Types of Jobs
Parks Canada has many unique and challenging jobs such as park wardens, interpreters, historians, archaeologists, conservators, management officers, planners, architects, engineers, general labour and trades people and office staff .
There are also jobs in administration, financial management, information services and personnel services. Most national parks and national historic sites have operational staff such as store clerks, labourers, tradespeople, equipment operators and general maintenance staff.
Law enforcement (Park Wardens)
Park wardens play a key role in supporting the Parks Canada mandate by providing law enforcement services. Their activities focus on the protection of natural and cultural resources, public education and ensuring quality visitor experiences in national parks and national marine conservation areas.
Park wardens are specialized in law enforcement within a national parks context. They accomplish a variety of duties that include the protection of resources through targeted actions, campground patrols to ensure visitor enjoyment, and conducting investigations.
Communicators of Heritage (Interpreters)
Student with visitors at Jasper National Park © Parks Canada / 09.94.09.11(29), 2001
Interpreters help visitors understand and appreciate the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's national parks and historic sites. These trained communicators impart heritage stories on site, using a variety of methods and media such as guided tours and outings, illustrated talks, period settings and displays, audio-visual programs, self-interpreting trails, exhibits and publications.
Qualifications: Interpreters normally have a minimum of two years post-secondary education in the natural or social sciences. Most important is a good general knowledge of the natural or human history of Canada, depending on the position, along with the ability to communicate this information in a pleasant, confident and interesting manner.
Engineering, Architecture and Planning
Engineers, architects and planners are involved in the identification and development of new and existing national parks, national historic sites and other places of national significance under Parks Canada's jurisdiction. Planners investigate potential sites throughout the Canadian landscape and marine environment. In addition, they prepare the development plans for all areas within this system.
Architects and landscape architects are required to plan, design and implement building and landscape projects. Those involved in the stabilization and restoration of historic buildings and cultural landscapes generally have formal specialized education and training in the field.
Civil, mechanical, electrical, structural, marine and conservation engineers are also hired for the conservation, planning, design, construction and maintenance of buildings, fortifications canals, roads, campgrounds and utilities within national parks and historic sites.
Qualifications: Architects normally have a university graduation in architecture and/or eligibility for certification or registration as a professional architect in Canada. Landscape architects require university graduation in landscape architecture.
Planners require university graduation in either architecture or landscape architecture with relevant work experience in the area of planning or university graduation in a discipline related to the assignment and post-graduate studies in rural, urban, planning or environmental design.
Engineers require university graduation in engineering or eligibility for registration as a professional engineer in Canada.
Architectural and engineering services in support of the Parks Program requirements are generally provided through Public Works and Government Services Canada, which has dedicated units co-located with Parks Canada Service Centres across the country.
Scuba diving at Fathom Five National Marine Park © Parks Canada / Butterhill, J / 06.65.07.10(60), 1992
Parks Canada employs historians and archaeologists who conduct detailed research into Canada's history in order to provide reliable information for the planning, restoration or reconstruction and interpretation of national historic sites. In addition, they prepare scholarly papers on events, sites and individuals in Canadian history and in the field of architectural history for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board . Archaeologists carry out excavations on land and underwater sites, both historic and pre-historic, across Canada and carry out studies on the artifacts recovered.
Qualifications: A university graduation with specialization in Canadian history, history of art, anthropology or archaeology is normally required.
Conservators provide services involving the conservation, restoration, reproduction and analytical documentation of historical artifacts in a wide variety of materials to preserve them for study or display.
Qualifications: Conservators are normally graduates of recognized training programs in the field of conservation of cultural artifacts. Conservation scientists are university graduates in science with supplemental experience in the field of conservation.
Management officers are involved in the management of Canada's national parks, national historic sites and historic canals. There are also many challenging and rewarding jobs at Parks Canada's national office in Hull, Quebec, and at the various service centres and field units across the country.
Some typical jobs are:
- superintendent of a national park, national historic site or historic canal
- management of visitor facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, information bureaus, visitor centres, gateways, etc.
- management of an interpretation program
- management and protection of natural resources
- program planning and evaluation
- development and implementation of programs
- human resources officers
Qualifications: Management officers are usually trained and developed within the Parks Canada system. During the course of their careers, they may spend time in the national office and regional service centres, as well as the various national parks, national historic sites and historic canals performing a variety of functions. Secondary school education is normally required, although university graduation is preferred. Demonstrated managerial ability or aptitude is of utmost importance, as well as a strong interest in the preservation and presentation of Canada's rich natural and cultural heritage.
General labour and trades people
At most locations across Canada, a variety of general labourers and tradespeople work to ensure all facilities are in tip-top shape. There are jobs such as carpenters, electricians, general day labourers, supervisors, painters, janitorial workers, grounds people, drivers and so on, depending on the location.
Qualifications: Appropriate certification, licences and/or specific qualifications may be required.
Office staff at Jasper National Park © Parks Canada / 09.94.90.11(28), 2001
Parks Canada employs a variety of office support staff, including receptionists, secretaries, clerks, computer support personnel and financial staff.
Qualifications: A post-secondary degree, certification and/or licence may be required according to the type of position.