How To Become A Game Warden
A game warden is a type of law enforcement officer, whose duty is to protect wildlife. They patrol local areas, making sure that people are obeying laws when it comes to hunting and fishing. Local governments have had to put in place laws to protect the local wildlife from being overhunted. Game wardens are an essential part of wildlife conservation. If you love wildlife and the environment, enjoy working outdoors, have always liked law enforcement, and want to serve and protect others, a game warden is a good choice for you.
Why Become A Game Warden
There are many animals out there that need protecting. State and federal governments have stepped in to stop people from overhunting local wildlife. Still, the populations of some species have not returned entirely. Game wardens provide an essential role in protecting these fish and animal populations. They keep an eye out for illegal poaching, pollution of lands, and other activities that harm the area.
A game warden provides many law enforcement tasks. They may patrol certain areas, talking to people, checking licenses and making sure people are obeying the law. They check out areas for any damage that has been done by local wildlife. They investigate crimes against wildlife, including tracking down and confronting poachers. They may catch fish or animals in order to put tracking devices on them, conduct research and compile wildlife data. They also conduct rescue and release operations with animals.
A game warden is a person who helps animals stay safe and protected. This is a great job for somebody who loves animals, enjoys law enforcement and upholding the law, likes science, and wants to work outdoors.
Game Wardens should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Loves being outdoors
- Enjoys animals
- Critical thinking
- Physically fit
- Follows orders
- Good communicator
- Decision making
Game Warden Work Environment
Game wardens work outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions – whether it is sunny, cloudy, raining or snowing, game wardens are outside. They work outside, helping to protect wildlife. Game wardens patrol forests, lakes, rivers, beaches and coastlines, making sure that people are obeying the law. Because they are a type of law enforcement officer, there is an element of risk associated with this position. A game warden may have to confront people who are disobeying the law, or they may have encounters with wildlife. A person should be physically fit to do this job.
A game warden protects wildlife from poachers. They enforce laws set forth by the game commission. They monitor illegal activity in a designated area in and out of hunting season to ensure the safety of game animals.
Game Warden Salary
The median annual salary for fishing and wildlife workers was $29,280 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This includes game wardens.
There are often seasons for being able to hunt and catch certain types of game, whether it is fish, deer, turkey, or other animals. Because of this, game wardens are employed depending on the season and where they are located. There may be more employment opportunities for game wardens during the summer months. Game wardens often work part time.
Average Game Warden Annual Salary
The average annual salary for game wardens is $58,570 a year. Salaries start at $39,170 a year and go up to $79,870 a year.
Average Game Warden Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a game warden is $28.16. Hourly wages are between $18.83 and $38.40 an hour.
Stats were based out of 6,020 employed game wardens in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Game Wardens
- 1. Illinois $42.37 / hr $88,120 / yr
- 2. Iowa $39.40 / hr $81,960 / yr
- 3. California $37.00 / hr $76,970 / yr
- 4. Washington $36.09 / hr $75,060 / yr
- 5. Hawaii $33.17 / hr $69,000 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Game Wardens
- 1. Oakland, CA $41.48 / hr$86,290 / yr
- 2. Los Angeles, CA $40.79 / hr$84,830 / yr
- 3. Honolulu, HI $33.26 / hr$69,170 / yr
- 4. Houston, TX $32.75 / hr$68,110 / yr
- 5. Austin, TX $31.60 / hr$65,730 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Game Warden Career Outlook
Employment for game wardens is expected to show little to no change from 2014 to 2024, compared to other job occupations within the United States.
Employment for game wardens depends on the availability of fish and wildlife. The government has taken action to conserve the populations of fish and wildlife in many areas. People must have a license to fish and to hunt. Regulations control the amount of fish people are allowed to catch, or which kind of animals people can hunt.
Game Warden Degree
If you would like to become a game warden, read below to find out how.
Step 1: Receive your high school diploma. This is the most basic level of education needed to be a game warden. In high school you will learn the foundations of reading, writing, and mathematics. There are many jobs you can receive in this field with simply a high school diploma.
Step 2: Undergraduate education. It is not a requirement to have a bachelor’s degree. There may be more opportunities available if you choose to go to college. There are programs such as wildlife management, biology, environmental science, fisheries science, conservation, forestry, and more. Choose a program that is right for you. This will give you a strong background in the field. You will learn more about this career pathway and if it is the right one for you.
Step 3: Training. Game wardens undergo a specialized training on-the-job. This training lasts the first year of their employment. During this training, they learn the skills necessary to complete their jobs.
Step 4: Get promoted. There are many opportunities for advancement within this career field. You may start out as a game warden, but you could potentially be promoted as a patrol caption, lieutenant, or inspector. Be sure to maintain a good job in your role and your work ethic will be recognized.