How to Become a Game Warden in Alaska (State Requirements)

Have you ever dreamt of becoming a guardian of Alaska’s magnificent wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and abundant natural resources? Becoming an Alaska Wildlife Trooper could be the perfect career for you! In this comprehensive guide on how to become a game warden in Alaska, we’ll dive into the exciting world of game wardens in Alaska, exploring their roles and responsibilities, training process, and career advancement opportunities.

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Become a Wildlife Trooper in Alaska by meeting eligibility requirements, completing the Basic Law Enforcement Training, and passing background checks.

  • Gain additional experience through specialized units such as the Aircraft and Marine Sections or Wildlife Investigations Unit.

  • Enjoy career advancement opportunities with competitive salary and benefits packages for protecting natural resources.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Overview

Alaska Wildlife Troopers are instrumental in protecting the state’s natural resources and wildlife. They are responsible for:

  • Safeguarding Alaska’s Natural Resources by enforcing wildlife statutes and regulations, including preventing illegal harvest of wildlife

  • Responding to search and rescue operations

  • Investigating major criminal activities

  • Enforcing traffic regulations

Wildlife Troopers are a specialized division within the Alaska State Troopers, collaborating with other law enforcement entities and utilizing shared resources and instruction. They work under the Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement to:

  • Protect the state’s natural resources

  • Enforce wildlife laws and regulations

  • Conduct investigations related to wildlife crimes

  • Patrol and monitor wildlife areas

  • Educate the public about wildlife conservation and safety

Game wardens in Alaska are referred to as wildlife troopers.

Role and Responsibilities

Alaska Wildlife Troopers primarily ensure the protection of the state’s wildlife resources through education and enforcement of laws, while ensuring compliance with laws and regulations related to public safety, fish, and wildlife. They also enforce traffic laws to ensure public safety. Some of the cases handled by Wildlife Troopers involve poaching, wildlife trafficking, and watershed damage.

Beyond their primary duties, Wildlife Troopers also:

  • Assist in impaired driving and traffic enforcement investigations

  • Contribute to the conservation and management of wildlife resources

  • Work towards enhancing natural habitats

  • Participate in major criminal investigations when needed

This showcases their versatility in the field of law enforcement.

Relationship with Alaska State Troopers

Being part of the Alaska State Troopers, Wildlife Troopers collaborate closely with other law enforcement entities, sharing resources and training. They also assist in lengthier property crimes investigations when required. Game wardens in Alaska are in fact state troopers and are referred to as wildlife troopers.

The primary purpose of the Wildlife Troopers is to safeguard Alaska’s natural resources by enforcing wildlife regulations, including sport fish guiding reduction efforts and sport fish statewide game management. They also benefit from sponsored education offerings provided by the state, which help them stay updated on the latest laws, regulations, and best practices.

Eligibility Requirements for Becoming a Game Warden in Alaska

Becoming a Wildlife Trooper in Alaska requires applicants to fulfill several eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Being at least 21 years of age

  • Possessing a high school diploma or GED

  • Holding a valid driver’s license

  • Successfully completing a physical fitness assessment

  • Undergoing a thorough background check

Education Requirements

A high school diploma or GED is the baseline educational requirement, however, for those aspiring to be a Wildlife Trooper, a degree in environmental science, wildlife management, or a related field is highly recommended. Having a degree in these areas is equally as important as having experience in law enforcement and understanding of environmental permits, as it provides a strong foundation in the knowledge and skills required for the job.

Age, Physical Fitness, and Background Checks

As previously mentioned, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum age of 21 years at the time of the Academy

  • Demonstrate physical fitness by completing specific tasks

  • Undergo a comprehensive background check to ensure suitability for the role.

Application Process and Training

The application process for becoming an Alaska Wildlife Trooper involves:

  1. Applying online for wildlife trooper positions through the Department of Public Safety’s application webpage.

  2. The application and hiring process usually takes around 10 months to complete.

  3. It consists of several consecutive tasks that are necessary to finish.

To become an Alaska Wildlife Trooper, one must complete the Basic Law Enforcement Training and meet the minimum eligibility requirements, which include having a high school diploma or GED and being at least 21 years old when entering the Academy.

Application Procedure

To apply for a Wildlife Trooper position, applicants must submit an application online through the Department of Public Safety’s application webpage. The hiring process involves several steps, including taking a written exam, participating in an interview, and completing a physical fitness test. Applicants must also meet the eligibility requirements mentioned earlier, such as being at least 21 years of age, possessing a high school diploma or GED, and having a valid driver’s license.

Training Academy

Once accepted, applicants must attend the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy, where Wildlife Troopers receive their training alongside other law enforcement officers. The academy is a 16-week program that encompasses:

  • Classroom instruction on firearms

  • Non-lethal weaponry

  • Emergency vehicle operation courses (EVOC)

  • General classroom lessons concerning laws, court cases, and officer safety.

