A Texas game warden is a professional who protects Texas parks and wildlife according to the state's law. These professionals perform a variety of duties including providing public safety, investigating crimes against parks and wildlife, and conducting investigations regarding permits and licenses required for hunting and other activities in state parks. After graduating the state training program, these professionals are commissioned as state peace officers. The average salary of a Texas game warden is based on several factors regarding the Texas State Parks and Wildlife Department’s career rankings.
To become a game warden in Texas, all applicants must be 21 years old before entering the training academy, and must hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants are also required to pass a physical exam, drug test, criminal background check and psychological test. After meeting all requirements, applicants must attend and complete a training process administered by the Game Warden Training Center.
In May 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated there were 450 game wardens employed in Texas. The annual median wage was $50,820. The 25th percentile earned $43,790 per year and the 75th percentile earned $55,640 per year.
Cadet and Level I
In January 2010, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department listed salaries for game wardens entering and completing training. A game warden cadet going through the state-administered training program earns $2,982 per month or $35,784 per year. Upon completion of training, a Texas game warden is ranked at level I and earns $3,258 per month or $39,096 per year.
Years of Experience
Texas game wardens receive salary increases throughout their career based on job knowledge, job performance and adherence to job-related rules administered by the state. After four years, a game warden is ranked at level II and earns $4,249 per month or $50,988 per year. Those who complete 12 years of service after graduation are ranked at level IV and earned $4,792 per month or $57,504 per year. Those who complete 20 years of service after graduation are ranked at level VI and earned $5,149 per month or $61,788 per year.
Texas game wardens who receive additional education or certification related to the job requirements can earn an additional $50 to $150 per month. Those who speak a second language earned an additional $50 per month. Game wardens can also advance into other careers within the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department such as investigative sergeant, captain, major and colonel.