Career Opportunities in New York State Law Enforcement

Forest Ranger 1

Salary Information

Starting Salary


Appointees who work in the five boroughs of New York City or in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, or Westchester Counties will receive an additional $1,520 annual downstate adjustment. In addition, appointees who work in the following locations will receive an additional supplemental local pay in the following amounts: the counties of Orange, Putnam and Dutchess - $1,266; the five boroughs of New York City, Rockland, and Westchester Counties - $1,900; and Nassau and Suffolk Counties - $2,217.

*Additionally, appointees who work in the mid-Hudson region (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, or Westchester counties) or downstate region (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau or Suffolk counties) may receive up to an additional $15,000 geographic pay differential.

Where the Positions are Located and Duties

Where the Positions are Located

Forest Ranger 1 positions exist at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and are located throughout the state.


As a Forest Ranger 1, you would be required to participate in a formal residential training program lasting approximately 26 weeks. Upon successful completion, you would work in an assigned patrol area, and elsewhere throughout the state for emergencies and special assignments. You would be required to work out of your home and the location of your residence must comply with current Division residency requirements. Forest Rangers perform a wide variety of duties related to overseeing the care, custody, and control of DEC administered lands and as such will be required to be engaged in extensive foot, bike, canoe, boat, snowshoe, or ski patrol on assigned state land areas. The care, custody and control of state land also requires that Forest Rangers will routinely interact and assist DEC land managers to help them best manage state lands and public use.

As a Forest Ranger 1, you would be a sworn Police Officer, authorized to investigate complaints and enforce provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and other state laws to protect the State's lands, other natural resources, and the people who use them. You would be required to carry firearms and complete necessary annual training for State certification. Forest Rangers conduct search and rescue operations for lost or injured persons throughout New York State; conduct wildland fire management operations including wildfire suppression in New York State and when requested for national firefighting efforts; and coordinate and assist in incident response efforts to natural and manmade emergencies and disasters. Forest Rangers educate the public concerning the proper use of public lands and resources; visit schools, fire departments, and organizations to promote resource protection; teach national and state-certified courses to other agencies, volunteer groups, and fire departments concerning search and rescue, wildland fire suppression, and wilderness safety and etiquette; and foster and develop volunteer assistance from the local communities to support the Department's wildland firefighting and search operations. At times you will be expected to work weekends, holidays, and long irregular hours. You may also directly supervise volunteers and seasonal Assistant Forest Rangers and Wildland Firefighters.

Minimum Qualifications

On or before September 17, 2022, you must have:

Either 1: An associate or higher-level degree in aquatic biology, conservation biology, environmental biology, wildlife biology, environmental and natural resource conservation, environmental engineering, fisheries and fisheries sciences and management, fish and wildlife technology, aquatic and fisheries science, forestry, forest engineering, forest management, forest recreation, forest resource management, forest resources production and management, forest sciences and biology, forest technology, land surveying technology, natural resource management, natural resources management and policy, wildlife science, wildlife fish and wildlands science and management, or any other associate or higher-level degree program accredited by the Society of American Foresters; OR

2: Two years of active United States military service with an honorable discharge or under conditions in the New York State Restoration of Honor Act AND two years of qualifying experience in forest management; fish and wildlife management; forest, fish or wildlife interpretation in a wildland setting, or law enforcement in a park, forest, or wildland setting.

Examples of experience that will NOT qualify include but are not limited to: animal husbandry, lawn mowing, landscaping, timber harvesting, tree and brush trimming, pesticide application, sawing firewood, farm hand and other types of experience that are categorized as laborer or maintenance work in a garden shop, park, or forestry setting.

Education Requirements

If you expect to meet the educational requirements by June 30, 2023, you can take the test. You MUST submit proof of successful completion of the educational requirements to the appointing authority at the time of the employment interview or you will not be considered for appointment. Failure to meet the educational requirements by June 30, 2023, may result in your removal from the eligible list.

As stated in Section 58 of the Civil Service Law, at the time of appointment, you must have a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma issued by a recognized educational authority, or a USAFI GED high school level diploma.

