How to Become a Game Warden in Georgia

At present, entry-level game warden jobs are highly sought after in Georgia.  Competition for these jobs is intense at the state and federal levels due to both the relatively small number of positions available and the stringent qualifications required.  Successful applicants already enjoy the outdoors and have a strong desire to protect the beauty and natural resources of Georgia all while educating the public about environmental conservation.

Often, a single game warden is responsible for the enforcement of wildlife laws for a large region of the state. Typical job responsibilities while patrolling their jurisdiction can include biological duties like data collection and habitat management, tracking bird and mammal migration, among other conservation efforts.

Due to the stringent requirements and limited availability of jobs, game warden applicants often apply to multiple agencies and often spend at least a few months as part of a hiring pool of qualified applicants.  In a competitive job market, it is important to understand the minimum qualifications, requirements and hiring process so that applicants can be fully prepared for all stages of the selection process.  Read more to learn about game warden jobs in the state of Georgia.

Georgia Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

The Department of Natural Resources in Georgia requires all the Conservation Rangers in its employment to be certified peace officers. Conservations Rangers are driven by a strong desire to protect fish and wildlife in their native habitats and have a passion for law enforcement. Georgia’s Conservation Rangers are primarily committed to managing fish and game regulations, but as Peace Officers they may be called upon to enforce any Georgia law since they have statewide jurisdiction.

Additional responsibilities in this role include protecting Georgia’s natural resources from poachers, coordinating and promoting hunter education programs, firearm and boating safety training, surveying fish and wildlife in their habitats, as well as speaking to advocacy groups on safety, regulations and conservation issues. The diversity in the Conservation Ranger role means that candidates should be prepared to demonstrate their qualifications among a pool of other strong candidates.

Listed below are the minimum qualifications needed to become a Georgia Conservation Ranger. Additional information as well as job postings are made available to the public through the website at the Georgia Department Natural Resources – Law Enforcement Division.

Basic Qualifications for a Job with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Age: 21 years of age or older is required at the time of the start of training

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. Citizenship or naturalization documents are required; additionally, proof of Georgia residency is required

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

Military Service: If a retired member of any of the branches of United States 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 in the U.S.

Background and Legal History: Applicants must pass an intensive fingerprint background check in order to continue the application process to ensure that candidates have:

  • Not used, transported, or purchased an illegal controlled substance in the last 5 years
  • Not handled or sold a controlled substance
  • Are not currently on probation
  • Never been convicted of a felony offense
  • Never been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, misdemeanor or otherwise
  • Never been convicted of perjury or false statement
  • Never been discharged or resigned under threat of discharge from any law enforcement position
  • Never been charged with driving or boating under the influence of alcohol within past five years
  • Not been cited with traffic violations involving the refusal to submit to a breath/blood/urine test within five years
  • No more than four moving violations within the past three years

Academic Credentials: Completion of high school or GED is required. The completion of an Associate’s degree from an accredited college or university OR completion of 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university OR completion of an Associate’s degree from a Technical College is required. Georgia’s State Human Resources Department would like all applicants to note that that certificates and/or accumulated hours without an Associate’s degree do not qualify.

Additional Requirements: POST Entrance exam test scores (ASSET or COMPASS)

POST and WRD Training for Conservation Rangers

POST Basic Training:

  • Georgia Criminal Law
  • Accident investigation
  • Driving techniques including situational control, pursuit and evasion
  • Extensive Firearms training
  • First responder emergency protocols for fire and medical emergency
  • Homeland security
  • Information systems
  • Officer survival
  • Laws of arrest, evidence, and search and seizures

WRD Field Training Officer (FTO) Program

12 weeks of mentorship, classroom and practical training from colleagues and senior officers

DNR Academy

  • Fish and wildlife conservation laws
  • Land navigation and GPS usage
  • Water safety survival
  • Human tracking
  • Vessel Operation
  • Species ID

Field Training

  • Division of Fish and Wildlife-specific training and orientation
  • Hunting, fishing, and boating regulations and statutes
  • Performing vessel safety and violation checks
  • Environmental crimes
  • Small boat operations
  • Extensive field training
  • Probationary field-training period
  • 6 months

Additional Training

  • Annual in-service training updates consisting of a minimum of 20 hours each year are required.
  • Additionally, advanced training opportunities are available to Georgia’s Conservation Rangers such as:
    • S. Coast Guard National Boating School
    • Federal Marine Law Enforcement Training Program
    • FBI National Academy and Command College.

