NCWRC In The Field

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Careers in
Wildlife Enforcement

How do I become a Wildlife Enforcement Officer?

AT PRESENT WE ARE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CANDIDATES.


We appreciate your interest in becoming a wildlife officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. All candidates must pass extensive background and psychological screening, and complete a vigorous 21-week training academy before receiving a field assignment.

Applicant requirements:  

  • Be at least 20 years old at the time of final exam.
  • Be a high school graduate (or GED).
  • You must 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.
  • Be willing to relocate anywhere in North Carolina (which means no home county assignments for some time).

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 assignments:

The majority of 21  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). Training typically begins in late March with graduation in late July.

Graduates are placed with a veteran wildlife officer for at least six months of on-the-job training. Upon completion of on-the-job training, a permanent assignment is made. This permanent assignment stands until the officer requests and is granted a lateral transfer or is promoted.

Additional recommendations:

  • 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.
  • Prior Basic Law Enforcement Training certification isn’t necessary (recruits receive BLET curriculum mandated by the Dept. 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 description of a Wildlife Enforcement Officer. Download the following medical qualifications, physical abilities needed and standards required for criminal justice employment below.

Medical Qualifications (pdf)

Physical Abilities Test (pdf)

Standards required for Criminal Justice employment (pdf)

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Related Information

Career opportunities: 
Full time positions are posted at the North Carolina Office of State Personnel Web site.

Benefits of becoming an employee: 
There are many benefits to pursuing a career at the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. We'll let you know about some of them.

Wildlife Enforcement Officers: 
We have outlined the application process for becoming a Wildlife Enforcement Officer.

Career Contacts:
The people who can answer  your questions about careers and the application process at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

How to Apply: 
Learn about the application process.