In Oklahoma, the Department of Wildlife Conservation employs game wardens at the state level. The state is one of the most ecologically diverse in the country with more than 760 different species of wildlife. Hunting and fishing are so popular in Oklahoma that sportsmen are allowed to enjoy more than 1.6 million acres of wilderness area.
Oklahoma’s game wardens are trained law enforcement officers who also serve as stewards of the state’s natural resources. They help biologists perform tasks like assessing the status of fish populations in a particular lake, which helps anglers decide where to fish.
Another aspect of their jobs involves helping the public. This service ranges from speaking to schools and scout groups to helping teach gun safety and hunter education courses.
With such an array of skills required, Oklahoma’s game wardens must be experts in a variety of areas. The state sets the bar high for game wardens, since they are in the public eye and the face of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Therefore, becoming a game warden in Oklahoma is a challenging endeavor. Applicants who are highly familiar with the selection criteria and the application process will be best prepared for success.
Oklahoma Game Warden Eligibility Requirements
The ideal game warden job candidate in Oklahoma combines expertise in law enforcement with a love of the natural environment and the great outdoors. In addition to protecting the diverse array of fish, birds, and game that call Oklahoma home, the state’s game wardens may be called upon to enforce any law within state jurisdiction. Oklahoma’s game wardens also work in partnership with federal law enforcement and other state agencies.
Basic Conservation Officer Job Qualifications
The website of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation lists additional information along with job postings.
Age: 18 years of age or older before beginning training
Citizenship: Proof of U.S. citizenship or of permanent resident alien status; must be a citizen at time of appointment and a resident of Oklahoma.
License: A valid Oklahoma-issued driver’s license is required. Individuals must maintain an acceptable driving record.
Military Service: Applicants who are former members of the United States military require ‘Under Honorable Conditions’ discharge documentation.
Work Eligibility: New employees must present original documents that establish identity and eligibility for U.S. employment opportunities as per federal law – applicants must be eligible to accept employment before the process continues
Background and Legal History: Candidates should be aware that they are subject to a thorough background investigation in order to continue the application process. Disqualifying elements include:
- Convicted of a felony in Oklahoma or any other state;
- Convicted of any offense in any state that would have been a felony if committed in Oklahoma
- Determined to be a sex offender
- Addicted or in danger of becoming addicted to narcotics
- Convicted of any offense which precludes you from carrying a firearm under State or federal law
- Failed drug testing prior to employment
Academic Credentials: High school diploma or GED is required; while a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management or natural resources management is preferred, candidates should have at least 16 hours of courses related to this field in order to be considered.
- Standardized employment exam for prospective game wardens.
- Personal references
Law Enforcement and Field Training
Law Enforcement Training
576 hours from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) which covers the following topics:
- Field training
- Six months of on the job training in groups and partnered with senior officers.
Interview: Candidates will have an in-person panel interview session during the later stages of the application process
Medical Condition: The applicant must be examined by a licensed physician to ensure that they are in good health.
Hearing: The applicant must have good hearing that is adequate to perform all the essential duties and functions of a Warden while unaided and which includes discerning sounds in an environment of ambient noise.
Vision: Visual acuity of 20/20 either corrected or uncorrected. Normal binocular color vision with standard peripheral vision. Applicants who have undergone corrective eye surgery to meet minimum visual standards may be required to submit additional information.
Physical Readiness: The applicant must be in sound physical condition and able to swim. Applicants must successfully complete every component of the physical readiness testing in the allotted timeframe.
Psychological Condition: The applicant must be in good psychological and emotional health to complete training and be eligible for hire
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications
- Required to carry and deploy various firearms and weaponry
- Demonstrate an aptitude for collecting and preserving evidence, writing reports, and testifying in court.
- Ability to promote and coordinate hunter education programs
- Ability to collect and report information on the conditions of fish and wildlife and their habitat
- Professional development or college courses in natural resource management, criminology, psychology, business management or sciences
- Ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, database and email software in a networked environment
- Mechanical aptitude and logical thinking.
