The Junior Forest Ranger (JFR) program presents a unique and exciting opportunity to Albertan high school students age 16 to 18.
It's not your normal summer job!
Successful applicants will gain valuable skills and knowledge towards a career in natural resource fields through hands on work experience.
All applicants must be:
- 16 to 18 years of age of as July 1
- A full-time student enrolled in grade 10, 11 or 12 at time of application
- Interested in forestry, wildfire operations, wildlife biology, environmental science or stewardship
- Involved in community, school athletics, student council or volunteer services
- In good physical condition. There is a minimum fitness standard that is part of the screening process
- Available for a seven-day overnight training program, starting in the first weeks of July
- Prepared to live and work in the outdoors for seven weeks
Although each crew has a different experience, you will typically:
- Thin trees in order to reduce the threat of wildfire
- Construct trails
- Plant trees
- Assist with research projects in the area
- Engage in wildfire management scenarios
All JFR crew members will work on a variety of projects. Find out more information:
You will also take part in several tours, presentations, and training courses related to wildfire and natural resource management. You will receive training in:
- Bear awareness
- Hand tools
- Radio operations
- Standard first aid and Level C CPR
- Wildfire orientation
When selecting rangers for the summer, JFR screening teams review each application, arrange for an interview and look for the following:
- Willing to take initiative
- Applicants must pass a fitness test: a two-mile walk with a 25-pound backpack in under 30 minutes
- Each crew will experience physical labour, and the work can go all day for multiple days
- On the weekends, crews will be expected to participate on long day hikes, canoeing trips or other recreational activities
The second-year ranger option gives those who have successfully completed the first-year program an opportunity to further expand their knowledge and skills and
explore career path options.
In addition to working with their assigned crew, the second-year member will be assigned administrative tasks which may include project planning, plus leadership and mentorship opportunities.
All applicants must:
- Have applied to, or be enrolled in, a post-secondary institute in a relevant field
- Provide a resume in addition to the application and reference forms. Please still answer the questions asked in the statement of interest.
- Provide the previous year’s employment evaluation
In many cases, being a Junior Forest Rangers will be the first summer job for your teen. Please know that Agriculture and Forestry takes this responsibility seriously and works to create a safe learning environment throughout
the summer for all program participants.
There is a lot of information to absorb and we encourage you to browse our website to learn more. This page will outline some of the basics.
Applications, screening and paperwork
Please encourage your son or daughter to complete the paperwork without your help. You can help them by making sure the package is complete with all signatures, references and statement of interest. Let them know that if they miss the
April 1 deadline, we will not accept the application.
For further information, see:
As we work to interview each candidate, it generally takes us a few weeks to process the crew member applications. Candidates are then ranked based on two scores of the screening process: application and interview screening.
Successful candidates are informed by early May. Each candidate will then need to complete a significant amount of paperwork before we hire them.
Please note that a Social Insurance Number and bank account are required for us to hire your son or daughter.
Safety smart, from the start
Agriculture and Forestry, and by extension JFR, adhere to the Certificate of Recognition safety program. This health and safety management system shows that our program meets established standards relating to health and safety.
Here are examples of our safety mindset:
- Crew members are given training on safe work conditions, work habits and use of tools and equipment during training sessions
- Crew leaders also receive intensive 10-day, program-specific training and are required to pass security and background checks
- Each work project begins with a safety meeting to address specific hazards at each worksite
- All accidents and incidents are addressed and investigated immediately
- Junior Forest Rangers are not permitted to drive government vehicles or bring personal vehicles to camp
Permission from the area manager or program specialist is required before inviting guests to camp. Family visits are encouraged at pick-up and drop-off during the August long weekend.
Program staff recognize that there is a significant commitment related to transportation at the beginning and end of the summer. We rely on families, car pools and shuttles because government employees are not permitted to drive non-employees.
JFR crew members are able to be transported once they sign papers at training and start getting paid.
Arrangements must be made for crew members during the following occasions:
For more information, please contact program staff at:
- Training drop off in Hinton, AB
- All camps close on August long weekend. Camp locations vary from year to year but generally range from Peace River in the north to the Kananaskis in southern Alberta.
- Program ends at the end of August near Edson
Thank you for your time and energy throughout the summer. We appreciate your patience and support.
For more information or to clarify this information, please contact program staff at: