Ranger Minimum Qualifications

Minimum qualifications and disqualifiers

Before applying for a Washington State Parks Ranger, ensure you meet the minimum qualifications, and that you won’t face automatic disqualification for any of your past behaviors or actions.

If you have questions about the minimum qualifications or disqualifiers, please contact our Recruitment Team at HR.Recruitment@parks.wa.gov

Minimum Qualifications (Park Ranger 1-4)

  • U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • 21 years of age or older (applies to armed Park Ranger 2-3 only)
  • No felony convictions
  • No use of marijuana in the previous 12 months (applies to armed Park Ranger 2-3 only)
  • Must have a valid unrestricted driver’s license (other than corrective lenses)

Additional requirements (Entry-level Park Ranger 2)

  • Two years of college coursework (60 semester or 90 quarter credits)


  • Two years paid, full-time natural resource experience


  • Two years active-duty military service

Position disqualifiers

There are numerous parts of the hiring process intended to reveal omissions or oversights in your self-disclosed personal history. In other words, it’s better to be honest up front than risk having your application rejected after you’ve advanced in the employment process. Typically, when applicants are considered to be deceitful in the application process, current and future applications are flagged as automatically disqualified.  

Failure to disclose required information on the personal history statement (supplemental questions) may result in automatic disqualification if discovered during the hiring process, or dismissal if activities are discovered after hire.

Driving record disqualifiers


  • DUI within five years. Also includes reduced charges (e.g. negligent driving).
  • Pattern of traffic violations and/or auto accidents in the past five years or while employed in a criminal justice capacity.


  • Applicant's driving record. Pattern of traffic violations and/or auto accidents in the past five years or while employed in a criminal justice capacity.

Drug use/possession disqualifiers (Park Ranger 2-3 only)


  • Use of marijuana in the last 12 months.
  • Illegal drug use other than legal marijuana use in the last 10 years. 
  • Illegal drug use, more than three (3) lifetime uses.
  • No possession of illegal drugs in the last ten years.
  • Illegal drug use while employed in a criminal justice capacity (including Military).
  • Manufacture, sale, transporting for sale, or facilitating the sale of illegal drugs (unless under 21 at the time AND the act occurred more than 10 years from the date of application).

Additional notes

  • "Illegal drugs" are those controlled substances listed in drug schedules 1-5 derived from RCW 69.50.204, RCW 69.50.206, RCW 69.50.208, RCW 69.50.210 and RCW 69.50.212
  • Possession is defined as having actual physical control of any illegal (non-prescribed) drug for personal use or otherwise.
  • Use is defined as trying, testing, or experimenting, which includes, but is not limited to tasting, smoking, injecting, absorbing, sniffing, or inhaling.

Criminal activity disqualifiers


  • Any felony conviction.
  • Any criminal conviction while employed as a criminal justice professional.
  • Conviction for any crime under a domestic violence statute.


  • Adult misdemeanor convictions.
  • Pattern of unlawful conduct.

Past employment disqualifiers


  • Dishonorable discharge from the U.S. armed forces.
  • Falsification of an application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during hiring process (for any law enforcement agency). 
  • Previous revocation or denial of any CJTC/POST certified status, or suspension of current CJTC/POST certified status.
  • Any termination, or resignation in lieu of termination, from a law enforcement agency.


  • Any termination, or resignation in lieu of termination, from a law enforcement agency.
  • Substandard performance, evaluations, termination, or resignation in lieu termination from any position.  

Other disqualifiers


  • Any conduct or pattern of behavior that would disrupt, diminish, or otherwise jeopardize public trust in the law enforcement profession.


  • Candidates with any tattoos that are deemed offensive may be disqualified and may be evaluated by the Chief of Law Enforcement and HR Director on a case by case basis.
  • Incomplete Personal History Statement, or inaccurate/outdated information provided in Personal History Statement.