We appreciate your interest in becoming a wildlife officer with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. All candidates must pass extensive background and psychological screening, and complete a vigorous 28-week training academy before receiving a field assignment.
- Be at least 20 years old at the time of final exam.
- Be a high school graduate (or GED).
- Demonstrate a 10th grade reading comprehension level to be sworn as a law enforcement officer in North Carolina.
- Never been charged with or convicted of a felony; never been charged with or convicted of certain misdemeanors within five years of date of application. Refer to Standards Required for Criminal Justice Employment (pdf)
- When necessary, be willing to relocate anywhere in North Carolina for training or permanent assignment.
Required Physical Capabilities
In addition to being in an excellent physical condition, candidates must meet vision, hearing, and other sensory perception standards. Maintaining a healthy physical regimen is a required part of job performance upon becoming a wildlife officer.
The Application Process
Applications are only accepted when there is a need for more wildlife officers and a recruit training academy has been scheduled. Typically, the agency receives nearly 2,000 applications, while class size averages 20 positions. This means the selection process is highly competitive.
Recruit Training Academy and Field Training Assignments
The majority of 28 weeks of basic training is held at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg. Recruits are housed in dorms with fellow recruits. Training is structured like a military boot camp (very strict, with a 5:30 a.m. physical training every morning). The training academy usually begins in late January with graduation in late June.
Graduates of the training academy are placed with a veteran wildlife officer for at least six months for on-the-job field training. Upon completion of on-the-job field training, a permanent assignment is made. This permanent assignment stands until the officer requests and is granted a lateral transfer or is promoted.
- While not required, criminal justice courses at the university or community college level are recommended prior to application.
- A thorough knowledge of fish and wildlife species native to North Carolina is preferred.
- In most cases, prior Basic Law Enforcement Training certification isn’t necessary. Recruits receive BLET curriculum mandated by the Department of Justice, Training Standards Division, during the training academy.
- It is strongly recommended for candidates to maintain a physical training routine while awaiting application opportunity.
See the job description f a Wildlife Enforcement Officer.
Download the following medical qualifications, physical abilities needed and standards required for criminal justice employment.
Medical Qualifications (pdf)
Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (pdf)
Standards Required for Criminal Justice Employment (pdf)
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