US Army Ranger: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Sep 23, 2019

US Army Rangers require no formal education, but they must undergo training. Learn about the training, job duties and other requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

The Rangers are considered to be a cut above the Big Army, as it is called. As such, membership is very selective and the demands of being a Ranger far exceed those your average G.I.s. You'll need to be able to qualify physically and mentally to even be considered.

Essential Information

A U.S. Army Ranger is a member of an elite force that conducts special military missions on short notice. The Ranger Regiment is the largest special operations combat group in the Army. Members of this regiment have combat and airborne training, and they also hold varied occupations in the Army. Aspiring U.S. Army Rangers must be male U.S. citizens who are physically fit, on active duty and who have no physical limitations.

General Requirements Must be a male U.S. citizen on active duty in the military, pass a physical fitness test, receive a general technical score of 105, be capable of attaining a Secret clearance and volunteer for Airborne training
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* Good prospects throughout the decade (for all military personnel)
Median Annual Salary (2019)** $26,334 (for Army Specialists or Corporals with less than two years of experience)

Sources: *The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics & **

Job Description

A U.S. Army Ranger is a member of an elite regiment designed for special missions and operations that involve short notice and usually take place in a foreign country. Much of the work performed is classified and Rangers must qualify for a security clearance. Because Rangers use stealth and surprise to accomplish their missions, individuals are often placed in life-threatening situations and are trained to use lethal force.


To become a Ranger, individuals must be Army servicemen in good standing. As of 2016, only men were allowed to become Rangers. Applicants to this position must pass a strenuous physical fitness test and a technical knowledge test. They should exhibit good character. Applicants must also successfully complete airborne training.


U.S. Army Rangers receive special training through the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program. Individuals who desire leadership roles may attend Ranger School, which teaches individuals who to lead small unit patrols. Rangers also have access to special military training such as SCUBA, sniper and jumpmaster. The Ranger Language Program provides instruction in languages and dialects used in areas of current operations.

Job Duties

Members of the Rangers Regiment must be ready for short-notice deployment and be prepared to use various means to infiltrate dangerous, and often hostile, territory. The missions vary, and may range from capturing enemy combatants or materials to rescuing prisoners of war and civilians. Rangers may conduct airborne incursions into enemy-held territory. They may also use stealth to track enemy forces to obtain useful information.

Rangers are assigned to the U.S. Army 75th Ranger Regiment, which has four battalions. Three battalions are based in Georgia, while the other is in the state of Washington. Rangers often travel to other countries to participate in military exercises. When not deployed, Rangers work and train on weekdays in their military occupations.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment opportunities would be excellent for all members of the Armed Forces between 2018 and 2028. The BLS noted that employment of military personnel fluctuates depending on the world events and political actions; therefore, the number of jobs for soldiers might vary. In addition, the BLS noted that in an economic downturn, more people might join the military, leading to tougher competition for desirable occupations.

If you can handle the strict physical and mental requirements, you may be able to become a Ranger. Often asked to deploy on a moment's notice, Rangers maintain a high state of readiness by constant training and schooling. There are numerous occupational specialties within the Rangers, all of which are geared to help the regiment successfully accomplish what are often dangerous and classified missions.

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