Special Assignments and Units

Beyond their regular duties, Alaska Wildlife Troopers can opt to work in specialized units and assignments like the Wildlife Investigations Unit and Aircraft and Marine Sections. These units offer unique challenges and responsibilities, allowing Wildlife Troopers to further develop their skills and make a greater impact in protecting Alaska’s natural resources.

Wildlife Investigations Unit

The Wildlife Investigations Unit is one of the seven investigation units in Alaska, with a special assignment for game wardens, which entails conducting major criminal investigations within Alaska Fish and Game, such as those involving illegal harvest. This unit is responsible for investigating major wildlife and environmental crimes, such as poaching, and unlawful guiding.

Serving in the Wildlife Investigations Unit requires at least one year of experience as a state trooper.

Aircraft and Marine Sections

The Aircraft and Marine Sections are specialized units for game wardens in Alaska that utilize aircraft and marine vessels for patrolling and enforcing laws. These sections are responsible for offering specialized support for aerial and marine operations, such as search and rescue missions and patrols.

To be eligible for these units, troopers must complete one year as a state trooper and adhere to the selection process. Troopers in the Marine Section typically spend over 200 days per year on the sea, showcasing their dedication to protecting Alaska’s waters.

Career Advancement and Opportunities

Alaska Wildlife Troopers have numerous opportunities for career advancement and professional growth. They can advance their careers through promotions, specialized assignments, and continuing education, ensuring they stay updated on the latest laws, regulations, and best practices in their field.

By pursuing these opportunities, Wildlife Troopers can significantly contribute to the conservation and protection of Alaska’s natural resources.

Promotion and Advancement

Wildlife Troopers have opportunities to ascend in rank and take on more responsibilities within the organization. By gaining experience and showcasing exceptional performance, Wildlife Troopers can be promoted to higher ranks and specialized positions, such as:

  • Canine units

  • Aviation

  • Dive teams

  • Field training within the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

These advancements not only offer increased responsibility and challenges but also result in better compensation and benefits.

Continuing Education and Training

Ongoing education and training are crucial for Wildlife Troopers to stay current with laws, regulations, and best practices in their field. The Alaska Wildlife Enforcement and the Alaska Game Warden Academy offer various avenues for game wardens to stay current on applicable laws, regulations, and industry best practices.

By continually updating their knowledge and skills, Wildlife Troopers can better protect and conserve Alaska’s wildlife and natural resources.

Federal Game Warden Positions in Alaska

Although this guide primarily focuses on state-level Wildlife Trooper positions, federal game warden positions in Alaska are also worth noting. These positions involve different requirements and training than state-level Wildlife Troopers and are typically employed by agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

To be considered for a federal game warden position in Alaska, applicants must meet the alaska game warden eligibility requirements, which include possessing a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management, Criminal Justice, or a related subject, and being between the ages of 21-36.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Salary and Benefits

A comprehensive salary and benefits package is provided to Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The starting salary among recruits is $72,768 ($34.98/hr.). Those with a bachelor’s degree have a higher starting salary of $75,492 ($36.29/hr.). These competitive salaries, coupled with the rewarding nature of the job and the opportunity to protect and conserve Alaska’s natural resources, make a career as an Alaska Wildlife Trooper an attractive choice for those passionate about wildlife and law enforcement.


In conclusion, becoming an Alaska Wildlife Trooper is a challenging and rewarding career, offering the opportunity to protect and preserve Alaska’s magnificent wildlife and natural resources. Through rigorous training, specialized assignments, and career advancement opportunities, Wildlife Troopers play a vital role in safeguarding Alaska’s precious ecosystems. With the information provided in this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge to embark on an exciting journey towards becoming an Alaska Wildlife Trooper.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do Alaska game wardens make?

Alaska Fish and Wildlife Officers typically make a median salary of $40,000 to $60,000 per year, while State Troopers with two years’ experience can start at $72,768 ($34.98/hr). Conservation Officers in Alaska earn an average hourly rate of $22.83, with salaries ranging from $20.87 to $21.11.

What are the requirements to be a game warden in Alaska?

In order to be a game warden in Alaska, one must possess a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management, Criminal Justice, or a related field and be between the ages of 21-36.

How much do wildlife officers make in Alaska?

Wildlife Officers in Alaska earn an average of $22.04 per hour with a starting salary of either $72,768 ($34,98/hr.) or $75,492 ($36,29/hr.) for those with a bachelor’s degree. The typical salary range for Conservation Officers in Alaska is between $43,646 and $67,669.

What degree do most game wardens have?

Most game wardens hold a degree in either criminal justice or a related field such as conservation law, environmental science, wildlife ecology, or biological sciences with a specialization in wildlife biology.

What is the primary responsibility of an Alaska Wildlife Trooper?

The primary responsibility of an Alaska Wildlife Trooper is to protect Alaska’s wildlife resources by enforcing laws and regulations, as well as educating the public on public safety, fish, and wildlife.

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