A Career as a State Park Interpreter

ATV DisplayImage of Interpreter showing artifact to audience through a virtual presentation.

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California is home to the nations largest state park system which includes locations along the coast, in the calming forests, and in the hot deserts! Every one of our parks has a unique history and that is where our interpreters come in.

Interpreters play a huge role in State Parks by making visitors feel welcome and sharing the natural, historical, and cultural background of their site. These stories are often told while facilitating fun activities such as campfires and small hikes.

Other daily tasks include developing and conducting exciting school programs or interpretive programs for all park visitors to enjoy.  State Park Interpreters help visitors experience, understand, and appreciate our state parks more fully!

As a member of the Interpreter Team at State Parks, you will have the opportunity to create meaningful connections between visitors and our amazing state parks!

Click below to view educational interpretive videos!

Careers are available statewide. Some of your duties could include:

  • Greeting visitors, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment
  • Plan and facilitate activities for large and small groups
  • Research, develop and conduct various interpretive programs
  • Develop and present digital programs and demonstrations
  • Create and direct the work of staff/volunteer committees
  • Review visitor surveys and make recommendations and implement strategies
  • Compile data and prepare reports as needed
  • Remain alert for public safety issues and assist in keeping the park clean



Take a look at the State Park Interpreter Series:

Click on any description below to learn more about each job classification (knowledge and abilities, skills, minimum qualifications):


Connecting visitors with the parks historical and cultural backgrounds through park programs is one of the many tasks of an Interpreter I. An interpreter I can assist in planning, developing, and researching portions of large interpretive projects; direct the work of intermittent staff on small interpretive projects; perform the less difficult research and development of material for interpretive projects; maintains a reference library, and photographic and specimen collections; compiles information and prepares reports and other interpretive material; assist in training intermittent and other staff in interpretive methods and techniques; assist in the planning and development of material for interpretive exhibits. Read the information about this SP Interpreter I classification including minimum qualifications.

An Interpreter II plans, coordinates, implements, and evaluates major interpretive projects; performs the most difficult research and development of interpretive material; compiles and evaluates interpretive material and develops reports on interpretive projects; reviews and assists in the development of budget requests; develops uniform interpretive standards and provides criteria for standardizing interpretive materials and presentations; assists in the review of State Park development plans as they relate to interpretive activities; represents the Department at meetings and functions with community and professional organizations involving interpretive projects; acts in a lead capacity; trains staff in interpretive methods and techniques. Read the information about this SP Interpreter II classification including minimum qualifications.

This is the full supervisory level within the State Park Interpreter series. Persons in this class are responsible for supervising and directing a program unit within the Interpretation and Education Division) of the Department. An Interpreter III plans, directs, and supervises the activities of a staff engaged in interpretive program activities; plans, develops, and implements statewide interpretive programs; coordinates the activities of interpretive program sections with other units in the Department; recommends policy with respect to acquisition and preservation of items of interpretive value; coordinates the Department's interpretive program with the programs of other departments; educational institutions, interpretive associations, and other agencies; supervises, trains, and evaluates the performance of staff; addresses interested groups; develops reports and other interpretive material. Read the information about this SP Interpreter III classification including minimum qualifications.



These assessments are available on a continuous basis so you can take it at your convenience!

Take the exam today to obtain list eligibility. Click on the links below for more information:

State Park Interpreter I Assessment
State Park Interpreter II Assessment
State Park Interpreter III Assessment


After taking the exam, it is time to apply!

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View current vacancies and apply to the positions you are interested in before the final filing date.

See below to learn about related interpretation and education career opportunities:

Have questions?

 Contact the Workforce Planning and Recruitment Office at Recruiting@parks.ca.gov

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