North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

How do I become a Wildlife Enforcement Officer?

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.


Applicant Requirements

  • Be at least 20 years old at the time of final exam.
  • Have a 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. 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.

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


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.
  • 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 of 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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Related Information

Career Opportunities

Full time positions are posted on the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources website.

Benefits of Becoming an Employee 

There are many benefits to pursuing a career with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Learn about some of them at the link above.

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.


View Available Intern opportunities, read the Position Descriptions and learn how to apply.

How to Apply 

Learn about the application process.


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