Law Enforcement

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. They enforce federal, state and refuge hunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities. Officers help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. By fostering understanding and instilling in the visiting public an appreciation of refuge resources, laws, and regulations, our law enforcement encourages voluntary compliance through education, outreach, and law enforcement actions while in a welcoming and safe environment. Refuge law enforcement works collaboratively with law enforcement officers from other federal land management agencies, forming the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership (SNAP) Law Enforcement Team.

Law enforcement issues should be referred to the refuge manager. For a full list of refuge rules and policies, click here.

You may also report violations to 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

How do I become a law enforcement officer with USFWS?

Refuge Officer Qualifications  

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.

Needless 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 national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
and talk to the staff or an officer, if possible.

Physical Fitness 

Physical 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.

Other Tests Performed  

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.


After being selected, you must successfully complete different phases of training as a refuge officer including but not limited to:

  • 18 weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Glynco, Georgia
  • 2 weeks of Refuge Officer Basic School
  • 10 weeks of the Field Training and Evaluation Program

Your performance will be evaluated in all phases of the training.

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