Sometimes referred to as federal wildlife officers or conservation officers, game wardens are commissioned law enforcement officers in charge of patrolling areas to ensure that there are no game law violations. They investigate reports of damage to properties by wildlife and gather biological data. Occasionally, they may also educate the public on game laws.
A game warden’s main goal is to protect wildlife and to create opportunities for safe outdoor activities, such as boating, hunting, fishing and trapping. Most of their time is spent outdoors, no matter the weather. Their responsibilities may differ depending on the area they patrol. For example, those in coastal areas might spend their time developing ways to prevent waterway pollution and enforcing boating laws. Meanwhile, game wardens in rural areas might implement hunting regulations.
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Game wardens maintain and improve wildlife habitats. They also gather biological data and search fields, forests and waterways, such as lakes and rivers. Arresting people who violate boating and wildlife laws is also part of the job. Sometimes, overtime is required for the position, and most game wardens work full time. They may also have to patrol areas alone.
Game Warden Salary Details
In 2016, the median salary for game wardens was $51,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment for game wardens should grow 4 percent through 2026, which is slower than the average national rate of 7 percent. However, demand for additional game wardens depends on local and state government budgets. Low turnover for these positions can create some competition for job applicants.
Typically, a game warden career requires a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in criminal justice, wildlife science, biology or natural resources management. Candidates who speak multiple languages may be more likely to obtain a game warden job. Some states require that aspiring game wardens attend a game warden academy for additional training.
Campbellsville University’s online bachelor’s in criminal justice administration can be the ideal program for those wanting to become a game warden. The degree prepares students for their career in criminal justice. Professors have real-world experience. The program is fully online and allows students to maintain their personal and professional schedules.