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Park Warden

Park wardens are responsible for natural and cultural resource management, public safety and law enforcement in Canada's national parks.

  • Avg. Salary $70,214.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.99
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Law Enforcement Officer, Ranger

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 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Park Warden 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 Oct 20, 2014

Park wardens have the following primary responsibilities:

  • research, monitor and manage heritage resources in national parks
  • provide first aid and search and rescue services to the public and park staff
  • enforce the Canada National Parks Act and regulations
  • assist in the protection of the heritage resources of the park
  • serve as public spokespersons regarding changes, threats and activities in parks.

To accomplish these objectives, they have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • monitor and manage resources
  • conduct research related to resource management
  • co-ordinate forest fire suppression activities
  • supervise and train park employees
  • offer information and assistance to park visitors, residents and staff
  • conduct search and rescue operations as needed
  • respond to correspondence, complete reports and prepare budgets
  • contribute to park management and operational plans
  • supervise the construction or repair of facilities and maintenance of equipment
  • conduct statistical surveys
  • enforce specific laws and regulations.

Park wardens frequently patrol front and back country areas of the park by truck, boat or plane, or on foot, skis or horseback. They watch for potential hazards and assess the condition of the park, its wildlife and other natural resources.

Park wardens are trained in first aid and rescue techniques, and respond when people are lost, injured or endangered. They work in co-operation with police, provincial conservation officers, and other resource management and enforcement agencies.

Park wardens spend much of their time implementing resource management plans and conducting environmental assessments to ensure the continued health of park ecosystems. This involves research, monitoring wildlife, capturing animals and relocating them in rare instances when they pose a public safety hazard. In some national parks, park wardens may specialize in resource management, law enforcement or public safety.

Working Conditions
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Park wardens work both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather conditions and terrain. Some risk is involved in capturing and handling animals and enforcing regulations. Lifting up to 20 kilograms is routinely required; heavier lifting may be required in some circumstances.

The work may be seasonal or year round. To deal with emergencies, park wardens may be required to be on call during off-duty hours.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Park wardens need the following characteristics:

  • a keen interest in all aspects of nature and a serious concern for the environment
  • communication skills and self-confidence
  • tact, diplomacy and the ability to deal effectively with difficult people and situations
  • the ability to cope with heavy workloads
  • good health and physical conditioning
  • an aptitude for outdoor travel such as driving, hiking and riding
  • the ability to take on a leadership role and remain calm in stressful situations.

They should enjoy:

  • working outdoors in various geographic and weather conditions
  • taking responsibility for projects, individually or as part of a team
  • compiling information and gathering data and samples
  • working with people.
Educational Requirements
Updated Oct 20, 2014

The minimum education requirement for park wardens isa bachelor of science degree from a recognized university with an emphasis on natural sciences. Conditions of employment include:

  • a valid driver's license
  • a valid first aid certificate
  • Pleasure Craft Operators Card
  • Canadian Firearms Safety Course
  • no criminal record.

Experience and expertise in hiking, skiing, boating, mountain climbing, wilderness camping, horseback-riding and using a firearm are definite assets. 

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.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Oct 20, 2014

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Park wardens are employed by the federal government. On average, 15 to 20 new wardens are hired across Canada each year.

Many post-secondary students gain valuable experience by working in national parks during the summer. They may work as seasonal groundskeepers, equipment operators, maintenance workers, lifeguards, gate attendants or interpretive assistants. Student positions related to warden service include researcher, initial attack (fire) crew, non-native plant crew and patrol person.

Newly employed park wardens gradually take on more responsibility and may advance to more specialized positions in larger parks. Advancement to specialist positions may require a master's degree and considerable experience.

Park wardens 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 Oct 20, 2014

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 High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
    • Wildlife
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Parks Canada 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 Works 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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