How to Become a Game Warden in Nebraska

Game wardens in Nebraska work for the state’s Fish and Game Commission and are known as game and parks conservation technicians. Hunting and outdoor recreation in Nebraska’s parks contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy. However, with widespread use of Nebraska’s resources also comes those who would abuse the state’s fish and wildlife conservation laws.

Game and parks conservation technicians are on the front lines of the battle against those who commit such egregious crimes as shooting bald eagles. These conservation technicians also help with such proactive approaches as reintroducing bighorn sheep to Nebraska.

Bighorn sheep are native to the Nebraska panhandle, but were hunted out of existence in the state during the early 1900s. The Nebraska Fish and Game Commission successfully reintroduced the sheep so prized by big game hunters.

Game and parks conservation technicians combine their knowledge and training in law enforcement with a detailed knowledge of the wildlife and habitat of Nebraska. This combination of skills, while challenging, draws applicants with very strong skill sets. Therefore, competition to become a game and parks conservation technician in Nebraska is fierce.

The best applicants combine a high level of enthusiasm with a strong sense of justice and interest in protecting the state’s hunting and fishing grounds. Applicants who exceed the minimum qualifications are more likely to be chosen, so a knowledge of the requirements and application process will increase the likelihood of obtaining a job as a game and parks conservation technician. Read more to discover how to maximize your chances of becoming one of Nebraska’s game wardens.

Nebraska Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

Nebraska’s game and parks conservation technicians both love working outdoors and find a tremendous amount of job satisfaction by enforcing conservation laws. Their activities as law enforcement officers range from checking hunting licenses and bag limits to conducting surveillance to apprehend poachers.

However, the role of these technicians encompasses many other types of activities. These range from offering hunting and boating safety courses to making presentations to student groups to educate them on conservation issues.

Having a thorough understanding of what the Nebraska Fish and Game Commission looks for in its conservation technicians will help applicants demonstrate the knowledge and passion they can bring to the Commission.

Nebraska Fish and Game Commission Basic Job Qualifications

The website of the Nebraska Fish and Game Commission provides additional details on the application process and posts notices of positions. Shown below are the minimum qualifications for Nebraska game wardens:

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

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. citizenship or of permanent resident alien status who is eligible for citizenship and has applied for it; must be a citizen and Nebraska resident at time of appointment

License: A valid Nebraska-issued driver’s license is required. Individuals must agree to participate in driver training programs through the state as they arise.

Military Service: If formerly a member of the U.S. 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 an intensive background check in order to continue the application process. Disqualifying elements include:

  • Convicted of a felony in any state
  • Convicted of any offense punishable by a year or more in prison

Academic Credentials: High school diploma or GED is required. While no formal requirements exist to become a Game Warden in Nebraska, candidates with more relevant experience and post-secondary education fare better through the application process.

Additional Requirements:

  • A personality profile appraisal
  • The TABE test for adult education
  • An assessment of job related skills

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

Medical Condition: The applicant must be examined by a licensed physician and produce a signed affidavit indicating that they are able to physically perform the duties of a wildlife officer prior to employment.

Hearing: Candidates should have a ‘normal’ range of hearing and may be subject to a hearing test.

Vision: Vision uncorrected or corrected to “normal” 20/20 standard. Full binocular vision with no evidence of color blindness or other impairments is required.

Physical and Psychological Readiness

Physical Readiness: The candidate must be healthy and able to perform to the state’s minimum time/strain standards for exertion on the job.

Psychological Condition: Candidates must have suitable mental health for the responsibilities of the role.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Required to carry and use various firearms and weaponry
  • Innovative, intuitive and engaging while on patrol
  • 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
  • Willingness to enthusiastically and professionally represent the agency at Nebraska schools and meetings of special interest groups
  • Effectively operate and negotiate a vehicle on rough terrain
  • 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 Game and Parks Conservation Officers

The July 2016 pay plan of the State Personnel Division of the Nebraska State Government – Administrative Services provides salary information for game and parks conservation officers and their supervisors.

Conservation Officers

Conservation officers earned at least $44,990, with the potential to earn up to $64,064 depending on factors that include education, experience and holding a specialized role within the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.  This represents an hourly wage range from $21.63 to $30.80.

Conservation Officer Supervisor:

The minimum salaries conservation officer supervisors earn depends on factors that include whether or not they work in a seasonal capacity or have attained permanent status.

  • Minimum: $49,400 ($23.75 hourly)
  • Minimum permanent: $51,875 ($24.94 hourly)

Midpoint and maximum salaries shown here are for supervisors who have achieved permanent status:

  • Midpoint: $61,776 ($29.70 hourly)
  • Maximum: $74,110 ($30.80 hourly)


Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

2200 N. 33rd St. Lincoln
NE 68503
Phone: (402) 471-0641

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Bellevue University

1000 Galvin Rd S, Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
Phone: (402) 291-8100
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Central Community College

3134 West Hwy 34, Grand Island, NE 68802-4903
Phone: (308) 398-4222
  • Criminal Justice

Chadron State College

1000 Main St, Chadron, NE 69337-2690
Phone: (308) 432-6000
  • Biology

College of Saint Mary

7000 Mercy Rd., Omaha, NE 68106
Phone: (402) 399-2400
  • Biology

Concordia University-Nebraska

800 N Columbia Ave, Seward, NE 68434-1556
Phone: (800) 535-5494
  • Biology

Creighton University

2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: (402) 280-2700
  • Biology

Doane College-Crete

1014 Boswell Avenue, Crete, NE 68333
Phone: (402) 826-2161
  • Biology

Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master

303 N 52nd St, Lincoln, NE 68504
Phone: (402) 466-4774
  • Criminal Justice

Hastings College

710 N Turner Ave, Hastings, NE 68901
Phone: (402) 463-2402 x7405
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Conservation Biology

Metropolitan Community College Area

30 & Fort Street, Omaha, NE 68111-1610
Phone: (402) 457-2400
  • Criminal Justice
  • Security and Protective Services

Midland University

900 N. Clarkson, Fremont, NE 68025
Phone: (800) 642-8382
  • Biology

Nebraska Wesleyan University

5000 St Paul Ave, Lincoln, NE 68504-2794
Phone: (402) 466-2371
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Northeast Community College

801 E Benjamin, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469
Phone: (402) 371-2020
  • Biology

Peru State College

600 Hoyt Street, Peru, NE 68421-0010
Phone: (402) 872-3815
  • Criminal Justice

Southeast Community College Area

301 South 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE 68510-2449
Phone: (402) 471-3333
  • Criminal Justice

Union College

3800 S 48th Street, Lincoln, NE 68506
Phone: (402) 486-2600
  • Biology

University of Nebraska at Kearney

905 W 25th St, Kearney, NE 68849-1212
Phone: (308) 865-8441
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

University of Nebraska at Omaha

6001 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68182-0225
Phone: (402) 554-2800
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

14th and R St, Lincoln, NE 68588
Phone: (402) 472-7211
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Biology
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Microbiology

Wayne State College

1111 Main St, Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: (402) 375-7000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Western Nebraska Community College

1601 East 27th Street, Scottsbluff, NE 69361-1899
Phone: (308) 635-3606
  • Forestry
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

York College

1125 E 8th St, York, NE 68467-2699
Phone: (402) 363-5600
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration