Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up

Conservation Officer

Conservation officers manage resources, visitor services, maintenance and recreation in provincial parks and educate the public about related issues.

  • Avg. Salary $70,214.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.99
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Environmental Technician/Technologist, Investigator, Park Ranger, Ranger, Law Enforcement Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Conservation and Fishery Officers (2224) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Conservation and Fishery Officers (C124) 
  • 2011 NOC: Conservation and fishery officers (2224) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Conservation Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Conservation and Fishery Officers

Interest in driving - operating to conduct patrols by truck, aircraft, boat or on foot to ensure compliance with provincial and federal statutes relating to fish, wildlife and the environment; and in implementing and supervising approved techniques in preventing and overcoming damage caused by wildlife


Interest in compiling information when investigating complaints and arresting violators; and in gathering resource data by making inventories of fish, collecting water samples and assisting biologists in scientific research


Interest in speaking with the public to generate awareness of fish and wildlife conservation and regulations; and in supervising or providing firearms safety training courses and trapper education courses

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Feb 20, 2015

Conservation officers work directly with the public in provincial parks. Their objectives are to:

  • safeguard people while they are visiting parks
  • minimize conflict between park visitors
  • protect the natural resources of the park.

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, conservation officers:

  • offer information and assistance to park visitors
  • monitor and manage resources
  • co-ordinate forest fire suppression activities
  • supervise and train park employees
  • respond to correspondence, complete reports and prepare budgets
  • investigate violations and ensure compliance with resource related laws and regulations
  • conduct search and rescue operations as needed
  • inform policy makers and wildlife investigators
  • make presentations and conduct public outreach activities
  • contribute to park management and operational plans
  • co-operate with wildlife researchers in development management and enforcement strategies
  • supervise the construction or repair of facilities and maintenance of equipment.

Conservation officers frequently patrol their areas by truck, boat or plane, or on foot, skis or horseback. They watch for potential hazards and assess the condition of the park, its wildlife and other natural resources.

Conservation officers are trained in first aid and life saving techniques and must take charge of the situation when visitors are lost, injured or endangered. They work in co-operation with police, fish and wildlife officers, and other resource management and enforcement agencies.

Working Conditions
Updated Feb 20, 2015

Conservation officers work indoors and outdoors, sometimes in extreme weather conditions or rough terrain. Travel is required, sometimes by unusual modes of transport such as canoe, snowmobile or horseback. Some risk is involved in capturing and handling animals and enforcing regulations.

Hours of work include weekends and holidays, and may include night shifts or split shifts. Overtime may be required to respond to violations or events involving serious conflict between humans and wildlife.

Lifting up to 10 kilograms is routinely required; heavier lifting may be required in some circumstances.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Feb 20, 2015

Conservation officers need the following characteristics:

  • tact, diplomacy and excellent interpersonal skills 
  • an interest in nature and concern for the environment
  • good health and physical conditioning
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent problem solving skills.

They should enjoy conducting patrols, compiling information and working with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 20, 2015

The minimum education requirement for conservation officers is a related four year bachelor's degree. Computer skills are a definite asset.

Science degree programs are offered by post-secondary institutions throughout Alberta.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

University of Calgary

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Feb 20, 2015

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 20, 2015

Conservation officers are employed by the Government of Alberta. They may be posted or transferred to any provincial park in Alberta and most officers are transferred at least once during their first few years of employment. Some positions are seasonal.

Experienced conservation officers may specialize in a particular type of work or advance to supervisory positions.

Conservation officers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2224: Conservation and Fishery Officers. In Alberta, 91% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 20, 2015

Conservation and fishery officers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $25.32 $35.71 $31.54 $29.78
Overall $28.85 $44.75 $36.99 $35.66
Top $31.46 $44.75 $39.68 $37.86

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies

Updated Mar 01, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?