How to Become a Game Warden in North Dakota: Your Ultimate Guide

Have you ever dreamed of combining your love for the outdoors with a rewarding career in conservation? Learning how to become a game warden in North Dakota could be the perfect opportunity for you. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the essential requirements, the certification process, training, and much more, to help you make an informed decision about this exciting career path.

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Applicants for North Dakota game warden must meet age, driver’s license, driving record and legal history requirements as well as have high scores on the state exam.

  • Education and experience are beneficial to demonstrate commitment and expertise in the field of wildlife conservation.

  • Game wardens can expect an average salary of $67,760 per annum plus various benefits such insurance coverage, paid leave & retirement plans.

North Dakota Game Warden Requirements

Becoming a game warden in North Dakota is a rewarding career choice that allows you to contribute to wildlife conservation while working closely with the public. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department sets specific criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for a game warden position. These requirements include:

  • Being at least 21 years of age

  • Possessing a valid North Dakota driver’s license

  • Having an acceptable driving record

  • Ex-military personnel from the United States are required to show proof of an ‘Under Honorable Conditions’ discharge.

Moreover, a clean legal history is required of applicants. Factors like felony convictions, for example, could disqualify potential candidates from becoming a game warden in North Dakota. High scores on the state exam are preferred, giving applicants with strong academic backgrounds an advantage in the hiring process.

Game wardens in North Dakota are responsible for a range of duties, including educating the public about conservation, hunting, firearms, and boat safety, as well as providing assistance to other law enforcement agencies. Knowing the requirements for this position can help potential candidates better showcase their skills and qualifications to the hiring committee.

Education and Experience

While a bachelor’s degree is preferred for North Dakota game wardens, it is not mandatory. Several educational institutions in the state, such as Valley City State University, offer relevant programs for those interested in pursuing this career. A degree in environmental science or wildlife management can be just as valuable as experience in law enforcement.

To become a game warden in North Dakota, applicants need to submit a letter of intent to the chief game warden in Bismarck when an examination has been scheduled. Previous experience in law enforcement or wildlife management can be advantageous for those seeking a game warden position, as it demonstrates their commitment and expertise in the field.

Acquiring the correct education and pertinent experience can improve an aspiring game warden’s probability of getting hired. This will also enhance their ability to positively affect wildlife and natural resources in North Dakota.

Physical and Psychological Fitness

Aspiring game wardens in North Dakota must meet specific physical and psychological requirements to ensure their fitness for the job. Applicants will be subject to a comprehensive background check and a psychological assessment, which are essential for evaluating their suitability for the position.

Vision requirements include having visual acuity of no less than 20/40 uncorrected in each eye, which must be corrected to 20/20 in each eye. Additionally, applicants must have normal color vision and good peripheral vision. These standards are vital for the effective performance of a game warden’s duties in protecting North Dakota’s fish and wildlife resources.

Applicants must also demonstrate sound physical condition, the ability to swim, and pass all components of the physical readiness testing. While there are no specific weight or height criteria for North Dakota game wardens, being in good overall physical shape is essential for performing the demanding tasks associated with this career.

North Dakota Peace Officer Certification Process

To become a certified peace officer in North Dakota, applicants must complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out the North Dakota Criminal Justice Application.

  2. Obtain training and certification through the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program.

  3. Attend a four-month basic training at a POST-approved training academy.

  4. Comply with all related laws and rules for licensing.

Applicants must also pass the following exams and evaluations:

  • Use of Force examination

  • Licensing examination, including obtaining a valid driver’s license

  • Written police exam

  • Medical exam

  • Psychological evaluation

The peace officer certification process in North Dakota can take up to one year, so it’s essential to plan accordingly and be prepared for this commitment.

Completing the necessary training and passing the required exams will enable aspiring game wardens to obtain peace officer certification. This is a significant step towards their goal of becoming effective protectors of North Dakota’s wildlife.

Training and Preparation for North Dakota Game Wardens

In addition to meeting the necessary requirements and obtaining peace officer certification, applicants for the game warden position in North Dakota must also undergo a structured oral interview as part of the application process. This interview evaluates the candidate’s:

  • knowledge

  • skills

  • abilities

  • desired qualifications

This ensures they successfully complete their preparation for the challenges of the job.

Physical requirements for aspiring game wardens include:

  • Demonstrating sound physical condition

  • Ability to swim

  • Passing all components of the physical readiness testing, which assesses their ability to perform the demanding tasks associated with the role.

Medical examinations are also required for North Dakota game wardens to ensure they are in good health and able to carry out their duties effectively. Successfully completing these training and preparation steps allows candidates to show their dedication and commitment to becoming proficient game wardens in North Dakota.