Interview: Candidates will have an oral interview to evaluate experience and knowledge in the areas of hunting, fishing, boating and related outdoor activities. Outward appearance and deportment may be assessed.

Polygraph Test: A series of questions detailing past experience with substance abuse and criminal activity will be asked of the applicant

Medical evaluation: The candidate’s vision, hearing, ENT, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, rectal, hernia, genital/urinary, back and neck, extremities, nervous system, emotional stability, and laboratory analysis will be evaluated.

Psychological Condition: The applicant must be in suitable psychological and emotional health as evaluated by a state physician

Hearing: The applicant must be able to hear in ‘normal’ settings and be without significant hearing loss.

Vision: The applicant must have better than 20/40 corrected binocular vision with a visual field of 160+ degrees. Candidates cannot be red/green color blind.

Physical Readiness: Georgia applicants must successfully complete a physical readiness test showing that he or she is able to complete:

  • ¾ mile run
  • ¾ mile obstacle run
  • Swim test – applicants must be able to swim 50-yards fully clothed

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrate professional command of English that includes attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and composition; reading and comprehension for oral and verbal communication will be evaluated
  • Demonstrate effective use of mathematics including advanced arithmetic, basic accounting, estimating, and data collection
  • Demonstrate any Receptive and expressive bilingual skills.
  • Knowledge of current principles and practices of wildlife management, law enforcement, psychology or other branches of the law
  • Computer spreadsheet, word processing, email, GIS, and database knowledge in a networked environment is required; the state uses bespoke programs for training and information delivery
  • Ability to take and follow orders and work under stress.
  • Ability to gather information by interviewing people.
  • Ability to use reasoning and judgment to make quick decisions on routine matters without immediate supervision.
  • Facility with media devices with the intent to create a presentation or participate in training
  • Effectively operate and negotiate a 4-wheel drive vehicle on rugged terrain
  • Effectively utilize boats, snowmobiles, and ATVs for patrol and pursuit
  • Effectively use firearms and train others on firearm usage and safety
  • Professional development or college courses in psychology, law enforcement, sociology, natural resources management or wildlife management

Salaries for Conservation Rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division shows the starting salary for new wardens to be $41,236.08 as of 2017. Wardens receive a salary bump in regular intervals throughout their careers and are also eligible for additional increases based on job performance. The DNR also offers a number of benefits to its game wardens, ranging from health and other types of insurance to tax-deferred compensation and retirement.

The Georgia Department of Labor reported that game wardens with several years of experience under their belt would typically earn $46,944 ($22.57 hourly). Salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the average salary for game wardens in Georgia rose by 13% between 2015 and 2016.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicated that game wardens in the Atlanta area earned exceptionally high salaries, exceeding the state average warden salary by 18%.

Georgia Law Enforcement Division

2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE
Social Circle, GA 30025
Phone: (770) 918-6408

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

2802 Moore Hwy, Tifton, GA 31793-2601
Phone: (229) 391-5001
  • Forest Resources Management
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology

Agnes Scott College

141 E. College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030-3770
Phone: (404) 471-6000
  • Biology

Albany State University

504 College Drive, Albany, GA 31705
Phone: (229) 430-4600
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Albany Technical College

1704 South Slappey Boulevard, Albany, GA 31701
Phone: (229) 430-3500
  • Criminal Justice

Andrew College

501College St, Cuthbert, GA 39840-5550
Phone: (229) 732-2171
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Armstrong State University

11935 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31419-1997
Phone: (912) 344-2576
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Security and Protective Services

