The state of Colorado and the federal government employ game wardens every year, but the number of available positions is a fraction of the number of hopeful candidates who apply. Game wardens in Colorado are referred to as wildlife managers, and are responsible for patrolling recreational areas to ensure all hunting, boating and fishing laws are adhered to. The job requires being in the field or on the road frequently and typically working weekends.
Prepare for the Job
Obtain a minimum of a bachelor's degree in animal or environmental science, biology, agronomy, conservation biology, forestry, forest or range management, zoology, ecology or a closely related major. Learn about public safety and security, law and government, biology and geography.
Sign-up for -- and complete -- programs to earn your hunter education and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certifications.
Gain related experience in outdoor work through internships, volunteer opportunities, shadowing programs or temporary jobs with the forestry or wildlife departments. Seek employment in another position in game or law enforcement departments while you wait for a wildlife manager vacancy.
Apply With the State
Check the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website -- cpw.state.co.us -- for vacancy announcements. Colorado Parks and Wildlife notes that between eight and 12 job vacancies for wildlife managers are announced each September. Submit an application through the vacancy announcement.
Attend the pre-employment interview when invited to do so.
Allow the drug screen, fingerprinting and background check when requested.
Pass the Wildlife Management Multiple Choice Exam and scenario-based written narrative test. Complete the oral assessment, polygraph test and physical fitness exam, which is comprised of timed activities that include running, push-ups and sit-ups.
Finish the training process that includes handling wildlife, proper use of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles, defensive driving and training at the Colorado law enforcement police academy. Pass the final exam to obtain the Peace Officer Standards and Training Certificate.
Apply With the Federal Government
Go to USAJobs.com and search for Colorado-based vacancies at the U.S. Fisheries & Wildlife Service.
Click apply online through the vacancy announcement to submit your resume online, along with any accompanying documents that may be required, such as a copy of your social security card and proof of citizenship.
Complete the background check, drug screen, fingerprinting and employment interview. Pass the physical fitness, psychological and polygraph exams.
Finish 20 weeks of training in wildlife law enforcement and criminal investigation, including arrest procedures, witness or suspect interviews and courtroom testimony. Finish an additional 44 weeks of field training with experienced officers that includes firearms use, surveillance methods and undercover operations.