Fish and Game Wardens work to ensure that the Fish and Wildlife Codes are being enforced and obeyed. These professionals enforce hunting, boating, and fishing laws and follow intelligence leads to intercept and stop illegal activities. If you are passionate about conserving the environment and protecting the wildlife, then joining this profession would be ideal for you.
Read this informative guide to learn more about the job duties and salary prospects of these professionals. The article will also highlight the steps involved in becoming a Fish and Game Warden.
What Do a Fish and Game Wardens Do?
Fish and Game Wardens are responsible for:
Patrolling assigned areas to ensure that there are no fish and game law violations
Protecting the wildlife from illegal and criminal activities such as poaching
Investigating reports of damage to property or crops by wildlife
Assisting law enforcement agencies when wildlife wanders into residential areas
Monitoring endangered species and making sure that their habitats are safeguarded
Working on search and rescue operations
Steps to Become a Fish and Game Warden
The path to becoming a Fish and Game Warden can be broken down into the following steps:
Step 1: Complete High School Education
Before you can receive specialized training in Conservation and Wildlife Management, you will be expected to obtain a high school diploma. During high school, you will get a chance to study many natural science courses, such as chemistry and biology, which will help you prepare for your future career in wildlife management.
Step 2: Obtain Relevant Education
The next step is to pursue a 2-year long Associate’s degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Criminal Justice, Park or Wildlife Management, Environmental Science, Biology or its subfields like Oceanography and Botany.
Step 3: Apply for the Position and Complete Training Requirements
Candidates applying for the Fish and Game Warden positions may have to meet certain training mandates. You are recommended to visit your respective state pages to check the hiring criteria. Some states even have game warden academies that candidates are expected to attend to get the basic job training. During their time at the training academy, recruits receive instructions on the following subjects: Boat Operations and Water Rescue, Defensive Tactics, Emergency Response, First Aid, Use of Firearms, Arrest Procedures, and Fish, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management.
Step 4: Complete On-The-Job Training
After graduating from the training academy, you might have to shadow experienced professionals to receive guidance and additional on-the-job-training. Working with senior officers will help you learn about the job duties.
How Much Does a Fish and Game Warden Earn?
According to the salary estimates published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fish and Game Wardens earned an annual mean wage of $57,690 in 2019. That year, the top paying state for Fish and Game Wardens in the U.S. was Rhode Island, with an annual mean salary of $79,440, followed by California ($79,220), Illinois ($74,570), Washington ($73,200), and Indiana ($70,100). Moreover, states that had the highest employment level in this occupation in 2019 included Texas, Florida, New York, California, and Tennessee.