How to Become a Game Warden in Kansas

There is a need for qualified applicants in Kansas to fill game warden positions; however, competition for these jobs is fierce.  The natural resource officer role is both physically and mentally challenging - officers who work at the state level may have a jurisdiction that matches the boundaries of their nearest protected wildlife area and wetlands, whereas federal employees may manage an even larger region of the state or national reserve.

A game warden's job duties are extremely diverse and could include everything from providing court testimony for criminal offenses, performing search and rescue missions for persons missing in the area, tracking population data for fish, birds, and wildlife, and educating the public about wildlife conservation efforts.  Game wardens love the outdoors and should have a passion for protecting our natural resources.

In the face of stiff competition for available jobs, candidates are advised that waiting times can be lengthy, and relocating to accept an open position is not unheard of.  Therefore it's important to understand the hiring process and qualifications.  Read on to learn more about becoming a game warden in Kansas.

Kansas Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

With its unsullied plains and famous national parks, men and women who have career interests in both law enforcement and outdoor conservation have the right stuff to become of Kansas natural resource officer. Officers in Kansas are responsible for enforcing the state’s fish, wildlife, boating, and natural resource laws and regulations. Staff members also inspect and license game breeders, and regulate controlled shooting areas for safety purposes.

The role of a natural resource officer is a challenging one, which means that all applicants should be prepared to demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to be considered job ready. In order to help candidates succeed, outlined here are the minimum qualifications for game wardens in the state of Kansas - as outlined on the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website, eligibility criteria include:

Natural Resource Officer Basic Job Qualifications

Age: 21 years of age or older at the time of appointment

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. Citizenship or naturalization documents are required, as well as proof of residency in the state

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

Military Service: Kansans who are former military require an honorable discharge

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 an intensive fingerprint background check in order to continue the application process to ensure that candidates have:

  • No addictions to drugs or alcohol
  • Good moral character
  • Not been currently placed on probation
  • Not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude
  • Not convicted of a crime of domestic violence, misdemeanor or otherwise
  • Not been convicted of perjury or false statement
  • Never been discharged or resigned under threat of discharge from any law enforcement position

Academic Credentials: Completion of high school or GED; Bachelor’s degree in natural resources; additional experience may be substituted for education as determined relevant by the agency.

Additional Credentials

Certification as a law enforcement officer by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Commission while an employee is on ‘conditional’ status

Additional Requirements:

  • Personal information registration form (to obtain a State of Kansas Applicant ID Number)
  • A letter of interest
  • A resume
  • College transcript
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism employment application
  • A Release of Information Authorization form to facilitate a background check
  • A Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate with declaration

Interview: Candidates will have a formal panel interview with senior officers and human resources personnel to evaluate experience, knowledge, and demeanor

Medical Evaluation and Psychological Screening

Medical evaluation: Candidates must be in good health for a physically active outdoor role in law enforcement.

Hearing: The applicant must be able to demonstrate good hearing with or without hearing aids

Vision: The applicant must have good corrected or uncorrected binocular vision, and have color vision consistent with the demands of the job.

Physical Readiness: The applicant must successfully complete a physical readiness test showing that they are able to complete performance as shown on the state’s minimal physical fitness performance requirements chart, consisting of

  • Sit and Reach
  • Sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • 1.5 mile run

Psychological Condition: Candidates must have sound psychological and emotional health suitable for their potential job.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrate effective use of English including grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and composition; reading and comprehension for oral and verbal communication
  • Demonstrate effective use of mathematics including advanced arithmetic, basic accounting, estimating, and data collection
  • Demonstrate skills in additional languages.
  • Knowledge of current principles and practices of habitat resources, law enforcement and wildlife management
  • Computer spreadsheet, word processing, email, GIS, and database knowledge in a networked environment is required; the state uses proprietary programs for training and information delivery
  • Establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships within and outside of the department
  • Remain committed to professional development
  • Effectively operate and negotiate a 4-wheel drive vehicle, snowmobile, or ATV on rugged terrain for pursuit and patrol
  • Effectively use firearms and train others on firearm usage and safety
  • Familiarity with state and federal laws and regulations related to wildlife and the environment
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to engage with members of the public in a courteous manner;
  • Ability to work without supervision

Salaries for Game Wardens with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism

The Kansas Department of Labor reported the annual salaries and hourly wages for game wardens working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism as of 2015:


