Fish and Game Wardens


Employment Prospects


There are about 6,500 fish and game wardens in the United States. The largest number of jobs in the field is found with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies of the Department of the Interior—such as the National Park Service. Individual states also have positions in this area; contact your local state government, especially the state's park association. In Illinois, for example, you might contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Starting Out

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fills jobs in various ways, including promoting or reassigning current employees, transferring employees from other federal agencies, rehiring former federal employees, or hiring applicants from outside the federal service. Some summer jobs are also filled by hiring applicants. Applications for these positions must be submitted during a specified period—usually sometime between January and April of each year. The number and types of temporary positions vary from year to year. Contact the regional office nearest you to learn about current opportunities.

For information about specific Fish and Wildlife Service job openings, visit Career planning and placement directors at colleges and universities can supply career information and training opportunities. Also, state employment or job services offices maintain listings of federal position vacancies. These offices can help you obtain the necessary forms to apply for jobs or direct you to sources for additional information.

Advancement Prospects

Prospects for advancement in this field improve greatly if fish and game wardens are willing to relocate. While they certainly can be promoted within their own facility, relocation opens up the possibility of taking a higher position whenever one opens up at any U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service location around the country. Fish and game wardens can advance to managerial positions with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or other federal, state, and local agencies. A fish and game warden might also advance by moving from employment at a local agency to a state or federal agency. 

Tips for Entry

Visit for information on careers with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Visit for job listings.

Read Field Notes ( to learn about the activities and accomplishments of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Volunteer with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to learn more about the field and build your professional network. Visit for more information.

Be willing to relocate. It may open more job opportunities.