Wildlife Officer Career
In the capacity of a Wildlife Officer, you likely patrol assigned areas to prevent wildlife law violations. As well, you may investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. You will also compile biological data on the wildlife circumstances of the patrol area. Working in this career subsector, you could also carry the job title of Game Warden, Natural Resource Officer, State Wildlife Officer, Wildlife Conservation Officer.
- Patrol natural areas to ensure safety or enforce regulations.
- Prepare investigation or incident reports.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Protect wildlife or natural areas.
- Investigate accidents to determine causes.
- Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
- Issue warnings or citations.
- Apprehend criminal suspects.
- Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to respond to incidents.
- Serve court ordered documents.
Median salary 2019: $57,500 annually
Job opportunities are satisfactory in the future as a wildlife officer as employment in this subsector is expected to decline 1-2% 2019-2029.
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Protecting wildlife and wild places is the work of conservation officers. Also called fish and game wardens, they enforce laws and regulations that support fish and animal populations. Capable of using almost every type of transportation, they patrol their assigned areas by car, boat, airplane, horse, or on foot. Fish and game wardens investigate hunting accidents and fish or game violations and may compile evidence to testify in court. They issue hunting licenses and help to make the hunting season as safe and humane as possible. As officers, they also carry weapons and are trained by the local, state, or federal agency that employs them. A conservation officer may collect or review biological data to assess the health of their area, such as the condition of wildlife in a park, the health of native plants, or the impact of wildlife on crops. They may also conduct inspections or rescues. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. A background in the life sciences, and interests in fishing, bird watching, or hunting, are helpful. Excellent physical condition is required. If you love wildlife and being outdoors, this may be an ideal career.
For more information
- Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
- S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Fish and Wildlife Interactive map and Federal office list by state
- Ducks Unlimited
- National Wild Turkey Federation
- North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association
To find an institution of higher education that offers a program relative to your career aspirations in the career subsector of Wildlife Officer, the easiest place to start for most people is to perform a simple search by area of interest. Most Wildlife Officers hold bachelor’s degrees. Education and training branches out across multiple disciplines. Overall, there are certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree programs in public and private postsecondary colleges and universities across the country in the following areas:
- Wildlife Science
- Fish Science and Management
- Wildlands Science and Management
- Range Management
- Natural Resources Conservation
Use the link provided below and the ‘Browse for Program’ button to search by program area: