What does a Conservation Officer do?

Let’s find out!

Courtesy of the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish, below is a job profile for this role.

“Conservation Officers (Fish and Game Wardens) can be found patrolling the lands and waters of the state day and night. Most people will tell you that enforcing the game and fish laws is their primary responsibility, but the job doesn’t stop there. In addition to enforcement, the conservation officer educates the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conducts wildlife surveys, captures “problem animals,” investigates wildlife damage to crops and property, assists in wildlife relocations and helps to develop new regulations.”

Department now accepting applications for conservation officers

“SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking qualified men and women to apply to become conservation officers, who protect and conserve New Mexico’s wildlife.

The department is currently accepting applications for conservation officer trainees with a starting pay of $18.34 an hour. Applications for this position will be accepted until Oct. 19, 2019. Physical assessments and interviews will take place Nov. 16, 2019 in Santa Fe. Candidates who advance past the interviews may be required to stay in Santa Fe until Nov. 22, 2019 for further testing.

Prior law enforcement experience is not required. Successful applicants must possess a qualifying bachelor’s degree before Oct. 19, 2019. Qualifying degrees are those in a field related to wildlife management, biology or criminal justice. Aside from a written exam, oral interview and fitness test, successful candidates must also pass a psychological exam, medical exam, background investigation and drug test.

Upon hiring, recruits will receive basic training at the law enforcement academy, department’s recruit school and one year of on-the-job training before working alone in the field. Those hired can look forward to extensive training in subjects such as wildlife law investigations, aerial wildlife survey techniques, wildlife restraint, wildlife management principles, vehicle operations, defensive tactics, arrest procedures, OHV training, boat training and firearms training. The training is rigorous and the work is often difficult, requiring sound judgement, a good work ethic and common sense.

“The department is seeking highly motivated personnel who are up to the challenge this career represents,” says recruiting officer Brady Griffith.

Conservation officers, along with enforcing New Mexico’s game and fish laws, educate the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conduct wildlife surveys, capture “problem animals,” investigate wildlife damage to crops and property, assist in wildlife relocations and help develop new hunting, fishing and trapping regulations. They work primarily alone in the most remote regions of the state and are often stationed in small towns.

Interested applicants can get more information about conservation officer duties, educational and physical requirements, training and employee benefits by visiting the department’s enforcement page or contacting Griffith at (505) 795-1700 or bradyd.griffith@state.nm.us.”

By Patrick Chidsey
Patrick Chidsey Associate Director & Career Coach Patrick Chidsey