Game Warden Requirements
Game Warden education requirements usually call for a degree in environmental sciences, law enforcement or criminal justice. Some may also get a certificate in wildlife & forestry conservation; however, it is important to remember that a Game Warden is officially a law enforcement officer. Most states require prospective employees to be at least 21 years old before entering the academy or the day they enter the academy, or by the day of appointment to the position; however, there are a few states that will accept those as young as 18 or 20.
It is necessary to be a United States citizen and have a valid driver’s license in the state that you are applying to be a Game Warden in order to meet the basic Fish and Game Warden qualifications.
Game Warden Education
While there aren’t Game Warden schools per se, there are several choices of degrees at a variety of schools you can obtain that would meet many of the requirements for becoming a Game Warden. A criminal justice degree or a law enforcement degree offered throughout the country at schools both large and small, is just one choice, and it will certainly add to your credentials in the law enforcement aspect of the Game Warden’s job. In addition to criminal justice, most colleges and universities offer degrees in natural resources or conservation-related sciences such as biology, forestry, and ecosystems, to name just a few.
These nature and environmental science related degrees are also good to have when applying for a Game Warden position. Thus, the lack of designated Game Warden institutions simply means that any college or university potentially could be considered “schools with Game Warden programs.” To that end, getting your Game Warden education is easier than you might think since the necessary courses are available at most any college or university in the United States.
The electives available to choose from when getting a Game Warden education include some fascinating subjects, and you might be surprised at the amount of classes you can take and the topics they cover. For instance, forestry, wildlife, and recreation are just a few subjects from which to choose. Forestry courses are not merely learning about trees, they can include wetlands analysis, water and soil quality, and wildlife conservation. Wildlife electives might focus on conservation, ecology, and management, while recreation will cover topics that include planning and managing. You should also expect to learn about more technical subjects like economics, statistics, computer science, and engineering. Finally, general coursework such as English composition, mathematic, history, and science will apply.
Game Warden Application Process
As part of the application process, candidates are subject to an extensive background investigation. This investigation involves a check of criminal and credit history, driving record, and in general confirming that the applicant is of good moral character. There is also a psychological exam to verify that the aspiring Game and Fish Warden is in acceptable mental health. Oftentimes a polygraph test is included in this part of the application process.
Physical Demands for Game Wardens
Game Wardens must meet certain physical demands. Vision and hearing are checked, and binocular vision of 20/30 (in most states) or better with or without glasses or contacts is desired. Additionally, the candidate must have uninterrupted peripheral vision of 140 degrees or better, night vision, and the ability to distinguish red and green colors. Other physical necessities are the capability to perform a specified amount of sit ups and push ups, run a certain distance within given time limits, swim at length, and carry and drag heavy objects. Basically, one of the main Game Warden requirements is that the applicant be in excellent physical condition.