How to Become a Game Warden in Delaware

Delaware’s game warden job applicants must be highly qualified to prove they are the best candidate for the job in this highly competitive field.  Competition is tough at both the state level and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which means that officer applicants should have a strong understanding of the concepts behind both environmental monitoring and law enforcement.

Typically, a warden's responsibilities extend to tasks like presenting information on environmental conservation laws, collecting data on the wildlife and habitats within their jurisdiction, and occasionally, even coordinating and participating in search and rescue endeavors. The geographic area that a game warden is responsible for is usually an entire county or larger portion of the state.

With stiff competition for open positions, applicants are advised to understand qualifications, best practices for applying and interviewing, and to know what the selection process entails in order to be successful.  It is also important to note that candidates with a flexible approach to the hiring process and that are prepared for multiple interviews would be best positioned for success.

Delaware Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

If you enjoy Delaware’s outdoors and also have an interest in law enforcement you may be already be a strong candidate for a Fish and Game Warden job in the state. For motivated men and women, this is a career path with exciting opportunities.

Game wardens in Delaware are also known as Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents and perform many tasks beyond just checking hunting licenses. In addition to enforcing laws and preventing poaching, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents present safety education classes and engage the public in conservation campaigns, as well as perform other duties typically carried out by law enforcement officers.

Every Enforcement Agent is certified as a law enforcement officer, which means that each candidate needs to be strong in the skills that make law enforcement officers successful, in addition to having an interest in wildlife advocacy and conservation.

Listed here are the minimum qualifications required to apply for the role of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agent in the state of Delaware. A full listing of the requirements can be found on Delaware’s Division of Fish and Wildlife website.

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Basic Job Qualifications

Age: 21 years of age or older is required at the time of the start of Police Basic Training throughout Delaware, which is the precursor to Fish and Game Warden training throughout the state

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. Citizenship or naturalization documents are required; applicants must show proof of Delaware residency

License: A valid Delaware-issued driver’s license is required.

Military Service: If formerly a member of the military, a discharge "Under Honorable Conditions" is required

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: Applicants must pass a fingerprint background check in order to continue the application process. The state of Delaware conducts an intensive check to ensure that applicants have:

  • Not used, transported, or purchased an illegal controlled substance
  • Not illegally manufactured, transported, purchased, distributed, or sold a controlled substance
  • Not presently on probation by court order
  • Not ever convicted of a felony offense
  • Not convicted of a crime of domestic violence
  • Never been discharged or resigned under threat of discharge from any law enforcement position

Academic Credentials: Completion of high school or GED is required. To become a Fish and Game Warden with the state, trainee wardens in Delaware will begin their training as basic law enforcement officers by completing a 568-hour course at one of six Police Basic Training Courses throughout the state.

Preparing for Police Academy and Enforcement Agent Training

Police Basic Training: Training begins with 568-hours of basic training at the state police academy. This segment of training includes:

  • Delaware Criminal law
  • Accident investigation
  • Driving techniques
  • Firearms training
  • Delaware criminal code
  • First responders
  • Homeland security
  • Information systems
  • Officer survival
  • Law of arrest, evidence, and search and seizures

Fish and Game Warden Training: Following successful Police Basic Training, game warden specific training takes place over the following year and covers:

  • Division of Fish and Wildlife-specific training and orientation
  • Hunting, fishing, and boating regulations and statutes
  • Boating and hunting accident investigations and reconstruction
  • Performing vessel safety checks
  • Reviewing environmental crimes and criminals
  • Performing small boat operations
  • Extensive field training

Interview: Candidates will have a face-to-face interview during the later stages of the application process

Hearing: The applicant must be able to hear with or without hearing aids, including long distance, directional and voice conversation hearing.

Vision: The applicant must have vision with both eyes, with or without corrective lenses or contact lenses.

Physical Readiness: The applicant must successfully complete a physical readiness test showing that he or she is in excellent physical condition. Candidates must also know how to swim in open water with competence.

Psychological Condition: The applicant must be in suitable psychological and emotional health to begin the hiring process and various phases of training

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge of current principles and practices of habitat resources, law enforcement and wildlife management
  • Computer spreadsheet, word processing, email, GIS, and database knowledge is required; the state uses customized programs for training and information delivery
  • Effectively plan, organize, and direct a variety of activities and projects as directed
  • Establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships within and outside of the department
  • Effectively operate and negotiate a 4-wheel drive vehicle on rugged terrain
  • Effectively operate boats, snowmobiles, and ATVs for patrol and pursuit
  • Effectively and safely use firearms and train others on firearm usage and safety
  • Professional development or college courses in natural resource management, recreation management, biology, biological sciences, agriculture, and law enforcement
  • Effective use of English including professional grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and composition; reading and comprehension for oral and verbal communication
  • Effective use of mathematics including advanced arithmetic, basic accounting, estimating, and data collection
  • Being bilingual is an asset.

Salaries for Game Wardens and Conservation Technicians with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

The median salary among game wardens in Delaware was $49,795 or $23.94 an hour according to the state’s Department of Labor (2015). The state’s game wardens earned an average salary of $47,378 or $22.78 per hour.

While wardens represent the law enforcement arm of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Division also employs conservation technicians that work to manage fish and wildlife populations within their native habitats and conduct important research. Delaware’s conservation technicians are paid under a different salary band as shown below (2017):

Conservation Technicians Level V

  • Minimum - $34,142
  • Midpoint - $42.678

Conservation Technician Level II

  • Minimum - $25,663
  • Midpoint - $32,079

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

89 Kings Hwy
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 739-9913

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Delaware State University

1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 857-6060
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology

Delaware Technical Community College-Owens

Route 18, Seashore Highway PO Box 610, Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 856-5400
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington

333 N. Shipley Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 571-5300
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Delaware Technical Community College-Terry

100 Campus Drive, Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 857-1000
  • Law Enforcement Administration

University of Delaware

104 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-2000
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

Wesley College

120 N State St, Dover, DE 19901-3875
Phone: (302) 736-2300
  • Biology

Wilmington University

320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720
Phone: (877) 967-5464
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Security and Protective Services