Becoming a conservation officer
Protecting Utah's wildlife is a challenging, rewarding job.
It's a career that combines cutting-edge law enforcement with lots of time in the outdoors. Utah's conservation officers prosecute poachers and patrol trout fisheries. They check licenses and relocate threatening wildlife. They work long hours in remote areas, knowing that their efforts protect fish, wildlife and habitat across the state.
If you want a job that makes a difference — and you like to face new challenges each day — you should consider becoming a conservation officer.
A DWR conservation officer's patrol district covers approximately 1,573 square miles. That's larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.
Before you apply
If you're interested in becoming a DWR conservation officer, you should take some important steps before submitting a résumé:
- Obtain a bachelor's degree in wildlife science, biology, criminal justice or a related field.
- Work in a natural-resource field (in a seasonal or full-time position).
- Get to know your local conservation officer. This is a great way to learn more about the job and the level of commitment it requires.
- Be an ethical sportsman or sportswoman.
How to apply
The Utah DWR periodically hires new conservation officers. To see if we are hiring — and to submit your application and résumé — visit https://statejobs.utah.gov.
Rigorous testing and training
If you meet the initial screening requirements, DWR personnel will interview you and begin an in-depth testing process, which includes:
- A comprehensive background investigation
- A physical test, including cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, flexibility and swimming
- A written aptitude test
- An oral board interview with four officers and a biologist
- A polygraph exam
- A psychological exam
- A medical exam (following the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines)
If you test successfully, you may be hired as a conservation officer trainee. You must then attend Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), a 13-week program at the Salt Lake City Police Academy.
After POST, there is a three-month Field Training Officer program you must also pass in order to graduate and become an officer. After graduation, the DWR assigns new officers to areas across the state.
To learn more