How to Become a Game Warden
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this: Deep, green forests lush and wild, alive with the sounds of its animal inhabitants; cool, rushing streams and vast rivers and lakes teeming with fish and birds; mountains and valleys abundant with acre after acre of flora and fauna; long, quiet stretches of grassy, peaceful meadowlands; and miles of coastline wild with foaming surf. Now imagine these areas are where you report to work every day. Your office is the outdoors. You have neither four walls nor a cubicle hemming you in. You have miles of land to patrol where your only walls are stands of trees, mountains, and bluffs. If you love being outside, protecting the environment, and working with animals, then a career where you not only get to defend our nation’s fascinating and glorious wildlife, but one where you can be out in fresh air nearly everyday is the one for you. Who is lucky enough to have this for their career? Game Wardens, Fish and Game Wardens, and Wildlife Wardens.
There are, of course, other requirements to becoming a Game Warden besides really loving the outdoors, but when you know what steps you must take, it is a straightforward process. While each state has slightly different requirements (such as age and degree specifications) the qualifications necessary to become a Game Warden or Game and Fish Warden are essentially the same.
Steps to Become A Game Warden
The following list highlights the steps you’ll need to take to become a Game Warden, or a Game and Fish Warden:
Characteristic: A love of the outdoors and being outdoors in all kinds of weather and terrain.
Education: Get a college eductaion! Ideally in a related field (such as Environmental Sciences, Law Enforcement, or Criminal Justice). We’ve put together a list of recommended schools and degree’s for game wardens.
Application: In order to be considered for a Game and Fish Warden position, most states require that you are at least 21 years old, though some accept 18. Additionally, you must have a valid driver’s license and will be subject to a thorough background check.
Fitness: A certain level of fitness is expected to become a Game Warden. You will be tested on your fitness level during the application process.
Mental Health: You will undergo a psychological exam to ascertain that you have good mental health.
Training: Because a Game and Fish Warden is considered a Peace Officer, you must attend a Warden or Police Academy. The length of time varies, but is usually between three months to a year, the average being six months. You will take courses including those covering the laws you will need to know when you become a Game Warden; will learn various driving methods in various vehicles, situations, and terrains; will become adept at firearms safety and usage, and defensive tactics.
Graduation: Once you graduate from the academy, you will be assigned a post in the state where you are a Game Warden, Fish and Game Warden, or Wildlife Warden.