The Junior Ranger Program is an opportunity for teens ages 14 to 17 years old to be employed by the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department to work on a variety of natural resource projects.

If you applied for the Junior Ranger position for 2023, all offer and waitlist emails have been sent out. Please keep an eye on your personal email for further communication if you have been offered a position or placed on our waitlist.

If you weren't able to apply or be hired this year, visit our website in late February 2024 to apply for next year's Junior Ranger season! Anyone aged 14-17 with a positive attitude and good teamwork skills is encouraged to apply. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions about the program.

What do Junior Rangers do?

Work outside

We spend every day outside on trails and open spaces in Boulder

Earn a paycheck (this is a real job!)

Junior Ranger pay starts at $14 per hour

Develop important work skills

Junior Rangers build work skills like teamwork, leadership, patience, punctuality, and more

Explore nature together

Our crews learn about topics like climate change, bears, ecosystems, native plants, history of Boulder, bats, wildflowers, bilingual nature hikes, and more every week

Work on teams & make lifelong friendships

Each Junior Ranger works with 9 other team members and 2 leaders - developing close connections, friendships, and mentorships that keep us coming back to the program year after year

Give back to the land & our community

We do work projects that take care of the land and create opportunities for people in our community

Junior Ranger Program

There are two very different types of crew. Which one is right for you?

Trail Crews

Work on Hiking Trails. On Junior Ranger Trail Crews, we do hands-on and outdoors work on building trails, pulling weeds, building fences, and lots more! Each crew has 10 Junior Rangers and 2 Crew Leaders, so you'll build close friendships with your small crew during the summer. As a part of this crew, you'll learn about the natural world and gain valuable work and life skills. Your Crew Leads will give you the chance to explore careers in natural resources, become more confident in your skills, be a steward of our public lands, and lead in your community. There are 100 spots available on the Trail crews this year.

Youth Ranger Crew

Learn to be a Park Ranger. On our Youth Ranger crew, you’ll work alongside law enforcement Ranger Naturalists from OSMP and explore a variety of career paths in conservation. Each day as a Youth Ranger is different. You’ll learn about what it means to be a Park Ranger - constantly learning and exploring new ideas. Youth Rangers learn skills like bird banding, CPR and First Aid, Search and Rescue, and build positive connections with law enforcement. There are 12 spots available on the Youth Ranger crew this year.

Summer Youth Jobs

Thinking about working with us? Here's what you need to know:

  1. Must be at least 14 and not more than 17 years of age by June 6, 2023.
  2. No previous work experience is necessary, but a positive attitude is essential!
  3. Strong interest in being a team player; willing to help with less-fun tasks.
  4. Demonstrates excitement, commitment, and determination to learn, work, and behave to the best of their ability if chosen for the program.
  5. Able to learn safe practices and make good judgments related to safety.
  6. Able to follow through on commitments.
  7. Successfully complete the application and interview process.
  8. Have a genuine desire to participate as a Junior Ranger.
  9. Be able to commit to the full work schedule, without missing any days. This is a real job!

*You must have a personal (not school or parent) email address to login and apply for this job. Please create one now if you do not have one.

Junior Rangers serve for one of two sessions during the summer. They make a commitment to work all days of their assigned session. Junior Rangers must get any absences preapproved. Please plan your vacations and commitments accordingly.

Trail Crews

Session I: June 6 - June 30 (4 weeks) or

Session II: July 11 – August 11 (5 weeks)

Work Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm, with 30 min. unpaid lunch (28 hours paid time per week)

Meet-up location: Wonderland Lake Trailhead, 4201 Broadway, Boulder CO 80301

Youth Ranger Crew

Session II: July 10 - August 3 (4 weeks) only

Work Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm, with 30 min. unpaid lunch (30 hours paid time per week)

Meet-up location: Wonderland Lake Trailhead, 4201 Broadway, Boulder CO 80301

Junior Rangers are paid an hourly wage. The 2023 wage scale is:

First Year $14.00

Second Year $14.25

Third Year $14.75

Fourth Year $15.50

Check out these specialized crew types for 2023:

The Leadership Development crew primarily works on trail projects, with a unique leadership and career focused curriculum throughout their session. This will include workshops, education, OSMP speakers, and more.

The Weather & Climate – Data Science crew primarily works on trail projects, with a special focus on research projects related to climate and sound pollution in Boulder. In Session 1, they will place instruments, collect data, learn about the process of research, and teach other crews about climate and/or sound pollution in Boulder. In Session 2, the crew will continue collecting data and teaching other crews. During their 5th week of work, the crew will complete a “data science sprint” with OSMP experts to analyze data, organize their findings, and present their conclusions.

If you're interested in exploring one of these crew types, select it in the "questions" section of your Junior Ranger application!

Junior Ranger Program

Ready to Apply?

Apply on WorkDay!

