How to Become a Forest Ranger

6 minute read

Forest Ranger/Range Forest Officers are officers, who belong to the state forest forces. These officers are either direct entrants through recruitment exams conducted by the State Public Service Commission or promoted from the post of Deputy Ranger. Range Forest Officer or RFO is an officer in uniform primarily responsible for forest and wildlife conservation. RFO hold the rank of a Gazetted officer in the service. They wear prescribed khaki uniforms having five-pointed three stars on their shoulders without any stripes. Forest Rangers also called Green Soldiers or Green Warriors work day and night in all weather efficiently and effectively towards the sustainability of ecological resources


Job ProfileForest Ranger / Forest Range Officer
Job CategoryGovernment
Eligibility CriteriaGraduation
ExaminationState Public Service Commission
TrainingState Forest Service Academy
Job Category Field 
SalaryINR 35k- 1.12 Lakh (Level 6 pay band)

What does a Forest Ranger do?

Forest Rangers generally work with the central as well as state law enforcement departments and public conservative groups to maintain as well as protect both national and state forests, wildlife and other ecological resources for public and private use. They also contribute to enhancing species habitats, and public area recreation and mitigate or prevent any damage that occurs due to natural or man-made action.

Skills Required for Forest Ranger

  • Physical Fitness

Job description of a Forest Ranger demands agile and physically fit officers. Rangers performs their duty in all kind of weather condition regardless of the outside environment like chilling winter, harsh summer, and humidity both day and night.

  • Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness is equally one of the essential skills a Forest Ranger must possess. Roels and Responsibilities performed by the rangers in all weather conditions can break any officer mentally before physically of who is not mentally tough to deal with these situations on daily basis. 

  • Communication Skills

Simple and effective communication skills is an essential requirement to perform the role and responsibility of a forest ranger job. To protect the forest, wildlife and its surrounding areas Forest Rangers need to communicate with visitors, internal and external department personnel and with hunters and poachers too. 

  • Survival Techniques

Forest Ranger often work in remote locations far from their setup and habitations. In that case, they need to be aware of at least minimum survival techniques like the creation of temporary shelter, lighting a fire and hydrating themselves etc.

  • Courage & Determination

At work Forest Rangers once in a while may face challenging situations that require them to display courage and determination. Sometimes they have to prepare themselves to deal with forest fires, encounter wild animals, precautions while using chemical pesticides and most important when deal with hunters and poachers.

Step-by-step Guide to Becoming a Forest Ranger

  • Notification Release

State Public Service Commission release notification to receive the application to fill the vacant post of Forest Ranger in the Forest Department.

  • Meet the eligibility criteria

Those applicants who meet the eligibility criteria finalised by the SPSC apply by filling out the application form.

  • Examination Call Letter

Selected applicants receive the admit card to appear in the selection examination conducted by SPSC.

  • Academic Test

Academic or Written test is the first phase of the selection process. Applicants need to clear it to appear in the second phase of the selection process.

  • Physical Fitness Test

Physical strength test is the second phase of the selection process. Candidates who clear it gets the call for document verification.

  • Document Verification

It is the final stage of the selection process. Authentication of the submitted both academic and non-academic documents gets verified  in this stage. Those candidates  who clear it gets the appointment letter from the commission.

  • Joining Formalities

Selected officers called for the joining formalities by the SPSC. 

  • Training Program

After Joining formalities officers all the officers who joined as trainee Forest Rangers start their year-long desk and field training program.

  • Join as Forest Ranger

Post the successful completion of the training period trainee Rangers starts working as Forest Range officer.

Eligibility Criteria to become Forest Ranger

  • Academics

Applicant must hold a Bachelor’s degree in at least one of the subjects namely Botany, Zoology, Agriculture, Geology, Veterinary Science, Animal Husbandry or a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Forestry and Environment Science from any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India.

  • Age

For a general category candidate to apply for the post of forest ranger the minimum age is 21 and the maximum age is  40 years. (There will be age relaxation for the reserved category candidates as per government norms)

  • Physical Standards
CandidateHeightChest  NormalChest Expansion
Male163 cms84 inches 89 inches
Female 150 cms79 inches84 inches

 There is a relaxation in the age for the applicant belonging to the North East and Mountain area.

Selection Process

Stage 1Academic TestAcademic test is basically a test for a candidates general and subject-specific knowledge. It includes questions from themes like General Intelligence & Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English Comprehension, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, Technology, and  Environment.Total Question- 200Total Marks- 200Time- 03 hrsNegative Marking- 0.25 marks
Stage 2Physical Fitness TestIt mainly covers a walk test in which candidates require to complete 25 km (male) and 16 km (female) walk within a time period of 4 hrs.
Stage 3Document VerificationPhysical fitness test selected candidate to call for the document verification process. After a successful document verification process final selected candidate gets an appointment letter.


The selected candidates have to complete a detailed and diverse training program of approximately about 1.5 years in phases. The training programs include classroom modules, Physical and mental training sessions, field visits, on-site practical exposures etc. The sole purpose of the training programs of these training programs is to train all the officers in forest and wildlife management, wildfire prevention as well as mitigation, and survival techniques. Central Forest Service Academy and State Forest Service Academy conduct or organize training programs for all the officers.

Job Description

As Forest Ranger, officers have to perform the below-mentioned roles and responsibilities or duties.

  • Forest rangers are the primary response centre for the enforcement of law and order situation inside and surroundings of the forest.
  • Forest Rangers with the help of any local NGO and social service group teach residents, about the importance of forests and other ecological resources.
  • To maintain the forest resource inventory in a digital format with regular updation.
  • Prevent to dumbing of all kinds of waste on the forest land.
  • Quick Respondent to the emergency and take part actively in search and rescue operations.
  • To prevent illegal hunting and poaching activities in and out of the forest.
  • Take preventative action to prevent and mitigate wildfires.
  • To Cooperate and Coordinate with all the internal and external agencies to prevent any unwanted activity related to the damage to forestry and its resources.

Working Environment

Average Salary

As per the government notification the average salary of the newly recruit Forest Ranger comes under the Level 6 pay band in the range of INR 35k- 1.1Lakh.


Forest Ranger comes under the category of  a government job. The job responsibilities of a Forest Ranger are full of thrill, excitement, challenges and learnings from day one to the last day of work. It comprises both on and off-field assignments. Forest Ranger or Green Warrior’s job demands both mental toughness and physical fitness.  It is the best suitable career choice for those who want to serve mother nature by conservating ecological resources and protecting wildlife.


In the administrative domain which post is equivalent to the Forest Ranger?

Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP in law and order and Tehsildar or Circle Officer in the administrative domain is the post equivalent to the Forest Ranger 

Which is the first promotion post of Forest Range Officer?

After four years of service and a good performance record, Forest Rangers get the opportunity to promote to Assistant Conservator of Forest.

What are the main factors which motivate candidates to become Forest Rangers?

The following factors motivate candidates to apply for Forest Ranger jobs.
Job Security 
Love to serve Mother Nature
Diverse and Challenging aspects of the job.

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