How to Become a Game Warden in North Dakota

North Dakota’s game wardens are employed by the state’s Game and Fish Department. The state’s plains have an abundance of wildlife including bighorn sheep and deer. The illegal hunting of these big game species has been so prevalent in the state that North Dakota’s hunters expressed a desire for the Game and Fish Department to crack down on these poachers. The state’s game wardens have been highly successful at reducing the frequency of poaching in North Dakota.

Being a game warden in North Dakota can be arduous and subject the men and women to extremes of temperature. Despite this, individuals are drawn to this career with an abiding passion to protect North Dakota’s natural resources from damage and illegal hunting.

Applicants face intense competition to become a game warden in North Dakota, and they are more likely to be considered if they have a thorough understanding of the requirements for the position, so they can best showcase their skills. Read on to learn more about becoming a game warden in North Dakota.

North Dakota Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

North Dakota’s game wardens educate student groups and other members of the public about conservation, hunting, firearms and boat safety. As law enforcement officers, they are often called to help other local law enforcement agencies in times of emergency.

The role of a North Dakota game warden is challenging, so each potential candidate should begin their application process ready to showcase skills that will benefit the Department. The more knowledgeable applicants are about the requirements for these jobs, the better they can present themselves to the hiring committee.

Job Qualifications for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department

When positions are available, they are posted on the website of the North Dakota State Government. Shown below are the minimum requirements to become a game warden in North Dakota:

Age: 21 years of age or older by the time academy training starts.

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. citizenship or of permanent resident alien status; must be a citizen at time of appointment and a resident of the state

License: A valid North Dakota-issued driver’s license is required. Individuals must maintain an acceptable 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:

  • Having any felony convictions
  • Convicted of any offense in any state that would have been a felony if committed in North Dakota
  • Determined to be a mentally disordered sex offender
  • Addicted or in danger of becoming addicted to narcotics
  • Convicted of any offense which precludes you from carrying a firearm under State or federal law
  • Failed urinalysis drug testing prior to employment

Academic Credentials:  Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree by the time they are hired.

Additional Requirements:

State exam scores; preference given to high scores

POST Training Requirements

POST Training: A course certifying candidates as peace officers in North Dakota 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 structured oral interview during the later stages of the application process

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

Hearing: The applicant must have hearing adequate to perform all the essential duties and functions of a Warden.

Vision: Visual acuity not less than 20/40 in each eye without correction and corrected to 20/20 in each eye. Normal color vision and possessed of a peripheral field of view are required.

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.

Psychological Condition: Applicants will participate in a psychological assessment to determine their suitability for hire.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Required to carry and use various firearms and weaponry
  • Willingness to enthusiastically and professionally represent the agency at North Dakota schools and meetings of special interest groups
  • Effectively operate and negotiate a vehicle on rough terrain
  • 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
  • Ability to use proprietary software
  • Ability to make minor vehicle repairs
  • 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

Game Warden Salaries in North Dakota

The North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network reported that experienced game wardens earned an average of $58,380 ($28.07 hourly) as of 2016.  The overall average for North Dakota’s game wardens including all levels of experience was $46,830 ($22.51 hourly) that year while those new to the state Game and Fish Department earned an average of $23.720 ($11.41 hourly).

North Dakota’s Human Resources Management Services reported salary ranges for each grade of game warden as of the fiscal year 2017, with differences in rages for each grade being determined by education, time-in with the Department, specialized role and location in the state:

  • District Game Warden 1: $47,792 – $71,712
  • District Game Warden 2: $51,120 – $85,200
  • Game Warden Supervisor: $61,728 – $102,888
  • Chief Game Warden: $72,432 – $120,720


North Dakota Game and Fish Department

100 N. Bismarck Expressway
100 N. Bismarck Expressway
Phone: (701) 328-6300

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Bismarck State College

1603 Edwards Ave., Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
Phone: (701) 224-5400
  • Criminal Justice

Cankdeska Cikana Community College

214 1st Ave, Fort Totten, ND 58335
Phone: (701) 766-4415
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy

Dakota College at Bottineau

105 Simrall Blvd, Bottineau, ND 58318-1198
Phone: (701) 228-2277
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management

Dickinson State University

291 Campus Drive, Dickinson, ND 58601-4896
Phone: (701) 483-2507
  • Biology

Mayville State University

330 Third Street NE, Mayville, ND 58257-1299
Phone: (701) 788-2301
  • Biology

Minot State University

500 University Ave W, Minot, ND 58707
Phone: (701) 858-3000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: (701) 231-8011
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Biology
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Sitting Bull College

9299 Hwy 24, Fort Yates, ND 58538-9721
Phone: (701) 854-8000
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Law Enforcement Administration

United Tribes Technical College

3315 University Dr, Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 255-3285 x1216
  • Environmental Biology
  • Criminal Justice

University of Jamestown

608 6th St NE, Jamestown, ND 58405
Phone: (701) 252-3467
  • Biology

University of Mary

7500 University Dr, Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 255-7500
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

University of North Dakota

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
Phone: (800) 225-5863
  • Biology
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Valley City State University

101 College St SW, Valley City, ND 58072
Phone: (701) 845-7990
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology