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Career profile Game Warden

Also known as Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Game Warden, Natural Resource Officer, State Game Warden, State Wildlife Officer, Wildlife Conservation Officer, Wildlife Officer

Game Warden

Also known as Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Game Warden, Natural Resource Officer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Social
Pay Range
$29,880 - $81,960 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Law and Government
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Biology
Core tasks
  • Patrol assigned areas by car, boat, airplane, horse, or on foot to enforce game, fish, or boating laws or to manage wildlife programs, lakes, or land.
  • Compile and present evidence for court actions.
  • Investigate hunting accidents or reports of fish or game law violations.
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What does a Game Warden do?

Game Wardens patrol assigned area to prevent fish and game law violations.

In addition, Game Wardens

  • investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife,
  • compile biological data.

What kind of tasks does a Game Warden perform regularly?

Game Wardens are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Patrol assigned areas by car, boat, airplane, horse, or on foot to enforce game, fish, or boating laws or to manage wildlife programs, lakes, or land.
  • Compile and present evidence for court actions.
  • Investigate hunting accidents or reports of fish or game law violations.
  • Protect and preserve native wildlife, plants, or ecosystems.
  • Issue warnings or citations and file reports as necessary.
  • Serve warrants and make arrests.
  • Provide assistance to other local law enforcement agencies as required.
  • Promote or provide hunter or trapper safety training.
  • Participate in search-and-rescue operations.
  • Arrange for disposition of fish or game illegally taken or possessed.
  • Seize equipment used in fish and game law violations.
  • Address schools, civic groups, sporting clubs, or the media to disseminate information concerning wildlife conservation and regulations.
  • Recommend revisions in hunting and trapping regulations or in animal management programs so that wildlife balances or habitats can be maintained.
  • Inspect commercial operations relating to fish or wildlife, recreation, or protected areas.
  • Survey areas and compile figures of bag counts of hunters to determine the effectiveness of control measures.
  • Collect and report information on populations or conditions of fish and wildlife in their habitats, availability of game food or cover, or suspected pollution.
  • Design or implement control measures to prevent or counteract damage caused by wildlife or people.
  • Provide advice or information to park or reserve visitors.
  • Investigate crop, property, or habitat damage or destruction or instances of water pollution to determine causes and to advise property owners of preventive measures.
  • Issue licenses, permits, or other documentation.

The above responsibilities are specific to Game Wardens. More generally, Game Wardens are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Game Warden salary?

The median salary for a Game Warden is $58,040, and the average salary is $57,810. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Game Warden salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Game Wardens earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Game Wardens earn less than $29,880 per year, 25% earn less than $44,250, 75% earn less than $70,270, and 90% earn less than $81,960.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Game Wardens is expected to change by 0.0%, and there should be roughly 800 open positions for Game Wardens every year.

Median annual salary
$58,040
Typical salary range
$29,880 - $81,960
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
0.0%

What personality traits are common among Game Wardens?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Game Warden are usually higher in their Realistic and Investigative interests.

Game Wardens typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Game Wardens typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Game Warden tend to value Support, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Game Wardens strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Game Wardens strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Game Wardens strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Game Wardens must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and stress tolerance.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Game Wardens, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Game Wardens need?

Many Game Wardens will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Game Wardens usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Game Wardens

  • 1.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 19.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 27.3% completed some college coursework
  • 17.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 30.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Game Wardens

Game Wardens may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as law and government, public safety and security, or biology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Game Wardens might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Important Abilities needed by Game Wardens

Game Wardens must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Game Wardens need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and inductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Game Wardens, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Game Wardens

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Game Wardens frequently use skills like active listening, critical thinking, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Game Wardens, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.