Fish and Game Wardens


Fish and Game Wardens


Fish and game wardens once solely protected wildlife, but in addition to that original purpose, they now perform a wide variety of tasks related to natural resource management, public information, and law enforcement. Jobs falling under this category in the federal government include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents, federal law enforcement officers, federal wildlife officers, wildlife inspectors, refuge rangers, and refuge officers. On a state or municipal level, the job title might be conservatio...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Prior experience in law enforcement, the military, or related env





Personality Traits



Like all federal employees, those who work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earn salaries as prescribed by law. Service employees are classified either as "general schedule" (GS) or as "wage grade" (WG). General schedule employees, the professional, technical, administrative, and clerical workers, receive annual salaries based on GS grades 1 through 15. Starting salaries for special agent...

Work Environment

With a number of different positions available, the work environment for each, of course, varies substantially. Wildlife inspectors, conservation police, and special agents generally spend a great deal of time outdoors, sometimes in remote areas, perhaps pursuing wildlife criminals. Yet they also need to spend time indoors, preparing detailed reports of their investigations and seeking addition...


Employment for fish and game wardens is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all careers through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This is a small field—only about 250 special agents work for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the largest employer of fish and game wardens—and there is strong competition for jobs at the federal, state, and local levels.

As w...