Kentucky game wardens work for the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Game wardens protect the natural resources, educate the public and enforce boating, hunting and fishing laws. Some game wardens carry arms and have the authority to arrest criminals. Others monitor the health and well-being of the animals under their care. Salaries for game wardens in Kentucky are lower than the national average for similar positions, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data available at the time of publication.
Conservation officers are law enforcement officers who must possess or obtain certification from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council as a peace officer. Conservation officers enforce federal and state boating and wildlife laws, issuing citations or making arrests when appropriate. They may conduct rescues, investigate boating accidents or drownings or conduct programs to educate the public on boating laws. Conservation officers begin as recruits with a 12-month probationary period. At the time of publication, the KDFWR reported that recruits began as grade 12 employees with a minimum monthly salary of $2,427.44 and a midpoint salary of $3,215.72 per month. A Conservation Officer I is a grade 13 with a minimum salary of $2,670.20 and a midpoint salary of $3,554.70. A Conservation Officer II is a grade 14 employee with a minimum monthly salary of $2,937.20 and a midpoint salary of $3,890.90.
Hunter Training Officers
Hunter training officers develop and conduct hunter education programs for civic groups, schools and sportsmen’s organizations to teach firearms safety and hunting laws. A Hunting Training Officer I is a grade 11, which has a minimum monthly salary of $2,206.92 and a midpoint salary of $2,923.38. Promotion to a Hunting Training Officer II means an advancement to grade 13. Grade 13 employees receive a minimum monthly salary of $2,670.20 and have a midpoint salary of $3,554.70. A Hunting Training Officer III is a grade 14 with a minimum monthly salary of $2,937.20 and a midpoint salary of $3,890.90.
Fish and Wildlife Technicians
Fish and wildlife technicians transport wildlife and fish to appropriate habitats throughout the state to relocate them or release them after the animals receive necessary care from the agency. The techs assist biologists in conservation research as required. They identify and mark boundaries of habitats, collect data on the wildlife and fish and perform tests on the soil or water. A Fish and Wildlife Technician I has a pay grade of 9, which carries a minimum monthly salary of $1,823.90 and a midpoint salary of $2,416.22, according to data from the KDFWR at the time of publication. A Fish and Wildlife Technician II is a grade 10 with a minimum salary of $2,006.08 per month and a midpoint salary of $2,657.70. Advancement to a Fish and Wildlife Technician III, which is a grade 11 position, brings a minimum monthly salary of $2,206.92 and a midpoint salary of $2,923.38.
Comparison to National Salaries
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics report for May 2010 listed the average monthly salary for fish and game wardens as $4,637.50. Ten percent of the nation’s game wardens earned monthly salaries of $2,594.17 or less and 10 percent earned $6,770.33 or more per month.