Your required educational credentials must have been awarded by an educational institution accredited by a regional, national, or specialized agency recognized as an accrediting agency by the United States (U.S.) Department of Education/Secretary of Education. If awarded by an institution outside of the U.S. and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. A list of companies that provide these services (fees must be paid to the company you choose) can be found at:

Additional Requirements for Appointment or Continued Employment:

Additional Requirements for Appointment

You must meet the below requirements to be appointed and for continued employment.

Background Investigation: Because of the nature of the position there is an investigative screening that will include a thorough character investigation, including a polygraph. All convictions must be reported. Conviction of a felony will bar appointment. Misdemeanors or any falsified or omitted information may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment. Each case is determined on its own merits, consistent with the applicable provisions of state and federal laws.

Driver's License Requirement: You must possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment and continuously thereafter.

Drug Testing: Prior to appointment, you will be required to participate in a drug screening test and are responsible for the clinical lab fee. Upon appointment, all probationary Forest Rangers are subject to periodic, unannounced drug testing from the initial date of hire up to and including the completion of field training. All permanent Forest Rangers are subject to a yearly random drug test. Failure to meet these standards may result in your disqualification and/or discipline. Cannabis use is not permitted for employees in this title. Cannabis use will be tested for during the pre-employment screening process and may be the basis for disqualification for employment or may be a basis for removal from employment. A complete statement for drug testing for this title can be found at .

Fingerprinting and Fee Requirements: Fingerprinting is required prior to appointment. You will be required to pay the processing fee.

Firearms: You must be legally eligible to carry firearms. Conviction of a felony will bar appointment and a misdemeanor may bar appointment.

Physical/Medical Requirements: Your physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that you are able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation. The physical/medical standards include Vision: Distant visual acuity should be correctable to better than, or equal to 20/30 (Snellen) in each eye; if correction is required, binocular visual acuity not less than 20/40 without correction. Binocular peripheral vision should not be less than 170 degrees. Color Vision: You must have satisfactory color vision perception. Hearing: The average hearing level (HL) for the three test frequencies of 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz will not exceed 25 dB in either ear, and no single hearing level will exceed 30 dB at any of these three test frequencies in either ear. Hearing loss at 3000 Hz will not exceed 40 dB HL in either ear. A complete statement of the physical and medical standards is available at: .

Physical Skills and Abilities Testing: If you are considered for appointment, your physical skills and abilities will be evaluated through tests of strength, agility, flexibility, endurance, and swimming. These physical skills and abilities tests will be conducted by the Department of Environmental Conservation. To obtain a statement of the requirements of these tests, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Forest Protection at (518) 402-8839, or

Psychological Evaluation: Prior to appointment, you will be required to participate in a psychological evaluation to determine your fitness to perform the essential duties of the position. Failure to meet standards will result in your disqualification.

Tattoo Policy: You must comply with the Department of Environmental Conservation's, Division of Forest Protection (DFP) tattoo policy which requires all members to present a neat and professional appearance at all times. Tattoos are not permitted on the head, face, scalp, neck or hands. Tattoos which are visible on the lower arms, or lower legs, shall be reviewed by the regional Captain and if the tattoos are deemed to be in contradiction to a professional appearance the Forest Ranger shall be required to wear a tattoo sleeve, skin tone in color, long sleeve shirts or avoid shorts as applicable. Forest Rangers employed by DFP prior to September 1, 2008, are exempt from the portions of this policy which address tattoos; however, they may not acquire any additional tattoos that contradict the above guidance. Existing tattoos which are exempt because they were acquired prior to September 1, 2008, may not be expanded and may not be modified without permission of the Division Director. For additional information on this policy, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Forest Protection at (518) 402-8839, or

United State Citizenship and New York State Residency: Although not required for taking the test, you must be a citizen of the United States at the time of appointment. If appointed, you must be at least 21 years old and possess and maintain New York State residency pursuant to the Public Officers Law.

To Apply

If you are interested in an examination for this position, visit the Careers Opportunites in New York State Law Enforcement page for further information on how to apply.

Issued 7/1/2022
*Amended 8/9/2022