How to Become a Game Warden in New Hampshire

Game wardens who work for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are known as conservation officers. As certified law enforcement officers, New Hampshire’s conservation officers serve as backup for other law enforcement agencies.

New Hampshire’s status as one of the country’s most forested states results in an incredibly diverse population of wildlife and birds. Unfortunately, this status has resulted in a history of major poaching operations too. One of the primary duties of New Hampshire’s conservation officers is to apprehend these poachers.

In addition to being highly agile physically, game wardens in New Hampshire should have a strong background in biology and ecology. These positions also require knowledge of such diverse areas as statistics and communications.

Additionally, game wardens typically serve in a particular jurisdiction and are responsible for managing all of the fishing, wildlife, and habitat issues that may occur throughout their area.

This rigorous combination of skills results in challenging positions that are highly sought after. Hiring departments rigorously evaluate potential candidates to ensure they hire only the most qualified candidates. Therefore, having a detailed knowledge of the requirements and selection process for conservation officers will help applicants to effectively showcase their skills for these positions. Read on to determine how to become a successful game warden.

New Hampshire Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

Conservation officers in New Hampshire enjoy the outdoors, the practice of law enforcement, and working with the public. This elite career path leads to a highly fulfilling job for those that are chosen.

In addition to their law enforcement duties, New Hampshire’s conservation officers also act as public advocates for the protection of natural resources and educate hunters, anglers, and other members of the public.

Applicants for conservation officer positions should be prepared to demonstrate that they have a wide array of skills that will both help them enforce the law and interact well with the public.

Job Qualifications for the New Hampshire Wildlife Department

The New Hampshire Wildlife Department website offers information on training, volunteer opportunities, and job positions. Eligibility criteria include:

Age: 21 years of age or older at the time of the job announcement

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

License: A valid New Hampshire-issued driver’s license is required. Individuals must maintain a ‘good’ 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: Applicants must pass an intensive background check in order to continue the application process. Disqualifying elements include:

  • Convicted of a felony in New Hampshire or any other state;
  • Convicted of any offense in any state that would have been a felony if committed in New Hampshire;
  • Convicted, and committed to a State institution; or,
  • Convicted of any offense which precludes you from carrying a firearm under State or federal law
  • Failed urinalysis drug testing prior to employment
  • Failed polygraph testing prior to employment
  • Evidence of poor moral decision-making

Academic Credentials: High school diploma or GED. An associate’s degree or two years as a certified police officer or in full-time military service are required to complete the application.

Additional Requirements:

Written test of knowledge for field skills, English and math

POST Training for Conservation Officers

POST Training: A course certifying candidates as Peace Officers readies them to continue the Wildlife Officer Application process. Training includes:

  • Criminal, civil, and court proceedings
  • Environment specific training
  • Best practices for traffic management and officer patrol
  • Firearms training
  • Trafficking enforcement
  • Additional specific training

Interview: Candidates will have a face-to-face panel interview during the later stages of the application process to evaluate knowledge and skills, judgment skills, critical thinking abilities, and maturity.

Medical Condition: The applicant is to be examined by a licensed physician to ensure that they are in good health.

Hearing: The applicant must have hearing adequate for the job, including long distance, directional and voice conversation hearing.

Vision: Visual acuity not less than 20/40 in each eye without correction and corrected to 20/20 in each eye. Normal perception of color is required due to requirements of the job.

Physical Readiness: The applicant must be in sound physical condition and able to swim. Applicants must successfully complete each component of the physical readiness testing:

  • Timed distance run
  • Timed water treading
  • Timed swimming length
  • Weighted drag
  • Weighted carry
  • Max cardio to fail or time

Psychological Condition: The applicant must be in suitable psychological and emotional health to complete training and be eligible for hire

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Use and carry various firearms safely and effectively
  • Capable of patrolling on foot, on horseback, by boat, snowmobile and ATV
  • 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 New Hampshire 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 foundational math skills including advanced arithmetic, payroll/accounts receivable, and estimation
  • Additional languages are an asset

Salaries of New Hampshire’s Conservation Officers

The New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services reports the salaries for the state’s conservation officers as of 2017.  The salaries vary depending on an eight-step pay grade, and the minimum and maximum salary for each type of position are shown below:

  • Conservation Officer Trainee: $35,797 - $47,445
  • Conservation Officer 1: $37,253 – $49,379
  • Conservation Officer II: $40,269 - $53,602
  • Conservation Officer Sergeant: $$43,722 - $58,801
  • Conservation Officer Lieutenant: $47,445 - $64,107
  • Conservation Officer Captain: $51,699 - $72,966
  • Conservation Officer Major: $58,802 - $80,330
  • Conservation Officer Colonel: $64,106 – $87,984


New Hampshire Fish and Game

11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-3127

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Antioch University-New England

40 Avon St, Keene, NH 03431
Phone: (603) 357-3122
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy

Colby-Sawyer College

541 Main St, New London, NH 03257-7835
Phone: (603) 526-3000
  • Biology

Dartmouth College

207 Parkhurst Hall, Hanover, NH 03755-3529
Phone: (603) 646-1110
  • Biology
  • Environmental Biology

Franklin Pierce University

40 University Drive, Rindge, NH 03461-0060
Phone: (603) 899-4000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Granite State College

25 Hall Street, Concord, NH 03301-3471
Phone: (603) 228-3000
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

Great Bay Community College

320 Corporate Dr, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2879
Phone: (603) 427-7600
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Security and Protective Services

Keene State College

229 Main Street, Keene, NH 03435-1506
Phone: (603) 352-1909
  • Biology

Nashua Community College

505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026
Phone: (603) 578-8900
  • Law Enforcement Administration

NHTI-Concord's Community College

31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412
Phone: (603) 271-6484
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Plymouth State University

17 High Street, Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
Phone: (603) 535-5000
  • Biology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Criminal Justice

River Valley Community College

One College Place, Claremont, NH 03743-9707
Phone: (603) 542-7744
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Rivier University

420 South Main St, Nashua, NH 03060
Phone: (603) 888-1311
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Saint Anselm College

100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH 03102-1310
Phone: (603) 641-7000
  • Biology
  • Conservation Biology

University of New Hampshire at Manchester

400 Commercial Street, Manchester, NH 03101-1113
Phone: (603) 641-4321
  • Biology

University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

105 Main St., Thompson Hall, Durham, NH 03824-3547
Phone: (603) 862-1234
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Water, Wetlands and Marine Resources Management
  • Forestry
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Biology
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology

White Mountains Community College

2020 Riverside Road, Berlin, NH 03570
Phone: (603) 752-1113
  • Law Enforcement Administration