Fish and Wildlife Officer
Fish and wildlife officers protect, preserve and manage fish and wildlife resources.
Fish and wildlife officers protect, preserve and manage fish and wildlife resources.
Fishery Officer, Game Warden, Law Enforcement Officer, Natural Resource Officer
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:
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.
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
To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.
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.
To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.
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.
Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, fish and wildlife officers:
Fish and wildlife officers work closely with other agencies, non-governmental organizations and delegated administrative authorities operating on the same land base in the province. On occasion, they may be called upon to assist other local law enforcement agencies.
Fish and wildlife officers work in a wide variety of environments depending on:
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. However, there are some who work in wilderness areas that have few modern conveniences while others may be stationed in large urban areas. Lifting items weighing up to 10 kilograms is routinely required.
Fish and wildlife officers focus their efforts during times best suited to achieve law enforcement objectives. As a result, they 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.
Fish and wildlife officers need:
They should enjoy conducting patrols, compiling information, gathering evidence, and working with people and wildlife.
There are 2 options to become a fish and wildlife officer. Post-secondary graduates may apply to be an entry-level officer while graduates with directly related experience may apply to be a full-working officer.
The minimum education required for entry-level fish and wildlife officers is:
Full-working fish and wildlife officers must meet ONE of the following minimum educational requirements:
A 1-year conservation law enforcement certificate will be considered in lieu of some experience for applicants to both entry and full-working level positions. Applicants also must have:
Fish and wildlife officers must be eligible for peace officer status. They must also complete a Physical Abilities Readiness Evaluation (PARE) and psychological fitness examinations. For more information, visit the Government of Alberta, fish and wildlife officers website
Computer skills are a definite asset.
After job applications have been screened, there are 3 more stages in the candidate selection process:
Successful candidates receive 16 weeks of in-house training at the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy.
The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.
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.
There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.
In Alberta, fish and wildlife officers are employed by the Government of Alberta. 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 3 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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
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 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.
Starting salary for entry-level fish and wildlife officer ranges from $25.21 to $31.33 per hour or $47,539 to $59,076 annually (2016 estimate).
Starting salary for full-working-level officers ranges from $29.66 to $37.71 per hour or $55,912 to $71,090 annually (2016 estimate).
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.
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.
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.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
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* 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
Updated Mar 31, 2017. 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.