Become a Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer

We appreciate your interest in becoming a Law Enforcement Officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers enforce state and federal game, fish and boating laws in the state of North Carolina by:

  • Patrolling fields, forests and inland waters via automobiles, boats, ATVs and on foot. 
  • Reporting to a Sergeant and patrolling a district either alone or as part of a patrol. 
  • Checking licenses of hunters and fisherman and examining the game or fish taken to determine compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. 
  • Seizing illegal hunting and fishing devices and all game and fish taken illegally. 
  • Investigating violations, arresting violators and presenting court testimony. 
  • Investigating conditions and recommending whether to issue permits to private citizens to raise game or fish in captivity, or to trap and net game or fish. 
  • Checking boats for proper certification and boating equipment and observing boat operation for detection and apprehension of reckless or impaired operators. 
  • Assisting in search and rescue operations for the victims of boating accidents or for lost hunters and anglers. 
  • Experiencing considerable public contact, often explaining game, fish and boat laws and regulations to individuals and organizations and presenting safety promotion programs.
  • Applying knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations relating to the protection and management of game and fish, boating and North Carolina game and fish species, their habitats and natural requirements. 
  • Demonstrating skilled use of firearms and hunting and fishing equipment as well as outboard motor boats, automobiles and other vehicles. 
  • Maintaining routine records and writing standard reports in the pursuit of duties.  


Applicant Requirements

Standards Required for Criminal Justice Employment (PDF)

  • All candidates must pass extensive background and psychological screening, and complete a vigorous 28-week training academy before receiving a field assignment.
  • Be 20 years of age at the time of final exam.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience.
  • 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. 
  • When necessary, be willing to relocate anywhere in North Carolina for training or permanent assignment. 


The Application Process

The selection process is highly competitive. 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.


The initial phase of the application process consists of a Modified POPAT and Reading Comprehension Test.


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.

Medical Qualifications (PDF)
Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (PDF)





Recruit Training Academy and Field Training Assignments

The majority of the 28 weeks of basic law enforcement training is held at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg, NC. Recruits are housed in dorms with fellow recruits. The training is highly structured (very active, with 5:30 a.m. physical training most mornings). 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. The officer remains stationed in their permanent assignment until the officer requests a lateral transfer, is transferred by the agency 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.
  • Recruits receive Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) curriculum mandated by the Department of Justice, Training Standards Division, during the training academy. So in most cases, prior BLET certification is not necessary.
  • It is strongly recommended for candidates to maintain a physical training routine while awaiting application opportunity.

In response to the request for a description of methods used to inform public beneficiaries of their rights to file a complaint of alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability we publish the following statement in our federally supported publications: 
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior and its bureaus prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age or sex (in educational programs). If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility, or if you desire further information, please write to: Equal Employment Officer, 1703 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1703; or call 919-707-0101. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce Management, Public Civil Rights Accessibility and Disability Coordinator, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.

Careers in Wildlife Enforcement