Becoming a Fish and Game Warden

Fish and Game Wardens are responsible for preserving and protecting fish and other animals in the wildlife areas, such as forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, beaches etc. They ensure that local laws and regulations are upheld while hunting, fishing, boating etc. and help conserve the habitats of countless species of wildlife. Their duties include conducting surveillance, organizing raids, investigating crimes, serving warrants, making arrests, managing wildlife populations, and seizing unlawful equipment that is associated with the violation of laws in the assigned areas. They also oversee public safety and investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. They may also educate the public about wildlife conservation and hunting regulations; and provide assistance to other law enforcement agencies during legal proceedings.

Work Environment

Fish and Game Wardens work for federal, state and local governments in the United States, from remote, small, rural duty stations to large, multi-agency offices in major cities. Their  assigned territory can potentially be thousands of acres of wildlife areas, miles of coastline, urban areas, mountains, lakes, or desert and various forms of terrain, including waterways, thick brush, or dense forests. They often patrol in cars and boats, and sometimes on foot or by horse. Since the career requires dealing with rogue and wild animals, these professionals may be subject to bites and scratches, or even life-threatening injuries.

Educational Requirements

To become a Fish and Game Warden, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the field of wildlife management, fisheries science, natural resource management or any related areas.

The employment process for the position of Fish and Game Warden includes meeting the Service’s medical, physical and psychological requirements, which includes passing a medical examination and a number of physical fitness tests.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for Fish and Game Wardens may rise 2% from 2012to 2022. The average annual salary of a Fish and Game Warden was $53,260 in 2014.