What's in it for you
Fish and wildlife officers use a variety of vehicles – 4x4 trucks, quads, snowmobiles, boats, helicopters, etc. – to patrol Alberta’s vast outdoors and backcountry as they perform their duties.
Many people from across Canada and around the world choose to live and work in Alberta each year.
As a fish and wildlife officer, you get:
- a rewarding, challenging and dynamic work environment – never the same day twice
- to be on a very unique and highly professional law enforcement team
- to experience Alberta’s vast outdoors and backcountry
- to conserve and protect fish, wildlife and public lands
- to serve your community
- hands-on work and contact with wildlife
- training and growth opportunities that are extensive and diverse
- promotion opportunities
- a pension, excellent benefits and job security
What we do
Fish and wildlife officers perform 2 vital functions:
- help conserve and protect the province’s natural resources by ensuring everyone understands and complies with the laws meant to safeguard its natural resources
- ensure the public’s safety and protection of property in regards to wildlife
Your days as a fish and wildlife officer are varied, often exciting and always meaningful – just like your duties:
- conduct compliance checks
- inspect commercial operations
- respond to incidents reported through the Report A Poacher program
- conduct surveillance
- gather evidence and work with the branch's Forensic Unit
- execute search and arrest warrants
- conduct investigations
- interview witnesses and suspects
- prepare and serve court documents
- prepare disclosure and trial briefs
- testify in court
Protect life and property
- prevent human-wildlife conflict
- control problem wildlife – everything from bears to moose to wolves
- investigate property damage (for example: livestock, stored feed) caused by wildlife
Deliver public education and outreach
- represent the branch at schools
- present at community meetings
- comment to media on operational matters
- interact regularly with stakeholders – sportsmen, Indigenous people, guides, outfitters, trappers, landowners, industry representatives, general public
As your career progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- teach and mentor colleagues as a district officer, sergeant, detective or senior officer
- instruct colleagues on a select topic – firearms, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operations, etc. – as a member of one of our training teams
- represent the branch on a variety of committees and / or as a select member of our Guard of Honour
We hire successful candidates at one of these classifications:
- entry-level job description (Fish and Wildlife Officer)
- full-working level job description (Fish and Wildlife Officer)
Our training program for fish and wildlife officer recruits – the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy – is paid, comprehensive and designed for you.
The program runs for 18 weeks and shares time between the Hinton Training Centre in Hinton and Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Training Academy in Edmonton. It’s led by instructors – mostly active officers – from across Western Canada who use innovative techniques to deliver a first-class learning experience.
We give you a structured learning environment that gets you job-ready and instils the pride and professionalism that comes with being a fish and wildlife officer.
Classroom and field experience
Our instructors guide you – in the classroom and field – through these subjects:
- emergency vehicle operation - patrol truck, ATV, 4x4, snowmobile, trailer
- emergency boat operation
- firearms – pistol, rifle, shotgun
- use of force / self defence
- swift-water rescue
- human-wildlife conflict
- chemical immobilization
- physical conditioning
- water and ice safety
- interviewing and interrogating
- Indigenous awareness
- mental health
- domestic violence
- note taking and report writing
- drill / ceremony
During training, you must successfully complete the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) test twice.
After you successfully complete the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy training program, you’ll return to your district and work under a field training officer for 12 months. This gives you vital operational experience.
There’s an 8-step process to becoming a fish and wildlife officer recruit:
Step 1. Resume review
Step 2. PARE test
- the PARE test is designed to evaluate your level of physical fitness to ensure you can perform the duties of a fish and wildlife officer. You must pay for the test; the Alberta government will reimburse you if you’re hired.
- you must have completed the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) test – in 4 minutes or less – in the last 6 months
- medical consent is required from a physician before you can participate in the PARE test
- for your scheduled PARE test, you must bring – (1) Medical Consent form that’s fully filled out and signed by a physician; (2) Consent and Test Record form
- if you live outside Alberta, we’ll accept a successful PARE test from the province you live in
PARE Medical Consent form (PDF, 163 KB)
PARE Consent and Test Record form (PDF, 162 KB)
Step 3. Interview
For the interview, you need to bring the following:
- proof of a successful PARE test
- original of valid Alberta Class 5 driver’s licence
- current driver's abstract
- current standard first aid certificate (Level C)
- current CPR certification (adult, child, infant)
- current and clear criminal records check
- 3 references – 2 must be recent or current employers
The interview panel is made up of senior staff from the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement branch and a human resources consultant.
You must be willing to accept an assignment in any one of several districts located across the province. Be ready to discuss which of our 50-plus districts you prefer.
In-person interviews are required; however, exceptions may be made for applicants who live outside Alberta.
Step 4. References and academic verification
We check your references and verify your academic credentials.
Step 5. Recruitment package
- you're required to complete our detailed medical assessment – cardiovascular, vision, hearing, etc. – reimbursed by the Alberta government
- you must demonstrate that you understand and commit to our ‘Conditions for Employment’ by reviewing and signing the appropriate documents
Step 6. Psychological test
You’re required to take a pre-employment psychological assessment, arranged by and paid for by the Alberta government.
Step 7. Background check
We conduct a detailed background check that examines your personal and professional life.
Step 8. Offer of employment
- this allows you to begin training as a recruit
- your offer letter includes the start date and location of your training class, plus your starting wage
Education and experience
- Conservation Law Enforcement degree and 1 year of experience in Conservation Law Enforcement or Natural Resources
- 2-year diploma in Natural Resources and 3 years of experience in Conservation Law Enforcement or Natural Resources
- directly related Bachelor of Science degree and 1 year of experience in Conservation Law Enforcement or Natural Resources
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or eligible to work in Canada
- good physical condition – duties can involve hiking; heavy lifting; operating boats, snowmobiles and ATVs; other outdoor activities
- valid Alberta Class 5 driver’s licence
- current driver's abstract
- current standard first aid (level A)
- current CPR certificate (level C)
- defensive driving certificate
- current and clear criminal records check
- proof of a successful Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) test – in 4 minutes or less – in the last 6 months
- eligible for appointment as a peace officer under the Peace Officer Act
- eligible to qualify for firearms certification
You must meet certain medical standards:
- major body systems – cardiovascular, central nervous system, gastro intestinal, genitourinary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, respiratory
- vision – distance, near, horizontal, colour
- audiological (ie, hearing)
- others – alcohol and drug / medications, immunization, psychological / psychiatric
Learn more: Medical Standards for Fish and Wildlife Officer Recruits (PDF, 130 KB)
Skills and abilities
- high degree of integrity and maturity
- physically fit and able to perform field duties
- comfortable working alone
- sound judgement and common sense
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- function effectively in a team environment
- excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills
- strong leadership and role model abilities
- function effectively in a potentially hostile work environment
- basic computer proficiency and keyboarding skills
- accommodate shift work including weekends and holidays
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Alberta fish and wildlife officer.
To prepare for our next competition, make sure you meet – or will soon meet – the officer job requirements.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement offices are open 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays).
To report a fishery or wildlife violation or other serious wildlife-related matter, call the 24-7 Report A Poacher hotline at 1-800-642-3800.
Connect with the Fish and Wildlife branch about recruiting:
You can also connect with us on Facebook.
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