  • Entry-level – $44,220
  • Mean - $45,450
  • Experienced - $46,075


  • Entry-level – $21.26
  • Mean - $21.85
  • Experienced - $22.15

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Park, and Tourism

512 SE 25th Ave.
Pratt, KS 67124
Phone: (620) 672-5911

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Allen County Community College

1801 N Cottonwood, Iola, KS 66749
Phone: (620) 365-5116 x100
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Baker University

618 Eighth Street, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065
Phone: (785) 594-6451
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology

Barton County Community College

245 NE 30th Road, Great Bend, KS 67530
Phone: (620) 792-2701
  • Forestry
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Security and Protective Services

Benedictine College

1020 N 2nd St, Atchison, KS 66002-1499
Phone: (913) 367-5340
  • Biology

Bethany College

335 E Swensson St, Lindsborg, KS 67456-1897
Phone: (785) 227-3380 x8237
  • Biology

Bethel College-North Newton

300 E 27th St, North Newton, KS 67117-1716
Phone: (316) 283-2500
  • Biology

Butler Community College

901 S Haverhill Rd, El Dorado, KS 67042-3280
Phone: (316) 321-2222
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Central Christian College of Kansas

1200 S Main, McPherson, KS 67460-5740
Phone: (620) 241-0723 x331
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Cleveland University-Kansas City

10850 Lowell Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66210
Phone: (913) 234-0600
  • Biology

Dodge City Community College

2501 N 14th Ave, Dodge City, KS 67801-2399
Phone: (620) 225-1321
  • Biology

Emporia State University

1 Kellogg Circle, Emporia, KS 66801-5415
Phone: (620) 341-1200
  • Biology

Flint Hills Technical College

3301 W 18th St, Emporia, KS 66801-5957
Phone: (620) 343-4600 x1300
  • Security and Protective Services

Fort Hays State University

600 Park St, Hays, KS 67601-4099
Phone: (785) 628-4000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Friends University

2100 W. University Ave., Wichita, KS 67213
Phone: (316) 295-5000
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Garden City Community College

801 Campus Dr, Garden City, KS 67846-6333
Phone: (620) 276-7611 x571
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology

Hutchinson Community College

1300 N Plum St, Hutchinson, KS 67501
Phone: (620) 665-3500
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Biology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology
  • Security and Protective Services

Independence Community College

1057 West College Avenue, Independence, KS 67301-0708
Phone: (620) 331-4100
  • Biology

Johnson County Community College

12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210-1299
Phone: (913) 469-8500
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Kansas State University

Anderson Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: (785) 532-6011
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Wildlife Biology

Kansas Wesleyan University

100 E. Claflin Ave., Salina, KS 67401-6196
Phone: (785) 827-5541 x1285
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

McPherson College

1600 E Euclid, McPherson, KS 67460-1402
Phone: (620) 242-0400
  • Biology

MidAmerica Nazarene University

2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062-1899
Phone: (913) 782-3750
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Newman University

3100 McCormick Ave, Wichita, KS 67213-2097
Phone: (316) 942-4291
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Ottawa University-Online

1001 South Cedar, Ottawa, KS 66067
Phone: (785) 242-5200
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Ottawa University-Ottawa

1001 South Cedar, Ottawa, KS 66067-3399
Phone: (785) 242-5200
  • Biology

Pittsburg State University

1701 S Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762
Phone: (620) 231-7000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Seward County Community College and Area Technical School

1801 N. Kansas Ave., Liberal, KS 67901
Phone: (620) 624-1951
  • Biology

Southwestern College

100 College Street, Winfield, KS 67156-6224
Phone: (620) 229-6000
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Criminal Justice

Sterling College

125 W. Cooper, Sterling, KS 67579
Phone: (620) 278-2173
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Tabor College

400 S Jefferson, Hillsboro, KS 67063-1799
Phone: (620) 947-3121 x1056
  • Biology
  • Environmental Biology

University of Kansas

Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 230, Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: (785) 864-2700
  • Biology
  • Microbiology

University of Saint Mary

4100 S 4th St Trafficway, Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082
Phone: (913) 682-5151
  • Biology

Washburn University

1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS 66621-0001
Phone: (785) 670-1010
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Wichita State University

1845 N. Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0124
Phone: (316) 978-3456
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice