Ways to get involved

Federal wildlife officers are commissioned law enforcement officers. You must enjoy working with people, because most of your job will consist of contacting and interacting with refuge visitors, neighbors, and other employees.

Federal wildlife officers have a tremendous responsibility and must be highly motivated independent workers. From urban refuges to remote hunting and fishing camps, a high degree of professionalism is required to work with a diverse group of partners.

To become a federal wildlife officer you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 37 (exceptions may apply for prior federal law enforcement officers or preference eligible veterans)
  • Have at least one year work experience in the field of law enforcement and/or natural resources OR have a four-year course study leading to a bachelor’s degree or possess a bachelor’s degree with a major focus in natural resource management, natural sciences, park and recreation science, criminal justice or other closely related subjects to the management and protection of natural and cultural resources
  • Be able to legally possess a firearm, i.e. no felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Pass an extensive medical exam, psychological screening, background investigation, drug tests and physical fitness tests

Once selected, candidates must successfully:

  • Pass the Physical Efficiency Battery (PEB) at the 25th percentile or above
  • The test consists of:
    • 1.5-mile run
    • Bench press
    • Agility run
    • Sit and reach (measures flexibility)
    • Body composition (measures percentage of body fat)
  • Complete an arduous 17-week law enforcement training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia
  • Complete advanced wildlife officer training at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
  • Complete 10 weeks of field training under the direction of senior officers

"A Day in the Life of a Federal Wildlife Officer" (short video) 

To find available federal wildlife officer jobs and education requirements, go to USAJobs.gov, search “GL 1801” and/or “GS 1801,” and filter by “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service” or “Department of the Interior.”