What Do Fish and Game Wardens Do?
Fish and game wardens ensure hunters and other woods enthusiasts obey fish and game laws as well as issue hunting licenses. They patrol assigned areas looking for improper hunting practices and may seize equipment deemed illegal according to established regulations. Additionally, wardens will investigate property and crop damage to determine the cause and solution of the issue. They also compile important biological data and document any important changes to the environment.
Fish and Game Wardens Skills and Abilities
Fish and game wardens are especially in tune with nature and are afforded the opportunity to develop those skills in addition to others. Many of these abilities will be learned in the field thorough experience. Useful professional abilities include:
- Critical thinking: When investigating in particular, wardens must use context clues to pinpoint the root of a problem and figure out how to fix it.
- Active listening: During interviews, warden will need to focus entirely on the interviewee’s responses and body language. They should ask relevant question without interrupting unnecessarily.
- Problem sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is about to go wrong is just as useful as the being capable of solving the problem. Avoiding an issue entirely is also an incredibly effective solution.
- Clear speech: Wardens interact with many different types of people and they must be able to verbally communicate effectively on a person-to-person basis.
Fish and Game Wardens Duties
Each employer will require slightly different procedures, but generally, a game warden’s daily tasks will fall into these classifications:
- Gathering information: From regulation violators to property damage investigations, wardens must be efficient in their information gathering as it drives many other daily tasks.
- Operating vehicles and other equipment: Through their post, wardens will have the opportunity to work with various vehicles like forklifts, watercrafts and aircraft. They must remain up to speed on proper operating techniques.
- Resolving issues: Wardens oversee permits, lawbreakers and property damage reports, which means they have amply opportunity to solve a multitude of problems on a consistent basis.
- Communicating with a team: Wardens work with colleagues, superiors and subordinates and must be able to effectively communicate with everyone in order to keep the team working cohesively.
- Communicating with citizens: These professionals work directly with average citizens as they patrol areas, issue permits and help in property damage cases. As with coworkers, wardens must be able to communicate successfully.
Fish and Game Wardens Tools and Technology
Because they work outdoors, fish and game warden have access to a number of hunting-related equipment as well as tailored software systems. In a typical career, a warden can expect to encounter:
- Database interfaces
- Four wheel drive vehicles
- Map building software
- Military rifles
- GPS programs
Education and Training for Fish and Game Wardens
If you are considering this profession, you will need at least a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. Working field professionals are equally split between having a diploma, some college and a bachelor’s degree, but usually only a diploma is required. Entry-level hires are given short-term training on-the-job.
Fish and Game Wardens Salary
In this field, even entry-level professionals are expected to do well as the bottom ten percent of the job market makes an average of $32,700 annually. The median national average is set at a respectable $50,900, while the top ten percent make upwards of $75,700. While these numbers will change state to state, they are an accurate representation of the current job market.
Fish and Game Wardens Jobs by Geography
Florida, Georgia and Texas have the highest number of employed industry professionals. Texas also leads the nation in job market growth followed by Arkansas and North Dakota. If you have a passion for the outdoors, a career as a fish and game warden may right for you.