Field Project Specialist
Pacific Crest Trail Association

Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors?

These full-time, seasonal positions vary by field season length and location.


Field Project Specialist

Pacific Crest Trail Association
Portola, California, Palm Springs, California, and Kernville, California
$700.00 / week
Some experience required
Start Date:
Starts in about 1 month. (Mar 28, 2022)

Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership experience in training and supervising trail crews to join our team as a Field Project Specialist.

The Field Project Specialist works with trail crews to oversee and teach technical trail work and projects in various locations along the Pacific Crest Trail. Crews vary with a mix of corps crews, young adults, and adult volunteers working on one to 10 day projects in the front country and backcountry settings. These full-time, seasonal positions vary by field season length and location:

Southern California/Northern California–week of March 27 to week of August 28 (23 weeks*)
Southern California, Southern Sierra**–week of April 17 to week of August 14 (18 weeks*)
3 positions Northern Sierra–week of April 10 to week of September 4 (22 weeks*)
2 positions North Cascades–week of June 19 to week of October 2 (16 weeks*)
1 Oregon/Southern Washington–week of June 5 to week of September 18 (12 weeks*)

*anticipated length of seasons
** this position has a need for a high level of technical rock and rigging skills

In this position, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Facilitate projects and training planning and related communications with land managers, volunteer leaders, and other partner organizations
    • Develop communications about project accomplishments
    • Manage accurate data, records, and reports
  • Coordinate all project-related logistical and paperwork requirements
  • Facilitate pre-and-post project volunteer communications
  • Provide on-site leadership managing trail project logistics and technical oversight, in the backcountry or front country, may include coordination of supply loads for transport by animal packers
  • Provide technical guidance, training, and support to crew leaders, crew members, and volunteers while on the project and in camp
  • Supervise and manage projects, train and guide corps crews and volunteer crews in trail maintenance, rehabilitation, and construction skills
  • Ensure corps crew and volunteer work meets PCTA and agency standards while adhering to all safety and environmental protocols

What Makes You a Great Fit for this Position?

  • Minimum of two years of relevant experience
  • Outdoor leadership in training, managing, and leading trail crews
  • Embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as a personal value
  • Leave No Trace and backcountry living skills
  • Excellent trail maintenance, rehabilitation, and construction skills
  • Ability to maintain a safe working environment in the field
  • Experience communicating with, coordinating, teaching, and managing corps crew, crew leaders and volunteers 
  • • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build authentic relationships and interact with people from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds
  • Ability to listen, give, and take feedback and learn
  • Strong time management and detailed organizational skills with the ability to self-direct workflow to manage multiple projects at once and meet deadlines 
  • Team player with initiative, determination, and flexibility who thrives in a fast-paced work environment
  • Proficiency using a computer, Microsoft Office and Outlook; comfortable learning new technology systems as needed
  • Possess a valid driver’s license with clean driving record, and be able to drive vehicles

Desirable Skills and Certifications:

  • Proficiency in technical trail construction skills such as rock work, rigging, stock packing, etc. 
  • Chain and crosscut saw certifications
  • Valid wilderness first aid, including CPR certification, or ability to complete certifications before the employee’s first managed project

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to work in front and backcountry settings at high elevations and in inclement weather
  • Ability to lift 25 pounds
  • Ability to travel, including hiking and backpacking on and off trail for several days at a time
  • Ability to perform manual trail work

Typical Working Conditions and Travel:
The Field Project Specialists works from a satellite office located within the region under the direct supervision of the Regional Representative in the project area. Regular backcountry travel with substantial time overnight in the field is to be expected as well as weekends and some evenings. They are expected to communicate regularly on work projects. Typical office equipment used includes a laptop computer, necessary peripherals, and other standard office equipment. Field equipment used includes hand tools such as Pulaskis, McLeods, pick mattocks, rock bars, sledgehammers, and shovels. Advanced tools used in the field include crosscut and chain saws, brush saws, and rigging systems.

Salary and Benefits:
This is a full-time hourly seasonal staff position. Weekly compensation depends on the project schedule with an average between $700-$1000. Vehicle restricted to work-related travel will be provided as needed. PCTA covers travel expenses. Housing is not provided, however, a housing differential/allowance is provided.

Eligibility Requirements:
The new hire process includes conducting a criminal history record check after a conditional offer is made to the candidate. If there are convictions on the report, PCTA conducts an individualized assessment as to whether any convictions have a direct and adverse relationship with the specific job duties of the position. PCTA will consider the offense, how long it’s been since the applicant committed the offense, and the nature of the job the applicant is applying for.

About the Pacific Crest Trail and the PCTA: The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. One of America’s National Scenic Trails, the PCT reveals the beauty of the desert, the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, and the deep forests and commanding vistas of the Cascade Range.

The mission of the PCTA is to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands. PCTA’s many stakeholders include hikers, equestrians, volunteers, members, donors, trail communities, public land managers, and many other partners. Our dedicated team includes 33 staff members and 10 current board members.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: PCTA acknowledges systemic racism and other social injustices and their impact on the PCT community. We have begun the journey of understanding racism and injustice and their impacts on people of color and others. We are committed to making change within our organization and to supporting change within the PCT community towards a more just and equitable future. See our website for more information about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. PCTA is an equal opportunity provider.

How to Apply

Positions open until filled. Please e-mail which position(s) you are applying for, resume, and a letter of interest to Hiring Team at with the subject “Field Project Specialist.” Please include your name in each document (i.e., “jsmith resume,” “jsmith references”). For questions, contact Jennifer Tripp at (916) 243-9923 or by email at

Contact Info