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Conservation Officer

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

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) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Conservation and Fishery Officers
2006 NOC : 2224

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
DIRECTIVE

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

METHODICAL

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

SOCIAL

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

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.



Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Sep 25, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2224: Conservation and fishery officers occupational group, 85.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

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.

Note
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 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.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Conservation and fishery officers

2016 NOC : 2224
Average Wage
$37.81
Per Hour
Average Salary
$71,932.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2224 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
8%
8%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
N/A
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Sep 25, 2019

ECO Canada website: www.eco.ca

Government of Alberta website, conservation officers career information: www.albertaparks.ca

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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