Applications are now closed (as of March 31, 2023). Check back next year!

*Application is on WorkDay this year (link above). Returning JRs need to create a new account (you CANNOT apply via!

We know that this is the first time many of our Junior Ranger Crew Member applicants are applying for a job, and we take that into consideration. Make sure that you continue clicking next until you see a confirmation page that your application has been submitted.

  1. Make sure you apply using a personal (not school or parent) email address.

    All communication regarding your application, employment, pay and tax information will be sent to you via email. Please make sure to use a personal (not school or parent) email address (that you will check regularly) to log in and apply for this job. Please create one if you do not yet have one.

  2. Confirm or get your Social Security Number, green card, or DACA documentation

    All City of Boulder employees must have a social security number, green card, or DACA documentation before they begin work. Cards may be obtained from the Social Security administration office (1-800-772-1213 FREE).

  3. Set up or confirm your own Bank Account

    Paychecks are issued by direct deposit. Participants must have a valid account at a financial institution to receive their paychecks. For the smoothest payroll experience, we strongly encourage youth to set up their own bank accounts for direct deposit rather than depositing into a parent/guardian’s account.

  4. Ask for help!

    Please reach out to Natasha if you have ANY questions about the job or the application. Email or text 303-345-8508.

    Applying to be a Junior Ranger means you are applying to be a City of Boulder employee, which means we must follow City government hiring protocols. We know the application process is long, but you must complete the application to be considered. Think of it as an endurance test. We hope to see you at the finish line!

    If you've applied before, please apply again as we keep track of motivated individuals who apply multiple years in a row.

Check your Email

Once you Submit your application and arrive at the "confirmation page", check your email every day. We will need you to stay in communication with us in order to be hired as a Junior Ranger.

Check for an email from with links to:

  1. Complete the required questionnaire to tell us your crew and session preferences (complete as soon as you receive it)
  2. Schedule your interview. Everyone who applies gets an interview! And, everyone is required to interview to be considered for a job.
  3. Other important application & program information such as when to complete hiring paperwork, what to bring on your first day, etc

If you don’t see this email – check your Spam folders.

Practice and Prepare for your Interview!

Once you've scheduled your interview... make some time to practice! You can use the interview questions below to prepare.

If you want to reinforce the answers you gave in your interview, you can submit written answers to the interview questions by email to and we will use the higher score (either your interview or the written answers).

  1. Why do you want to be a Junior Ranger?
  2. In your experience, what are the key components of a strong team? How can you help a team be successful?
  3. Tell me about a time when you worked with people who are different from you. What did you do to understand their perspective?
  4. We believe mistakes are important for growth and we love to celebrate them to move forward. Tell me about a time when you made a mistake or a teacher/coach/parent gave you constructive criticism. How did you feel and what did you do
  5. Describe your experience being responsible or accountable for something or someone. (Examples include: Sports teams, family/grandparents/siblings/cousins, pets, chores, babysitting, music ensembles, church, family business, volunteering, community activities, etc.)
  6. What things have you done at school or at home that would prepare you for an outdoor job? (Examples include: Growing plants or vegetables, chores, mowing the lawn, 4H/farm club, landscaping, hiking/walking outdoors, fishing, camping, field trips, summer camps.)
  7. What do you think you'll need to bring to work each day to be prepared for working outside for 7 hours?
  8. How would you respond to a coworker who is complaining about the job? What would you do or say?

Go to your interview!

  • Showing up to your interview is perhaps the most important part! Be at least 5 minutes early for your interview - this will show us that you are serious about the job and will likely be on time to work too. :)
  • Email or text us in advance if you need to reschedule your interview.

Accept or decline your job offer!

  • In late April, we will email to tell you if you got the job or not. If you interviewed with us this year, you should have already received either an acceptance or waitlist email with next steps. If you didn't receive an email from us, please check your email again and then contact us at
  • If you are offered the Junior Ranger job, let us know WITHIN 5 DAYS if you would like to accept, or decline.
  • You can always follow up with more questions if you are unsure.
  • If we don't hear from you by May 5, we'll assume you aren't interested in the job and will offer it to someone else.

Complete City of Boulder paperwork!

  • If you accept your Junior Ranger job offer, you’ll need to complete hiring paperwork for the City of Boulder. There’s a lot of it – but we will help you fill out all of it.
  • You will need to attend a 1-hr employment paperwork training during the second week of May to complete your forms.

Show up to your first day of work!

Congrats! You made it through your first government job application process!

Now the REAL fun begins... get more information about what you'll need to know for your first day.

Junior Ranger Program


The application for Junior Ranger youth positions typically opens at the end of February and closes on March 31. No exceptions.

Applications for adult Crew Lead and Program Coordinator positions typically open in late Dec or early Jan and close when positions are filled – using by early March.

No, we do not have a residency requirement. Anyone and everyone, regardless of where they live, is welcome to apply.

