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Fish and Wildlife Officer

Fish and wildlife officers protect, preserve and manage fish and wildlife resources.

  • Avg. Salary $70,214.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.99
  • Minimum Education 3 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Fishery Officer, Game Warden, Law Enforcement Officer, Natural Resource 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 Fish and Wildlife 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 Jan 12, 2017

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, fish and wildlife officers:

  • patrol geographic areas to monitor the activities of hunters, anglers, trappers, commercial fishers and industry
  • enforce federal and provincial laws, regulations, rules and orders relating to fish and wildlife resources
  • provide information and answer questions from hunters, anglers, trappers, commercial fishers, landowners, students, industry and the media
  • investigate complaints, apprehend violators, prepare administrative and court documents, issue summonses and warnings, and prepare and present evidence in court
  • take accurate notes and testify as a witness for the prosecution at trial
  • investigate complaints about nuisance and problem wildlife, take appropriate control measures and advise landowners and industry about effective wildlife control measures they can implement on their own
  • deliver public service programs such as presentations in schools and at sport club meetings
  • co-operate with wildlife researchers and collect related data (for example, conduct wildlife inventories or collect samples to assist with natural resource research)
  • maintain government issue equipment
  • recommend changes or amendments to legislation and regulations, and hunting/fishing seasons and methods of harvest
  • issue licenses and permits, or provide information to licensing agents
  • inspect commercial operations (for example, taxidermy shops, furriers, tanners, game bird farms, outfitters or guides).

Fish and wildlife officers work closely with other agencies, non-governmental organizations and delegated administrative authorities operating on the same landbase in the province. On occasion, they may be called upon to assist other local law enforcement agencies.

Working Conditions
Updated Jan 12, 2017

Fish and wildlife officers work in a wide variety of environments depending on the geographic location in which they are posted, its proximity to large urban centres, the ratio of public to private land, the presence of remote regions and the numbers of lakes, streams and species of wildlife and fish in the district. The work of a fish and wildlife officer may involve strenuous physical activity and exposure to harsh environmental conditions. Officers must have basic swimming skills. Travel is required, sometimes by unusual modes of transport such as canoe, snowmobile or horseback. Most officers live and work in rural communities; some work in wilderness areas that have few modern conveniences. Some officers may be stationed in large urban areas. Lifting items weighing up to 10 kilograms is routinely required.

Since fish and wildlife officers focus their efforts during times best suited to achieve law enforcement objectives, they are expected to work unusual hours. Hours of work include weekends and holidays, and may include night shifts, split shifts or standby shifts. Overtime may be required to respond to violations or events involving serious conflict between humans and wildlife.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jan 12, 2017

Fish and wildlife officers need the following characteristics:

  • an interest in hunting, fishing, trapping, nature and genuine concern for the environment
  • good health and physical conditioning
  • the ability to handle periods of isolation
  • strong oral and written communication skills
  • tact, diplomacy and the ability to deal effectively with difficult people and situations
  • excellent problem solving skills.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Jan 12, 2017

The minimum education requirement for fish and wildlife officers is a two year resource management diploma plus a one year conservation law certificate and one year related experience. Preference is given to candidates who have a four year applied degree in conservation enforcement. Applicants also must have the following qualifications:

  • at least eight to twelve months of directly related experience
  • a valid driver's license
  • a clean criminal record.

Computer skills are a definite asset.

After job applications have been screened, there are three more stages in the candidate selection process:

  • a personal interview
  • an in-depth background or reference check
  • comprehensive vision, hearing, medical and psychological evaluations.

Successful candidates receive 16 weeks of in-house training at the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy in Hinton.

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.

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 Jan 12, 2017

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jan 12, 2017

In Alberta, fish and wildlife officers are employed by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. They may be posted to any of 61 districts in the province and are usually transferred at least once during their first years of employment.

After three years of employment, fish and wildlife officers may advance to district fish and wildlife officer positions. District officers are in charge of an assigned district and operate independently.

Fish and wildlife 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 Jan 12, 2017

Starting salary for a fish and wildlife officer ranges from $50,290 to $63,942 a year. (2012 estimate)

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
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jan 12, 2017

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

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.

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