Inspiring Job: All about becoming a Forest Ranger in India

By Vesheshta Thakur


In a country like India, only a few professions are given importance. These include engineering, medical and teaching. Undoubtedly, these professions are safe options to choose as a career in a developing economy like ours. However, apart from the traditional professions, there are plenty of other exciting career options out there. It’s just that people are not very aware about these opportunities. This leads to them missing out out on avenues that they could have otherwise explored.

One such alternate career option is that of becoming a forest ranger in India. It is a noble profession and is also critically needed in our country because of depleting forestland. Forest rangers perform critical and important tasks towards the bigger picture of balancing the ecosystem and spreading awareness about issues like global warming, deforestation, water scarcity etc.

Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park – One of the many national parks in India supported by the work of Forest Rangers

Duties performed by a Forest Ranger in India 

Many activities/duties are performed by forest rangers. If these duties are not performed by them then our forestland will be in danger. Below are mentioned some of the duties. The list, while comprehensive, is not exhaustive.

  • Restoring the ecological balance, tinder-harvesting and making sure that the natural resources are taken care of.
  • Managing forest plans, and this is done for both private and public  forest lands.
  • Location for new trees and which trees are to be rooted is also decided by them.
  • Campaigning for sustainable ecosystem with the help of renewable forest goods.
  • All the rangers are skilled in all forest related activities as extraction of timber, rejuvenation survey, and camp and depot organization.
  • Collection and credit of forest revenue and for prompt and accurate payment of all sums due for the work performed is also done by these rangers.

How can a person become a forest ranger in India?

Any person between 18 years and 30 years of age is eligible to apply. The age criteria differs from one state to another. A person needs to possess  a degree in the natural sciences, mathematics, geology, statistics, mechanical/civil/chemical engineering or agriculture. Some physical standards are also important, such as a minimum height of 163 cms. A applicant is supposed to cover a 25 kilometres distance in a time span of 4 hours. This criteria of distance and time span can be different in different states.

The table below shows the minimum standards of physical fitness required to become a forest ranger

Gender Height (in cms) Chest girth(in cms)
Normal /expansion
Male 163 84/+05
female 150 79/+05


Forest Rangers in India are selected by  the State Public Service Commission, which conducts a competitive examination. This exam comprises a written exam (the primary stage), which is divided into two parts. The first part is a preliminary examination. This examination is for compulsory subjects which are general knowledge and English. The second part is the mains examination, which is held for optional subjects such as mathematics.

 The table below will help you in identifying the pattern of the examination

General knowledge 50 100 2:30 hours
General English 50 100 2:30 hours
Mathematics 50 100 2:30 hours
Total 150 300 2:30 hours


Here are some institutions from where you can pursue education to become a forest ranger.

How much can a forest ranger in India earn?

The pay scale of a forest ranger ranges widely between Rs.16,000 per month as a junior to Rs. 80,000 per month as a senior on topmost level. At the middle stage of seniority, the salary ranges from Rs. 40,000 per month to Rs. 50,000 per month and other salary perks are attached with it to a person who has a long time of experience.

gir forest ranger female           India’s first female forest rangers are based at the Gir national park in Gujarat

So, if you are interested in a different career that will give you opportunities for being one with nature, you can definitely explore becoming a forest ranger in India.


About the Author


Vesheshta Thakur is a student of B.A.(Hons.) at MCM College, Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is a state level basketball player and plans to join the Army in the future. She is a dog lover and loves to travel.



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