training will eventually be expected.

Additional Information

For more information on NPS-LETC, visit the NPS-LETC webpage on InsideNPS or the NPS-LETC page on the CLP.

For more general information, visit the “Jobs and Training” section of the Association of National Park Rangers website.

Write a Review

  1. Step one never mentions the words Seasonal Law Enforcement Ranger. Step one should outline that realistically someone has to work several seasons as a Seasonal LE Ranger before they will obtain a permanent position. This should also mention that it is extremely difficult to get hired for a winter position since the person will be competing against 400 other Seasonal LE Rangers, Veterans, and due to the lack of positions available.


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