Becoming a Texas game warden is a unique opportunity for those law- enforcement-minded individuals who also possess a strong love for nature and wildlife. Additionally, with a $2,914 monthly cadet starting salary, the position of game warden in Texas is especially suited for those in search of a meaningful career with generous remuneration and opportunity for advancement. Passing the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code means thorough training and education, but if you follow these steps carefully and deliberately, you will complete all the requirements necessary to become a Texas game warden.
Things You'll Need
- Valid driver’s license
- Proof of selective service registration (men only)
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
Plan your college and university courses with your career goal in mind. Although the game warden academy does not specify acceptable degrees, those with coursework in biology, forestry, agriculture, zoology and criminal justice are most germane to employment with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Apply for acceptance into the Law Enforcement Intern Program while you are still attending college. Contact Lt. Andy Ozuna at (512) 454-2502 for an application, and then submit it with a copy of your college transcript to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (Attention: Employment, Recruitment and Retention) at 4200 Smith School Road in Austin, Texas, 78744.
Graduate from college with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and download the State of Texas Application for Employment from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. Fill it out completely and send it via fax to (512) 389-4861.
Wait until you are contacted for an interview. Even though your application will be kept on file, interviews are not scheduled until there is a need for new game wardens. At that time, you will be required to undergo a board interview which may require travel (most likely to Austin).
Schedule and undergo physical agility testing as well as a highly detailed background investigation.
Submit and pass a board-ordered physical and psychological evaluation. Depending on where in Texas you live, prepare to travel to Austin on at least 3 to 4 separate occasions for the interviews, evaluations, exams and tests. You will not be reimbursed for your travel expenses.
Enroll in the Game Warden Training Academy and successfully graduate from the 30 week course. Remember that you are required to live on the Academy grounds for the duration of the entire training session!
Pass the state peace officer licensing test and prepare yourself for your promotion from game warden cadet to game warden level one. At this time, you will receive your orders and find out the location of your field assignment. You are now ready to become a Texas game warden with all the responsibilities that this position holds.
Tips & Warnings
- Run a background check on yourself prior to submitting your application. This avoids any unwelcome surprises and furthermore permits you a chance to clarify any errors and take care of any legal issues that may have slipped your mind.
- Stay in good physical shape even while you wait to hear back from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in response to your application. Once you are contacted, the selection process moves forward rather rapidly and you need to be prepared to prove your agility and physical ability to perform the job.
- Consider doing the internship even though it is not a prerequisite for acceptance into the Texas game warden training program. Not only does it look great on your resume, but it also helps you figure out if you are really cut out to become a game warden in the great State of Texas.
- Become acquainted with Texas’ amazing outdoors by visiting the PassportToTexas.org website and learning about fishing, game wardens, endangered species and conservation efforts. (See Resources.)
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