Wildlife Conservation Officer

Keep animals safe from illegal hunting and poaching.
picture of Wildlife Conservation Officer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Wildlife Conservation Officers do?

A Wildlife Conservation Officer is a Police Officer, but instead of people, he or she protects animals and natural environments. Just like city Police Officers, Wildlife Conservation Officers uphold laws, arrest criminals, and respond to emergency calls. The difference is you do it in the great outdoors.

Wildlife Conservation Officers work in natural parks and game preserves. During hunting season, you check Hunters ’ licenses to ensure correct registration. You also see to it that they’re hunting the correct animals for the season, and only hunting the allowed number.

A big part of this job involves watching for poaching, which is the illegal killing animals. Hunting is illegal if the species is a protected one or if the animals are killed out of season. Hunting laws exist to keep animal populations from dwindling, and to give them time to safely mate and raise their young.

You also protect fish populations. Just like hunting licenses, fishing licenses are required, so you check these and make sure that rivers and lakes don’t get overfished.

Keep in mind that this can be a dangerous job. You deal with people who have just finished hunting, and are armed with either a gun or a knife. You combat this threat by carrying a gun yourself.

When you’re not out in the wild looking for illegal activity, you work with the community to raise awareness about conservation issues. One day, you might visit a school to teach kids about endangered species, and the next, you might meet with a hunting club to educate them on the latest hunting laws and regulations.

Should I be a Wildlife Conservation Officer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Conservation Enforcement Officer, District Wildlife Manager, State Conservation Officer, Wildlife Control Agent See More

    How to Become a
    Wildlife Conservation Officer

    Most Wildlife Conservation Officers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:hhh9aa&chl=no+college+%289%25%29|certificate+%289%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2874%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,9,74
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