How to Become a Game Warden in Rhode Island

Game wardens in Rhode Island work for the Department of Environmental Management and are known as environmental police officers. Rhode Island’s habitats range from forests to coastal ecosystems.

These different types of resources are subject to a variety of natural resource crimes, and Rhode Island’s environmental police officers aggressively pursue all leads. The state has several notorious groups that poach deer. In addition, American eels sell for inflated prices on the black market due to the demand for them in Asia.

Several federal agencies routinely deputize Rhode Island’s environmental police officers, including US Customs and Border Protection, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition to their work as law enforcement officers, Rhode Island’s environmental police force also monitor wildlife to identify health risks, assess damage to habitats, and advocate for natural resource conservation.

Rhode Island Game Warden Eligibility Requirements

Men and women in Rhode Island who combine a love of the outdoors with practical expertise in law enforcement and criminal justice make the best candidates.

The combination of enforcing regulations, monitoring wildlife and habitats, and engaging in public relations requires a diverse suite of skills. Each applicant must be prepared to showcase his or her skills and experience in each of these areas to be considered for an environmental police officer vacancy.

Basic Qualifications for a Job with the Department of Environmental Management

Additional information for applicants and employees can be found on the website of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Age: 18 years of age or older at the time of academy training

Citizenship: Proof of U.S. citizenship or of permanent resident alien status for those who are eligible and have applied for citizenship. Must be a resident of the state at the time of appointment.

License: A valid Rhode Island-issued driver’s license is required. Individuals must agree to participate in driver safety training through the state as opportunities arise.

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 and references check before being eligible for hire. Disqualifying elements include:

  • Convicted of a felony in Rhode Island or any other state
  • Convicted of any offense in any state that would have been a felony if committed in Rhode Island
  • Charged with a felony and found to be mentally incompetent
  • Found not guilty by reason of insanity of any felony
  • Determined to be a mentally disordered sex offender
  • Addicted or in danger of becoming addicted to narcotics
  • Convicted and committed to a state institution
  • 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 its equivalent; a bachelor’s degree in biology, natural resources, or a related discipline.

POST Training Requirements

POST Training: A course certifying candidates as peace officers readies them to continue the wildlife officer application process. Training includes:

  • Police training
  • Marine law enforcement
  • Fish and Wildlife Investigative and Undercover Techniques training
  • US Coast Guard’s Living Marine Resource Training
  • Criminalistics School
  • Breathalyzer Operator Training
  • Physical Fitness Testing
  • Marine Theft Investigators Training
  • Small Arms Instructors Training
  • Boat Accident Investigation and Advanced Accident Investigation
  • Wildlife Forensics
  • Annual in-service training

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

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

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, including long distance, directional and voice conversation hearing.

Vision: Visual acuity correctable to 20/20 in each eye. Normal binocular color vision with a full field of periphery is required. Candidates who have undergone corrective eye surgery to meet minimum vision 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 each component of the physical readiness testing.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Desired Qualifications

  • Required to identify and safely use various firearms
  • Capable of patrolling on foot, on horseback, by plane, boats, and in a variety of vehicles
  • 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
  • Ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, database and email software in a networked environment
  • 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
  • Additional languages are an asset

Salaries for Environmental Police Officers

The salary aggregating resource provides the salaries for environmental police officers in the major cities of Rhode Island.  PayScale aggregates salary data from a large number of job listings, providing a range of salaries for environmental police officers in various parts of the state (shown here is the range from the median to the average for the top 10%):

  • Providence: $50,261 – $68,000
  • Warwick: $49,528 - $67,000
  • Cranston: $48,764 – $66,000


State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-2284

School Programs

ProgramPrograms Offered

Brown University

One Prospect Street, Providence, RI 02912
Phone: (401) 863-1000
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

Bryant University

1150 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917-1291
Phone: (401) 232-6000
  • Biology

Johnson & Wales University-Providence

8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903-3703
Phone: (401) 598-1000
  • Law Enforcement Administration

New England Institute of Technology

One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, RI 02818-1205
Phone: (401) 739-5000
  • Criminal Justice

Providence College

1 Cunningham Square, Providence, RI 02918-0001
Phone: (401) 865-1000
  • Biology

Rhode Island College

600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908
Phone: (401) 456-8000
  • Biology
  • Criminal Justice

Roger Williams University

One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809-2921
Phone: (401) 253-1040
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Law Enforcement Administration

Salve Regina University

100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI 02840-4192
Phone: (401) 847-6650
  • Biology
  • Law Enforcement Administration

University of Rhode Island

Green Hall, 35 Campus Avenue, Kingston, RI 02881
Phone: (401) 874-1000
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Water, Wetlands and Marine Resources Management
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology and Animal Biology
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Conservation Biology