Athens Technical College

800 U.S. Hwy 29 North, Athens, GA 30601
Phone: (706) 355-5000
  • Criminal Justice

Atlanta Metropolitan State College

1630 Metropolitan Parkway, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310-4448
Phone: (404) 756-4000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Atlanta Technical College

1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310-4446
Phone: (404) 225-4400
  • Criminal Justice

Augusta Technical College

3200 Augusta Tech Drive, Augusta, GA 30906
Phone: (706) 771-4000
  • Criminal Justice

Bainbridge State College

2500 E Shotwell St, Bainbridge, GA 39819
Phone: (866) 825-1715
  • Criminal Justice

Berry College

2277 Martha Berry Hwy NW, Mount Berry, GA 30149
Phone: (706) 232-5374
  • Biology

Brenau University

500 Washington Street SE, Gainesville, GA 30501-3668
Phone: (770) 534-6299
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Brewton-Parker College

201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
Phone: (912) 583-2241
  • Biology

Central Georgia Technical College

80 Cohen Walker Drive, Warner Robins, GA 31088
Phone: (478) 757-3400
  • Criminal Justice

Chattahoochee Technical College

980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE, Marietta, GA 30060
Phone: (770) 975-4064
  • Criminal Justice

Clark Atlanta University

223 James P Brawley Drive, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314-4391
Phone: (404) 880-8000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Clayton State University

2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow, GA 30260-0285
Phone: (678) 466-4000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Coastal Pines Technical College

1701 Carswell Ave, Waycross, GA 31503
Phone: (912) 287-5818
  • Criminal Justice

College of Coastal Georgia

One College Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520-3644
Phone: (912) 279-5700
  • Biology

Columbus State University

4225 University Ave, Columbus, GA 31907-5645
Phone: (706) 507-8800
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Columbus Technical College

928 Manchester Expy, Columbus, GA 31904-6572
Phone: (706) 649-1800
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Covenant College

14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750-4164
Phone: (706) 820-1560
  • Biology

Dalton State College

650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720-3797
Phone: (706) 272-4436
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

East Georgia State College

131 College Cir, Swainsboro, GA 30401
Phone: (478) 289-2000
  • Biology

Emmanuel College

181 Springs St, Franklin Springs, GA 30639
Phone: (706) 245-7226
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Emory University

408 Administration Building, 201 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: (404) 727-6123
  • Biology

Fort Valley State University

1005 State University Dr, Fort Valley, GA 31030-4313
Phone: (478) 825-6211
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia College and State University

231 W Hancock Street, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone: (478) 445-2770
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Georgia Gwinnett College

1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: (678) 407-5000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

225 North Ave, Atlanta, GA 30332-0530
Phone: (404) 894-2000
  • Biology

Georgia Military College

201 E Greene St, Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone: (478) 387-4900
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

One Maurice Culberson Drive, Rome, GA 30161
Phone: (706) 295-6963
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

495 N Indian Creek Dr, Clarkston, GA 30021-2397
Phone: (404) 297-9522
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia Regents University

1120 Fifteenth St, Augusta, GA 30912
Phone: (706) 721-0211
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia Southern University

Brannen Hall, Room 2015, 2670 Southern Drive, Statesboro, GA 30460-8126
Phone: (912) 478-5391
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Georgia Southwestern State University

800 Georgia Southwestern State University Dr., Americus, GA 31709-4693
Phone: (877) 871-4594
  • Biology

Georgia State University

33 gilmer st, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
Phone: (404) 413-2000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Gordon State College

419 College Dr, Barnesville, GA 30204
Phone: (678) 359-5555
  • Biology

Gwinnett Technical College

5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5702
Phone: (770) 962-7580
  • Criminal Justice

Kennesaw State University

1000 Chastain Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591
Phone: (770) 423-6000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

LaGrange College

601 Broad Street, Lagrange, GA 30240-2999
Phone: (706) 880-8000
  • Biology

Lanier Technical College

2990 Landrum Education Dr, Oakwood, GA 30566
Phone: (770) 531-6300
  • Criminal Justice

Life University

1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060
Phone: (800) 543-3202
  • Biology