- Ability to use professional level English grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and composition; reading and comprehension
- Ability to use foundational math skills including advanced arithmetic, payroll/accounts receivable, and estimation
- Additional languages are an asset
Salaries for Environmental Investigators with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported that environmental investigators earned an average salary of $51,770 ($24.89/hour) as of 2015. Experienced investigators earned within the top 25%, making an average of $58,594 ($28.17/hour), while their less experienced colleagues in the lower 25% earned an average of $43,867 ($21.09/hour) that year.
Oklahoma’s job site provides salary ranges for different levels of environmental investigators as of 2017. Level III investigators supervise investigations, while level IV employees oversee the environmental investigators and support staff. The ranges within each level represent the difference in pay associated with different levels of education, experience, time-in with the Department and locality pay:
- Environmental Investigator 1: $31,848 – $58,388
- Environmental Investigator II: $35,032 – $64,226
- Environmental Investigator III: $38,885 - $71,288
- Environmental Investigator IV: $43,163 – $79,132
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
2145 NE 36th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-4640
2299 Old Bacone Rd, Muskogee, OK 74403-1597
Phone: (918) 683-4581 x7340
2800 West Gore Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505-6377
Phone: (580) 581-2200
Carl Albert State College
1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208
Phone: (918) 647-1200
Connors State College
Route 1, Warner, OK 74469
Phone: (918) 463-2931
East Central University
1100 E. 14th Street, Ada, OK 74820-6999
Phone: (580) 332-8000
Eastern Oklahoma State College
1301 W Main St, Wilburton, OK 74578-4999
Phone: (918) 465-2361
Great Plains Technology Center
4500 W Lee Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505-8399
Phone: (580) 355-6371
102 Page Hall, Langston, OK 73050
Phone: (405) 466-3428
Mid-America Christian University
3500 SW 119th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73170-9797
Phone: (405) 691-3800
Murray State College
One Murray Campus, Tishomingo, OK 73460
Phone: (580) 387-7000
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
200 I St NE, Miami, OK 74354
Phone: (918) 542-8441
Northeastern State University
600 N Grand, Tahlequah, OK 74464-2399
Phone: (918) 456-5511
Northern Oklahoma College
1220 E Grand Ave, Tonkawa, OK 74653
Phone: (580) 628-6200
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
709 Oklahoma Blvd, Alva, OK 73717-2799
Phone: (580) 327-1700
Oklahoma Baptist University
500 W University, Shawnee, OK 74804
Phone: (405) 275-2850
Oklahoma Christian University
2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond, OK 73013-1100
Phone: (405) 425-5000
Oklahoma City University
2501 N Blackwelder, Oklahoma City, OK 73106-1402
Phone: (405) 208-5000
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
323 Eagle Ave, Goodwell, OK 73939-0430
Phone: (580) 349-2611
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
107 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
Phone: (405) 744-5000
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City
900 N Portland, Oklahoma City, OK 73107-6195
Phone: (405) 947-4421
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
2201 Silver Lake Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74006-6299
Phone: (918) 333-6151
Oral Roberts University
7777 S Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74171
Phone: (918) 495-6161
Rogers State University
1701 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017-3252
Phone: (918) 343-7777
Rose State College
6420 S E 15th, Midwest City, OK 73110-2799
Phone: (405) 733-7311
Seminole State College
2701 Boren Blvd, Seminole, OK 74868-1901
Phone: (405) 382-9950
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
1405 N 4th Ave, Durant, OK 74701-0609
Phone: (580) 745-2000
Southern Nazarene University
6729 NW 39th Expy, Bethany, OK 73008
Phone: (405) 789-6400
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
100 Campus Dr, Weatherford, OK 73096-3098
Phone: (580) 772-6611
St. Gregory's University
1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee, OK 74804
Phone: (405) 878-5100
Tulsa Community College
6111 E Skelly Dr, Tulsa, OK 74135-6198
Phone: (918) 595-7000
Tulsa Technology Center-Peoria Campus
3850 N Peoria, Tulsa, OK 74106-1619
Phone: (918) 828-2000
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N University Dr, Edmond, OK 73034
Phone: (405) 974-2000
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019-3072
Phone: (405) 325-0311
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
17th Street and Grand Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018-5322
Phone: (405) 224-3140
University of Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
Phone: (918) 631-2000
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