How to Become a Game Warden in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the Department of Wildlife Conservation employs game wardens at the state level. The state is one of the most ecologically diverse in the country with more than 760 different species of wildlife. Hunting and fishing are so popular in Oklahoma that sportsmen are allowed to enjoy more than 1.6 million acres of wilderness area.

Oklahoma’s game wardens are trained law enforcement officers who also serve as stewards of the state’s natural resources. They help biologists perform tasks like assessing the status of fish populations in a particular lake, which helps anglers decide where to fish.

Another aspect of their jobs involves helping the public. This service ranges from speaking to schools and scout groups to helping teach gun safety and hunter education courses.

With such an array of skills required, Oklahoma’s game wardens must be experts in a variety of areas. The state sets the bar high for game wardens, since they are in the public eye and the face of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Therefore, becoming a game warden in Oklahoma is a challenging endeavor. Applicants who are highly familiar with the selection criteria and the application process will be best prepared for success.

Oklahoma Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

The ideal game warden job candidate in Oklahoma combines expertise in law enforcement with a love of the natural environment and the great outdoors. In addition to protecting the diverse array of fish, birds, and game that call Oklahoma home, the state’s game wardens may be called upon to enforce any law within state jurisdiction. Oklahoma’s game wardens also work in partnership with federal law enforcement and other state agencies.

Basic Conservation Officer Job Qualifications

The website of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation lists additional information along with job postings.

Age: 18 years of age or older before beginning training

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

License: A valid Oklahoma-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: Candidates should be aware that they are subject to a thorough background investigation in order to continue the application process. Disqualifying elements include:

  • Convicted of a felony in Oklahoma or any other state;
  • Convicted of any offense in any state that would have been a felony if committed in Oklahoma
  • Determined to be a 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 drug testing prior to employment

Academic Credentials: High school diploma or GED is required; while a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management or natural resources management is preferred, candidates should have at least 16 hours of courses related to this field in order to be considered.

Additional Requirements:

  • Standardized employment exam for prospective game wardens.
  • Personal references

Law Enforcement and Field Training

Law Enforcement Training

576 hours from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) which covers the following topics:

  • Field training
  • Six months of on the job training in groups and partnered with senior officers.

Interview: Candidates will have an in-person panel interview session 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 good hearing that is adequate to perform all the essential duties and functions of a Warden while unaided and which includes discerning sounds in an environment of ambient noise.

Vision: Visual acuity of 20/20 either corrected or uncorrected. Normal binocular color vision with standard peripheral vision. Applicants who have undergone corrective eye surgery to meet minimum visual standards may be required to submit additional information.

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

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

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Required to carry and deploy various firearms and weaponry
  • 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
  • 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 Environmental Investigators with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported that environmental investigators earned an average salary of $51,770 ($24.89/hour) as of 2015.  Experienced investigators earned within the top 25%, making an average of $58,594 ($28.17/hour), while their less experienced colleagues in the lower 25% earned an average of $43,867 ($21.09/hour) that year.

Oklahoma’s job site provides salary ranges for different levels of environmental investigators as of 2017.  Level III investigators supervise investigations, while level IV employees oversee the environmental investigators and support staff. The ranges within each level represent the difference in pay associated with different levels of education, experience, time-in with the Department and locality pay:

  • Environmental Investigator 1: $31,848 – $58,388
  • Environmental Investigator II: $35,032 – $64,226
  • Environmental Investigator III: $38,885 - $71,288
  • Environmental Investigator IV: $43,163 – $79,132


Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

2145 NE 36th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-4640

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Bacone College

2299 Old Bacone Rd, Muskogee, OK 74403-1597
Phone: (918) 683-4581 x7340
  • Natural Resources, Conservation

Cameron University

2800 West Gore Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505-6377
Phone: (580) 581-2200
  • Biology

Carl Albert State College

1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208
Phone: (918) 647-1200
  • Biology

Connors State College

Route 1, Warner, OK 74469
Phone: (918) 463-2931
  • Biology

East Central University

1100 E. 14th Street, Ada, OK 74820-6999
Phone: (580) 332-8000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Eastern Oklahoma State College

1301 W Main St, Wilburton, OK 74578-4999
Phone: (918) 465-2361
  • Forestry
  • Biology

Great Plains Technology Center

4500 W Lee Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505-8399
Phone: (580) 355-6371
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Langston University

102 Page Hall, Langston, OK 73050
Phone: (405) 466-3428
  • Biology

Mid-America Christian University

3500 SW 119th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73170-9797
Phone: (405) 691-3800
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Murray State College

One Murray Campus, Tishomingo, OK 73460
Phone: (580) 387-7000
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Biology

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College

200 I St NE, Miami, OK 74354
Phone: (918) 542-8441
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Forestry

Northeastern State University

600 N Grand, Tahlequah, OK 74464-2399
Phone: (918) 456-5511
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Northern Oklahoma College

1220 E Grand Ave, Tonkawa, OK 74653
Phone: (580) 628-6200
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd, Alva, OK 73717-2799
Phone: (580) 327-1700
  • Biology
  • Security and Protective Services

Oklahoma Baptist University

500 W University, Shawnee, OK 74804
Phone: (405) 275-2850
  • Biology

Oklahoma Christian University

2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond, OK 73013-1100
Phone: (405) 425-5000
  • Biology

Oklahoma City University

2501 N Blackwelder, Oklahoma City, OK 73106-1402
Phone: (405) 208-5000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

323 Eagle Ave, Goodwell, OK 73939-0430
Phone: (580) 349-2611
  • Biology

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

107 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
Phone: (405) 744-5000
  • Biology
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology
  • Ecology

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

900 N Portland, Oklahoma City, OK 73107-6195
Phone: (405) 947-4421
  • Security and Protective Services

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

2201 Silver Lake Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74006-6299
Phone: (918) 333-6151
  • Biology

Oral Roberts University

7777 S Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74171
Phone: (918) 495-6161
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

Rogers State University

1701 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017-3252
Phone: (918) 343-7777
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Security and Protective Services

Rose State College

6420 S E 15th, Midwest City, OK 73110-2799
Phone: (405) 733-7311
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Seminole State College

2701 Boren Blvd, Seminole, OK 74868-1901
Phone: (405) 382-9950
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

1405 N 4th Ave, Durant, OK 74701-0609
Phone: (580) 745-2000
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Southern Nazarene University

6729 NW 39th Expy, Bethany, OK 73008
Phone: (405) 789-6400
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

100 Campus Dr, Weatherford, OK 73096-3098
Phone: (580) 772-6611
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

St. Gregory's University

1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee, OK 74804
Phone: (405) 878-5100
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Tulsa Community College

6111 E Skelly Dr, Tulsa, OK 74135-6198
Phone: (918) 595-7000
  • Biology

Tulsa Technology Center-Peoria Campus

3850 N Peoria, Tulsa, OK 74106-1619
Phone: (918) 828-2000
  • Criminal Justice

University of Central Oklahoma

100 N University Dr, Edmond, OK 73034
Phone: (405) 974-2000
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019-3072
Phone: (405) 325-0311
  • Botany, Plant Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Criminal Justice

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

17th Street and Grand Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018-5322
Phone: (405) 224-3140
  • Biology

University of Tulsa

800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
Phone: (918) 631-2000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice