How to Be a Wildlife Officer

If you enjoy the outdoors and you care about protecting animals as well as people, you may want to consider a career as a wildlife officer. It's a profession that allows you to be in an environment that you love with fresh air and a wide range of duties, from enforcing fishing and boating regulations to protecting forest resources. Read the list below and learn about how you can become a wildlife officer.

  • Basic requirements The basic requirements vary depending on the parks, forests or wildlife reservations that you apply to. However most positions require applicants to be at least 20 years of age with at least a high school diploma and a clean criminal record. As well, applicants must be in good physical condition with excellent vision and hearing [source: North Carolina].
  • Education Although a post-high school education is not usually required, earning at least some post-secondary credits will increase your chance of obtaining one of the few positions available. There are many universities and technical schools that offer programs in wildlife preservation. It's highly recommended to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in science. Because there are few positions in the field and a low turnover rate, those students with high university marks will have a better chance of finding employment [source: Ohio].
  • Testing There are a number of tests that you must pass in order to be hired as a wildlife officer. All applicants must undergo drug screening, a psychological examination and a polygraph test. As well, because being a wildlife officer can be physically demanding, you must complete a physical fitness and swimming exam to test your upper body and core strength [source: Ohio].
  • Training There is a 16-week training period for newly hired officers. You must train as a cadet in law enforcement and then complete an eight to nine week wildlife officer training session [source: Ohio]. //]]]]> ]]>