Read more about NPCA's internship program.

Program Interns

Program interns will spend the majority of their time working on one long-term project but should also anticipate periodically assisting the staff of the national programs and government affairs department. Duties are likely to include:

  • Researching issues and compiling and analyzing information in support of NPCA’s legislative and long-range policy programs

  • Analyzing various documents, such as park plans

  • Attending and collecting information from Congressional hearings

Non-Program Interns

Non-program interns will spend their time working on a variety of tasks. For example, an accounting intern would provide overall support to the finance department; a human resource intern may have a specific project, but would also provide overall support to the human resource department. The same goes with other departments within the organization.

Federal Work-Study Interns

Unlike traditional internships, the FWS program is subsidized by the Federal Government. It allows college students to gain valuable exposure to their chosen fields of interest while easing the wage burden on employers by having the Federal Government pick up 70-75% of their salaries. During the school year, students may work 12-20 hours per week, and during the summer FWS students may work 37.5 hours per week. In WDC, NPCA has agreements with local universities such as George Washington University, George Mason University, American University, and University of Maryland. For the region/field, supervisors are encouraged to contact local schools and universities to inquire about this program, which is usually available and always cost-effective.


Interns/Associates must be undergraduates, enrolled in a post-graduate program or recent college graduates within a 12-month time period who has relative experience, education, and skills. Program interns should have experience, education, and skills in one or more of the following areas: conservation biology, ecology, natural resources management (terrestrial or marine), cultural resources management, museum studies, anthropology, public policy (social, demographic, philosophic implications of National Park Service activities), legal research and analysis, or political science.


Internships may be paid or unpaid. An intern’s compensation will correspond directly to his or her skills, experience, and education. The compensation range is between $12.50 and $17 per hour. Most interns are expected to work a 12 to 37.5-hour work week, Monday through Friday. Most interns do not receive benefits.

Read more from NPCA

  • Blog Post

    Yosemite Valley to Herself, After a Wait

    Apr 2021 | By Kati Schmidt

    Parks including Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite are using reservation and timed-entry systems to help manage heavy crowds — a problem that long preceded the pandemic. While these changes…

  • Blog Post

    7 Places Worth Saving

    Apr 2021 | By Matthew Kirby, Jennifer Errick

    By protecting the areas surrounding national parks, the U.S. can build resilient landscapes that prevent the worst effects of climate change and species loss. But we must act soon…

  • Blog Post

    The Park That Made COVID Testing Possible

    Apr 2021 | By Jennifer Errick

    A bacterial discovery at Yellowstone 55 years ago has been key to the development of PCR testing, the most reliable way to know whether someone has COVID-19.