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Fish and Wildlife Officer

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

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) 
  • 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 Mar 31, 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 wildlife control measures they can use 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, 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 land base in the province. On occasion, they may be called upon to assist other local law enforcement agencies.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Fish and wildlife officers work in a wide variety of environments depending on:

  • the geographic location in which they are posted
  • proximity to large urban centres
  • the ratio of public to private land
  • the presence of remote regions
  • 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. 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.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Fish and wildlife officers need:

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

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Minimum Education 3 years post-secondary

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:

  • conservation law enforcement degree OR
  • natural resource management diploma and several years of directly related experience OR
  • related bachelor of science degree.

Full-working fish and wildlife officers must meet ONE of the following minimum educational requirements:

  • conservation law enforcement degree and several years of directly related experience
  • natural resource management diploma and many years of directly related experience
  • related bachelor of science degree and several years of directly related experience.

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:

  • valid Class 5 driver’s license and clean driving record
  • defensive driving certification
  • current standard first aid with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • clean criminal record
  • eligibility to qualify for firearms certification.

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:

  • 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.

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 Mar 31, 2017
  • Certification Not Regulated

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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:

  • 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)
  • 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.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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.

Conservation and fishery officers

2016 NOC: 2224
Average Wage
$39.56
Per Hour
Average Salary
$74,795.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% 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 $29.96 $38.34 $32.67 $29.96
Overall $33.58 $45.02 $39.56 $38.09
Top $38.09 $45.57 $41.28 $38.09

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
51%
51%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
0%
0%
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Government of Alberta, fish and wildlife officers website: www.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife-officer.aspx

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

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.

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