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Fish and Game Warden Career, Job, Degrees and Training Information

A career as a fish and game warden offers aspiring students and career professionals interested in law enforcement a lifetime of challenging assignments, diversity, and a variety of professional growth and career advancement opportunities. Fish and game wardens usually have statewide jurisdiction and although their primary mission is to enforce Fish and Game code, wardens may also be called upon to enforce any state laws. Wardens have assignnments in both urban and rural areas of the state. However, they are usually responsible for law enforcement activities in a specific geographical area.

Fish and game wardens usually work as peace officers in their respective state jurisdictions. They patrol outdoor wilderness areas, both on land and in the water, to ensure the state and federal laws pertaining to fish and wildlife, as well as hunting, fishing, and boating are enforced. Moreover, whenever a law pertaining to fish and wildlife is violated, they must confiscate poached animals and fish and the equipment used when the crime was committed. Fish and game wardens are also responsible to provide assistance when wild animals pose a threat to people in cities, educate the public on laws pertaining to the outdoors, and provide emergency assistance. They are armed and wear uniforms while on duty.

The following is a list of some of the specialized assignments, duties, and tasks that are available for both limited term and permanent assignment:
  • Academy Staff
  • Hunter Education
  • Boarding Officer on Patrol Boats
  • Field Training Officer
  • Commercial Fishing
  • Warden Pilot
  • Special Operations (Undercover Officers)
  • Streambed Alterations
  • Oil Spill Prevention and Response
  • Delta Bay Enhanced Enforcement Team
  • Firearms Instructor
  • Weaponless Defense Instructor
  • K-9 Handler
  • Tactical Baton Instructor
Fish and game wardens face many unique challenges as they enforce the laws relating to wildlife, fish, and habitat within each state. In part these challenges come from:
  • Covering large geographies
  • An ever growing population
  • Habitat and wildlife diversity – depending on the size of the state
  • Numerous lakes and bodies of water (especially for coastal areas)
  • Hundreds of native fish and wildlife species.
  • Hundreds of native plant species.
  • Threatened or endangered species.
  • Thousands (or millions) of licenses and permits issued each year
Every state has different qualifications for fish and game wardens. Candidates usually must be 21 years of age or older; however, certain states allow 18 year olds to apply. They are also required to have a bachelor's degree, a valid driver's license, be an American citizen, be in shape, and not have any felony convictions on their record. Applicants with an associate's degree and applicable experience can gain employment as a fish and game warden. Possessing a bachelor's degree can provide individuals an edge over the competition since many people want these jobs.