How to Become a Fish & Game Warden

Fish & Game Wardens work in a specialized field of law enforcement and are responsible for enforcing laws that protect fish, wildlife and animal habitats from poaching, abuse and illegal taking of endangered species. Those seeking work as a game warden is typically someone who enjoys the outdoors, protecting wildlife and interacting with hunters and fishermen.

The job requirement of a game warden varies depending on their assigned duties. For example, some Fish & Game Wardens conduct surveys relating to specific animal populations, while other Fish & Game Wardens may work in a state park and be responsible for interacting with hunters and fishermen to check for licenses and making the legal catch limits not been exceeded.

Educational Requirements

The guidelines to become a Fish and Game Warden vary from state to state, however, the one thing all states have in common is an education requirement. Some states require an associate’s degree as the minimum requirement, while the majority of states recommended potential candidates have a bachelor’s degree.

There is no specific type of degree required, however, most Fish and Game Wardens major in wildlife management and/or criminal justice. Other courses such as biology and natural resource conservation or equivalent are also recommended.

Minimum Qualifications

You must meet the minimum qualifications in order to apply for a position as a fish and game warden. If you plan to work in the United States, the majority of states require you to be a US citizen and be a minimum of 21 years of age.

Some states, such as California does permit permanent residents to apply for a Fish & Game Warden position as long you have obtained citizenship before your hire date. In addition to being a US citizen, Fish and Game Wardens must possess a valid driver’s license and have not serious driving violations.

As every state has different laws and standards, fully understand the Fish and Game Warden requirements of your state. Some states require physical fitness exams either before beginning the training program or passing these exams may be required before you can be accepted into the training program.

Training & Licensing

After you have completed the cadet training, you will be required to pass an exam for licensing. Once you have earned your license, you will be qualified to accept a position as a Fish and Game Warden. Depending on the state in which you are accepted, you may have the option to choose the state park you would prefer to work in, however, the state’s department of wildlife and parks may assign you to a location with the most need.

Fish and Game Wardens are typically employed in state and/or national parks and may be required to monitor their assigned territories by way of horse, boat, automobile or plane. It is important to understand the scope of this career, as a fish and game warden you will be responsible for protecting a vast array of fish and animal species as well as interacting with people on a routine basis. Working as a fish and game warden is a rewarding career with a variety of specialized career options.

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