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Conservation Officer

Conservation officers protect and manage natural resources and visitors in parks and on public lands.

  • Avg. Salary $71,932.00
  • Avg. Wage $37.81
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Investigator, Law Enforcement Officer, Natural Resource Officer, Park Ranger, Peace 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) 
  • 2016 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 Sep 25, 2019

A conservation officer’s duties and responsibilities vary. In general, they:

  • Safeguard park visitors
  • Minimize conflict  among visitors
  • Protect natural resources in parks and on public lands
  • Patrol geographic areas to monitor    recreational users, anglers, and hunters
  • Enforce federal and provincial laws, regulations, rules, and orders relating to recreation, fish, and wildlife
  • Investigate complaints, apprehend violators, prepare administrative and court documents, issue summonses and warnings, and prepare and present evidence in court
  • Investigate complaints about human-wildlife conflict, take appropriate control measures, and advise recreational visitors about effective wildlife control measures  to implement on their own
  • Deliver public service programs such as school presentations and public education activities
  • Supervise and train park employees
  • Respond to correspondence, complete reports, and issue permits
  • Conduct search-and-rescue operations
  • Contribute to park management and operational plans

Conservation officers frequently patrol their areas by truck, foot, boat, off-highway vehicle (OHV) and sometimes by plane, snowmobile, skis, or horseback. They watch for potential hazards and assess the condition of the park, its wildlife, and its other natural resources.

Conservation officers are trained in first aid and lifesaving techniques and must take charge when visitors are lost, injured, or in danger. They work in cooperation with other first responders and law enforcement agencies to assist visitors in need.

Working Conditions
Updated Sep 25, 2019

Conservation officers work indoors and outdoors, sometimes in extreme weather, remote areas, or rough terrain. Risk may be involved in the management of wildlife and during the enforcement of legislation.

Hours of work include evenings, weekends, and holidays, and may include split shifts or standby shifts. Overtime may be required in order to respond to complaints or serious occurrences.

Lifting up to 10 kilograms is routinely required; lifting over 45 kilograms may be required in some circumstances.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Sep 25, 2019

Conservation officers need:

  • An interest in nature and genuine concern for the environment
  • Good health and strong physical condition
  • Tact, diplomacy, and the ability to deal effectively with difficult people and situations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong oral/written communication skills
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Excellent problem- solving skills

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Sep 25, 2019

The minimum educational requirement for conservation officers is a 4-year degree or applied degree in conservation, natural resource management, law enforcement, or related fields.

Education equivalency will be considered. For example, a technical diploma or certificate in enforcement combined with a minimum of 2 years (24 months) directly related work experience.

Computer skills are a definite asset.

Applicants must be eligible for a Peace Officer appointment.

Conservation officers are expected to maintain current CPR and standard first- aid training and to have a valid Class 5 operator’s licence.

Required Education

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

Related Education

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

Canadian Criminal Justice Academy

Medicine Hat College

Mount Royal University

NorQuest College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Alberta

University of Victoria

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Sep 25, 2019

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Sep 25, 2019

Conservation officers are employed by the Government of Alberta. They may be posted or transferred to districts across Alberta. Most officers are transferred at least once during their first few years of employment.

Experienced conservation officers may specialize in particular types 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 [pdf] 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 2224: Conservation and fishery officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 0 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Sep 25, 2019
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 $27.96 $38.26 $32.02 $29.78
Overall $29.42 $44.75 $37.81 $36.08
Top $33.41 $44.75 $40.28 $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
Other Sources of Information
Updated Sep 25, 2019

ECO Canada website:

Government of Alberta website, conservation officers career information:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Sep 25, 2019. 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.

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