The Outdoors Questions & Answers: What Are The Requirements To Become A Wildlife Officer? | Outside


Question: I am interested in becoming a wildlife officer. What are the conditions to become one and how does the calendar of applications work?

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Education requirements are the most stringent for future wildlife officers. (Courtesy photo)

A: We are happy to hear from anyone interested in a career as a Wildlife Officer. The next application deadline is March 1, 2022, so write down your timeline and complete a self-assessment to see if the career is right for you.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you meet our minimum qualifications. The strictest minimum qualification is the education requirement. To be a wildlife officer, you must complete 60 college units including 18 from a related field (see below).

However, you can apply with only 30 college units, of which 18 must be obtained in a related field. In this case, you will need to continue taking college courses during the application / training process to meet the 60 unit requirement by the time you start the academy.

The recently updated related fields are Accounting, Agriculture, Animal Sciences, Anthropology, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Botany, Business, Chemistry, Computers, Communication, Conservation, criminal justice, ecology, economics, English, entomology, environmental management, environmental sciences, environmental studies, ethnic studies, fisheries or wildlife management, forestry , geography, geology, herpetology, history, law enforcement, life sciences, mammalogy, marine biology, marketing, statistics, military transfer credits, multidisciplinary studies, natural resource conservation, oceanography, ornithology, physics, police science, psychology, plant taxonomy, political science, public administration, social studies, sociology and all social sciences, water quality management, wilderness survival and zoology.

Other minimum qualifications include:

Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien who has applied for citizenship (you must be a citizen at the time of appointment).
Possess a valid driver’s license.
No felony convictions or convictions for an offense that prevents you from carrying a firearm under federal or state law.
Be in good physical condition, able to pass the physical aptitude test, medical assessment and psychological assessment.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently updated the application / hire process deadlines. The new deadlines are March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1. This means that you have more opportunities to start the training / hiring process.

The CDFW also recently changed its review process, the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB). The PELLETB tests the candidate’s knowledge of basic grammar and spelling as well as the ability to read, write and understand the English language. The CDFW offers the PELLETB test.

However, applicants are encouraged to take the PELLETB test and obtain their “T-Score” at an agency / department / academy where they live. The PELLETB test can be taken every 30 days, giving candidates the opportunity to improve their T-Score. Your PELLETB T-Score will be accepted if you have taken it within three years of the date of your application and have obtained a score of 42 or higher.

You will also need to provide proof (usually an official letter from the proctor) of your PELLETB T-Score when submitting your application.

Applicants who apply by the March 1, June 1, and December 1 deadlines must provide their own T-Score or their application will be rejected. Applicants submitting applications without a PELLETB T-score by the September 1 deadline will be invited to the November PELLETB administration, hosted by the CDFW.

The following documents are required when applying:

A completed state exam / job application (STD 678)
Unofficial transcripts
Supplementary Questionnaire on Criminal Records
PELLETB T-Score (for the March 1, June 1 and December 1 deadlines)

You can submit the required documents via the following email address (documents sent by email are preferred): [email protected].

You can also mail a copy of all required documents to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attention: HR – Review unit
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244

To be considered for the next hiring cycle, you must submit your application by March 1, 2022. Contact our Law Enforcement Recruiter, Lieutenant Perry Schultz at [email protected] for more information.

New crab regulation

Question: I understand there are new crab regulations, including gear marking requirements for crab pots. Do I need the double buoy setup if I am using crab rings to catch crab in Northern California?

A: We appreciate your interest in keeping up to date with the regulations on recreational crab fishing. The new gear marking requirements only apply to crab traps as defined in the regulations and do not apply if you are using a ring / hoop net. See California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 29.80 (c). The rules are available on the CDFW website.

For more information, including frequently asked questions regarding the new regulations, visit the CDFW Recreational Crab Fishing webpage.


Q: How many tips does CDFW receive each year through CalTIP?

A: CalTIP, which stands for Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters, was started in 1981 to serve as a mechanism for the public to confidentially or anonymously report information about wildlife crime. From 2000 to 2020, calls increased by almost 70% to reach over 6,000 calls per year.

Reporting through CalTIP allows the public to be an additional eye and ear for CDFW’s wildlife conservation officers by helping to protect against those who illegally harm the state’s natural resources. There are four ways to submit a criminal alert through CalTIP:

Dial 1-888-334-2258.
Text “CALTIP” and a message to 847411.
Use the CALTIP smartphone app.
Use the “Report Violation Online” link on CalTIP Online.

For more information, visit CalTIP online or watch the Advanced Hunter Education CalTIP webinar (video) on CDFW’s YouTube page.


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