Mercer University

1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207
Phone: (478) 301-2700
  • Biology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

Middle Georgia State College

100 College Station Drive, Macon, GA 31206
Phone: (478) 471-2700
  • Biology

Morehouse College

830 Westview Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30314
Phone: (404) 681-2800
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Moultrie Technical College

800 Veterans Parkway North, Moultrie, GA 31788
Phone: (229) 891-7000
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Criminal Justice

North Georgia Technical College

1500 Georgia Hwy 197 N, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Phone: (706) 754-7700
  • Criminal Justice

Oconee Fall Line Technical College

1189 Deepstep Rd, Sandersville, GA 31082
Phone: (478) 553-2050
  • Criminal Justice

Ogeechee Technical College

One Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd, Statesboro, GA 30458
Phone: (912) 681-5500
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Criminal Justice

Oglethorpe University

4484 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-2797
Phone: (404) 261-1441
  • Biology

Paine College

1235 15th St, Augusta, GA 30901-3182
Phone: (706) 821-8200
  • Biology

Piedmont College

1021 Central Ave, Demorest, GA 30535-0010
Phone: (706) 778-3000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Point University

507 West 10th Street, West Point, GA 31833
Phone: (706) 385-1000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Reinhardt University

7300 Reinhardt Circle, Waleska, GA 30183-2981
Phone: (770) 720-5600
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Savannah State University

3219 College Street, Savannah, GA 31404-5310
Phone: (912) 358-4778
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Security and Protective Services

Savannah Technical College

5717 White Bluff Rd, Savannah, GA 31405-5594
Phone: (912) 443-5700
  • Criminal Justice

Shorter University

315 Shorter Ave, Rome, GA 30165
Phone: (706) 291-2121
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

South Georgia Technical College

900 South GA Tech Parkway, Americus, GA 31709
Phone: (229) 931-2394
  • Criminal Justice

Southeastern Technical College

3001 E First St, Vidalia, GA 30474
Phone: (912) 538-3100
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Criminal Justice

Southern Crescent Technical College

501 Varsity Rd, Griffin, GA 30223-2042
Phone: (770) 228-7348
  • Criminal Justice

Southern Polytechnic State University

1100 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060-2896
Phone: (678) 915-4188
  • Biology

Southwest Georgia Technical College

15689 US Hwy 19 North, Thomasville, GA 31792-9960
Phone: (229) 225-4096
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Criminal Justice

Spelman College

350 Spelman Lane SW, Atlanta, GA 30314-4399
Phone: (404) 681-3643
  • Biology

Thomas University

1501 Millpond Rd, Thomasville, GA 31792
Phone: (800) 538-9784 x1000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Toccoa Falls College

107 Kincaid Drive, Toccoa Falls, GA 30598
Phone: (706) 886-6831
  • Biology

Truett-McConnell College

100 Alumni Dr, Cleveland, GA 30528
Phone: (706) 865-2134
  • Biology

University of Georgia

Administration Building, Athens, GA 30602
Phone: (706) 542-3000
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism
  • Forestry
  • Forest Sciences and Biology
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Law Enforcement Administration

University of North Georgia

82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597
Phone: (706) 864-1400
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

University of West Georgia

1601 Maple St, Carrollton, GA 30118-0001
Phone: (678) 839-5000
  • Biology

Valdosta State University

1500 N Patterson St, Valdosta, GA 31698
Phone: (229) 333-5800
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Wesleyan College

4760 Forsyth Rd, Macon, GA 31210-4462
Phone: (478) 477-1110
  • Biology

West Georgia Technical College

176 Murphy Campus Blvd., Waco, GA 30182
Phone: (770) 537-6000
  • Criminal Justice

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

4089 Val Tech Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602
Phone: (229) 333-2100
  • Criminal Justice

Young Harris College

1 College Street, Young Harris, GA 30582
Phone: (706) 379-3111
  • Biology