No, a personal email is required so that we can communicate directly with the applicant during the hiring process. Please create a new one if you do not have one.

Before emailing us to see if we received your application, please check your Junk and Spam folders for a confirmation email. Additionally, you can add “” and "" to your Safe Senders List to ensure you get future communication from us about your application.

When you submit your application, you will be redirected to a page that confirms that your application has been successfully submitted. All applications are reviewed and processed after the application period has closed (March 31). All applicants who submit a complete application will be invited via email to an interview in early April. Please allow up to 10 days for processing before you inquire about your status.

  • Email
  • Call/text Natasha at 303-345-8508.
  • Or find us during the season at:
    • Wonderland Lake Trailhead
    • 4201 Broadway, Boulder CO 80304

Eligibility for benefits is determined on a case by case basis and will be established when a job offer is made. Questions about benefits should be directed to Human Resources (303-441-3388).

Staff Jobs

Crew Leads

Job Description

Each year the program seeks crew leaders (age 18+) to build functional teams, complete trail maintenance and other natural resource projects, and support youth stewardship and job skills development. Crew Leads come from a variety of backgrounds in leadership, education, and conservation. They supervise Trail Crews, integrate learning opportunities into their project timelines, facilitate environmental education lessons, support program and department goals, and receive career and leadership development themselves as they work beside project sponsors and attend organized talks and trainings from OSMP department staff.


In 2023, crews will likely consist of 2 Crew Leads and 10 Junior Rangers. There are 13 full-time seasonal Crew Lead (age 18+) positions available.

2023 Position Dates

Position runs May 15 -August 17, 2023

Unpaid holiday break: July 3 - July 6

Crew Lead (ages 18+)

Applications for Crew Lead positions are closed. Check back next year.

Senior Program Coordinators

Senior Program Coordinators work as part of a leadership team that oversees field and project management, program operations, leadership, administrative and logistical support.


There are three full-time temporary Sr Program Coordinator positions available, each with a different focus. All positions provide support and leadership in all aspects of running the Junior Ranger program and associated events.

  • Sr Coordinator (9-month Lead)

The 9-month Coordinator works side-by-side with the Youth Service Learning Program Manager to hire, train, and supervise staff. They are responsible for team and staff safety, field and project management, curriculum implementation, skills development, public communications, and administrative and logistical support of the entire program. They are expected to lead, support, build relationships, and coordinate with six OSMP workgroups as well as several other City Departments. Another key responsibility is sharing and teaching safety to all workers on Junior Ranger program worksites, under minimal supervision. This position requires the ability to work hiking on and off trail for up to 7 hours in the field during all weather conditions, as well as also managing office and computer tasks, sometimes requiring a full 10 hour day in the office.

This is a 40 hr/wk (with opportunity for overtime), approximately 9-10 month role that can reapply & return annually (late Jan – early Nov).

Unpaid holiday break: July 3 - July 6

  • Sr Coordinator (4-month Education)

The 4-month Coordinator will primarily focus on team safety, visiting crews in the field, supporting technical trail work projects, substituting as a Crew Lead when someone is absent, and providing education to crews. They will oversee field and project management, skills development, and program operations; as well as provide public communications, administrative and logistical support to Program Manager. They will also manage media & photos, schedule work projects with project sponsors, and coordinate formal educational opportunities with the Education & Outreach team. Occasional weekend work may be asked of them.

This is a 40 hr/wk (with occasional overtime), approximately 4-month role that can reapply & return annually (mid April – late August).

Unpaid holiday break: July 3 - July 6

Applications for Senior Coordinator positions are closed. Check back next year.

  • Bilingual Sr Coordinator (6-month)

The Bilingual Sr Coordinator role is for someone who is organized, team-oriented, passionate about teaching young people, proactive with communication, and fluent in English and Spanish. In this position, you will learn valuable career skills such as leadership, communication, self-confidence, teaching others, hands-on skills to care for our public lands including trail maintenance, and how to manage a large summer program like the Junior Rangers.

This is a 40 hr/wk (with occasional opportunity for overtime), approximately 6-month role with an opportunity to return annually/reapply (approximately late February/early March – early September). Occasional weekend work may be asked of you (if you are available).

Unpaid holiday break: July 3 - July 6

Applications for the Bilingual Senior Coordinator position is closed. Check back next year.

Employment Requirements

  • Personal Email Address: All communication regarding your application, employment, pay and tax information will be sent to you via email. Please make sure to use a personal email address (that you will check regularly) to log in and apply for this job. Please create one if you do not yet have one.
  • Social Security Number: All City of Boulder employees must have a social security number before they begin work. Please file a number if you do not already have one. Cards may be obtained from the Social Security administration office (1-800-772-1213 FREE).
  • Valid Bank Account: Paychecks are issued by direct deposit. Participants must have a valid account at a financial institution to receive their paychecks.