Photo of intern working at Illinois River Forks State Park, Cave Junction, southwest Oregon

Intern from Oregon Caves working at Illinois River Forks State Park near Cave Junction during a special event in 2002. Click image to see enlargement.

This post is for people who want to increase their work experience in meaningful jobs that are located in national parks, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, national seashores, national historic sites, and National Forests. The sponsoring agency provides housing, pays utilities, and conducts training. There is also a travel stipend to help with the cost of traveling  the long distance to where you will work during the internship and to help pay for the travel when you return home after the internship is completed.

Internships may be 3, 6, or 9 months in length. Some intern positions may require a background investigation.

You can stop reading here if you are looking for a job that will make a lot of money. These internships are primarily intended to be work experience opportunities and are best for people who are interested in memorable life experiences in places where outdoor adventures are often only a few steps out the door of the residence.

Each intern is provided with a small stipend for living expenses but the amount is small. It is recommended that you have some money in the bank to help make ends meet. This may not sound like much of a deal but considering you don’t need to pay for housing or utilities and there is a possibility that there may be a cash award up to $1,400* for those who complete their full internship, this isn’t too bad of a deal. (*the availability of cash awards depend on how much funding Congress allocates to this program. No guarantees that interns will get this. Cash awards of $1,400 are for three month internships. Larger amounts up to $5,000 are awarded for completion of 6-9 month internship assignments).

The importance of these internships to agency operations should not be underestimated. Interns become an integral and essential member of the agency they work for. Do not apply for these internships unless you are are fully committed to arrive on the scheduled starting date and work the full extent of the internship from beginning to end.

Here is where you can see the current list of intern positions. If you click on any of the job links, you will find a more detailed description of the job along with information about housing, training, travel stipends, and whether or not the job is handicap accessible.

Don’t let the name of the organization, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), discourage you from applying. You do not need to be a student or affiliated with a school to apply. These internships are a regarded to be learning experiences so anyone who works as an intern, regardless of age, is regarded to be a student. For that reason, there is no strongly defined upper age limit on who can apply for these positions.

For more information about the program, see the application guidelines. You can also contact the northwest recruiting coordinator by phone or email if you have additional questions.

Dana Wu:

Note that there is a SCA program for youth who are younger than 18. There will be more information about this posted next week.

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