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Go back to the Refuge Law Enforcement Home page Find out about the objectives of Law Enforcement within the Refuge System. Find out how to apply for a Refuge Officer position within the Refuge System

Interested in Becoming a Refuge Officer?

Refuge officers are commissioned law enforcement officers. You are required to carry firearms and other defensive equipment; therefore, you must be at least 18 years old, and physically and emotionally fit.

A 2- or 4-year degree in natural resources conservation, criminal justice, or a related field is desirable, although applicable experience may be substituted for education. 

Littrell on the lookoutNeedless to say, you must like working outdoors in all kinds of weather! You also must enjoy working with people, because most of your job will consist of contacting and interacting with refuge visitors, neighbors, and other employees.

We suggest that you visit a national wildlife refuge and talk to the staff or an officer, if possible. Click here for a list of refuges to find the one closest to you. Please note that not all refuges are staffed. Each link will tell you whether the refuge is staffed or unstaffed.


Physical Fitness

Law Enforcement TrainingPhysical fitness is crucial in obtaining and maintaining a commission. Before entry and then annually, officers must undergo a physical examination and be physically and medically capable of performing the essential duties of the position efficiently, without hazard to themselves or others.

  • 1½–mile run

  • Push-ups

  • Percent body fat

  • Sit-ups

  • Agility

  • Jump and reach

Other Tests Performed

Psychological Screening 
You must pass a series of psychological screening tests before entry.


You must be between the ages of 18 and 37 before entry.

Background investigation

You must undergo an initial background investigation.

Drug tests

You must be tested before entry, and periodically thereafter.

Firearms Qualifications

You must qualify periodically with the weapons that you carry.

Last updated: Monday, February 12, 2007 15:19

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