Game warden jobs are law enforcement positions that focus on wildlife and environmental laws and public safety in the outdoors. Some game and fish warden positions allow for a more specific focus, such as a marine conservation warden whose job is to protect people and wildlife on or near waterways.
Game Warden Job Duties
As law enforcement officials, game and fish wardens are responsible for:
- *Enforcement of state and federal wildlife and environmental codes and laws
- *Carrying out search and arrest warrants and subpoenas
- *Investigating criminal actions related to wildlife and environmental laws
- *Working with other local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. This may include working with Homeland Security, local police, nearby state agencies
- *Preparing legal documents
- *Ensuring human safety when using parks and other natural resources
- *Teaching hunting, boating, and other outdoor safety courses to the public
- *Involvement in biological studies
- *Management of natural resources including hunting, fishing, forestry, and public recreational use of parks
- *Search and rescue
Game warden jobs involve mostly outdoor work with some time spent on paperwork. Hours will include evenings, weekends, and holidays. You can expect to travel, work in rugged terrain, and work in all weather conditions if you want to become a game warden.
Salary for Game Warden Job
Starting salary for a game warden job ranges from $30,000 to $40,000. Sergeant salaries are in the midrange for this career at about $57,000 to $68,000. Lieutenant game wardens can make about $64,000 to $75,000 a year.
Education and Experience Requirements
A game warden job is not employment you can seek without significant education and experience. To become a game warden you will need a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management, park management, forestry, criminal justice, fishery management, environmental sciences, or other related field. Most will only accept applications from those with peace officer and/or game warden training. For example, Texas requires graduation from the game warden training academy. To obtain a higher-level position such as that of sergeant or lieutenant requires several years experience as a game warden. You will also need to be familiar with the U.S. and local wildlife and laws related to the position. In some positions you may also need to be familiar with nonnative wildlife.
Computer skills and the ability to use and operate weapons related to the job, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and other equipment are highly desirable skills for game wardens. In addition, experience hunting, fishing, and boating will be beneficial. Other desirable skills can include previous law enforcement experience and wildlife related experience. Experience working with the public, especially in tense situations, is also a plus when seeking game warden jobs.
Where to Find Game Warden Jobs
Game warden jobs are found in government agencies. This includes state game and fish departments or departments of natural resources and similar federal agencies. For example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hires criminal investigators and wildlife inspectors who have similar duties as state game and fish wardens.