Federal vs. State Game Warden Positions in North Dakota

Game wardens in North Dakota can be employed by the state’s Game and Fish Department. Alternatively, they may also work for the U.S. The Fish and Wildlife Service provides many services, including the Office of Law Enforcement. This office is dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitats through strict enforcement of hunting and fishing regulations. While both positions involve enforcing game and fish laws and educating the public about conservation, hunting, firearms, and boat safety, there are some differences in their specific responsibilities and requirements.

Federal game wardens in North Dakota focus on enforcing game and fish laws, investigating reports of damage to crops or property caused by wildlife, and patrolling assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. On the other hand, North Dakota State Game Wardens, including the district game warden, are responsible for enforcing state law regarding natural resources, protecting wildlife, and ensuring adherence to hunting, fishing, trapping, and boating regulations.

While a bachelor’s degree is desirable for federal game wardens, it is not mandatory. However, having relevant education and experience in law enforcement or wildlife management can be beneficial for both federal and state game warden positions in North Dakota.

Salaries and Benefits for North Dakota Game Wardens

Game wardens in North Dakota can expect to earn an average salary of $67,760 per annum, which is higher than the national average. During training, full-time temporary district game wardens receive a salary of $4,500 per month. Salaries can vary based on experience, education, and location, so it’s essential to keep these factors in mind when considering a career in this field.

Besides competitive salaries, North Dakota game wardens also enjoy benefits such as:

  • Insurance coverage

  • Paid leave

  • Retirement plans

  • Other perks available to North Dakota state government employees

These benefits can help ensure a secure and comfortable lifestyle for game wardens and their families.

Understanding the salary and benefits that come with game warden positions in North Dakota can help prospective candidates decide whether this career path aligns with their financial aspirations and expectations.

Wildlife Law Enforcement Efforts in North Dakota

State game wardens in North Dakota play a crucial role in enforcing laws and regulations related to fishing and hunting, ensuring the protection of the state’s valuable wildlife resources. Recent statistics show a total of 170 big game violations in the state, including:

  • Tagging violations

  • CWD violations

  • Killing the wrong species or sex

  • Shining big game

In 2012, game wardens in North Dakota identified 251 small game violations and key violations of big game regulations involving the hunting of bighorn sheep and deer. These efforts help preserve North Dakota’s rich wildlife heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Staying updated about the latest enforcement efforts and statistics can provide aspiring game wardens with important knowledge about the challenges and successes of wildlife law enforcement in North Dakota. This can help them comprehend the significance of their role as law enforcement officers in safeguarding the state’s valuable natural resources.

Resources and Contact Information for Aspiring Game Wardens

For those interested in becoming game wardens in North Dakota, several resources and contacts can provide useful information and guidance. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website offers basic information about the profession, while the Game Warden Organization website provides details about game warden careers, education, and job opportunities.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, also known as the North Dakota fish department’s main office, can be contacted at 100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095, phone: 701-328-6300, email: For more information, visit the game and fish website. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Legacy Region 6 Law Enforcement Special Agent Kevin Downs can be reached at (701) 355-8531.

Scholarships are also available for higher education students majoring in wildlife law enforcement, such as those offered by the North Dakota Game Wardens Association. Utilizing these resources and contacts, aspiring game wardens can collect important information and support as they pursue a rewarding career dedicated to wildlife conservation in North Dakota.


In conclusion, becoming a game warden in North Dakota is an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for those passionate about wildlife conservation and public service. By meeting the necessary requirements, obtaining the appropriate education and experience, and completing the certification and training process, aspiring game wardens can make a significant impact on preserving North Dakota’s natural resources for future generations. With competitive salaries, benefits, and the opportunity to make a difference, a career as a game warden in North Dakota is an excellent choice for those dedicated to protecting our precious wildlife and natural habitats.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do game wardens make in North Dakota?

Game wardens in North Dakota earn an average annual salary of around $67,760 – $71,280 depending on experience. Those new to the job earn an average of $36,700 while those with experience can make up to $62,140 per year.

How many game wardens are in North Dakota?

North Dakota has 38 full-time game wardens, with each patrolling districts of approximately 2,438 square miles.

What is the best degree for a game warden?

For those interested in becoming a game warden, the best degree would be in criminal justice, wildlife and natural resource conservation, wildlife ecology, or biological science (specifically wildlife biology).

What state do game wardens make the most money?

Rhode Island and California offer the highest average salaries for game wardens, with Rhode Island paying $79,440 per year and California paying $79,220 per year.

What is the difference between a federal and state game warden in North Dakota?

Federal game wardens enforce federal laws regarding the protection of wildlife and their habitats, whereas state game wardens in North Dakota enforce state law related to natural resources and the preservation of wildlife.

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