[Quick note: My personal thoughts and views; not an iota of officalness!]
I noticed in my stats section that someone searched “do park rangers get burned out?” and it seems like a logical question…can it be possible to get sick of one of the coolest jobs in the world?
I can’t say this with complete certainty, but I believe it’s like any other job. Rangering CAN get old after a while. Hard to believe, eh?! I think you could technically classify ‘ranger burn out’ in two different ways: seasonal, as in you are exhausted after six months of talking; and career, in that you cringe at the thought of going into work the next day.
On both sides-law enforcement and interpretation-repetition is the norm. You do the same things every day for the whole season, and season after season. Speaking from experience, you feel like a broken record saying the same things sometimes dozens of times in just one hour until you choke on your own dried out tonsils.
I think the repetition is what drives some seasonals to “park hop”, or go to a different park every season. If you think of the repetition [and all the talking!] as annoying, burn out of both the seasonal and career type is likely to have more of an effect.
But if you can frame the repetition as just a minor bother in one of the most awesome jobs ever, and perhaps as a great way to work on your patience level, then instead of noticing the annoyances, you’ll see the fantastic little things that add up to make it one of the most rewarding jobs ever-the look on a Junior Ranger’s face when they discover something really cool; the excitement of pointing out a whale and calf to an enthralled group of visitors; introducing a piece of American history for the first time to a school group; meeting people from all over the country and world; walking miles and miles of trails in some of the most beautiful places in the world–the rewards really never end!