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Fish and Wildlife Officer

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

  • Avg. Salary $71,932.00
  • Avg. Wage $37.81
  • Minimum Education 3 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • 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) 
  • 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 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 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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
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

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.

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 Mar 31, 2017

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.

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).

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 Mar 31, 2017

Government of Alberta, fish and wildlife officers website:

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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