Wildlife Conservation Officers are covered by the Civil Service Act of Pennsylvania. Applicants for these positions must be in excellent physical condition, have knowledge of hunting and outdoor activities, and be able to maintain an effective working relationship with associates and the general public.
Applicants must be: a resident of Pennsylvania; have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalency; at least 21 years of age by March 1, 2014; possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license; and pass competitive written and oral examinations administered by the Civil Service Commission. Those interested in enrolling also must have possessed a hunting or furtaking license for two license years as of March 1, 2013.
Any offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of medical, vision, hearing, physical, strength, stress, agility and swimming tests, which include swimming for 100 yards and treading water for five minutes.
After being accepted for employment, Wildlife Conservation Officer Cadets are required to complete an intensive 50-week training program conducted at the Training School.
Currently, Cadets are paid $1,173 bi-weekly and receive a standard Commonwealth employee benefits package. Lodging and meals are provided at the Training School at no charge.
Major subject areas of instruction include: wildlife management; law enforcement; principles and methods; wildlife laws and regulations; land management practices; public relations and conservation education; firearms training and unarmed self-defense; and agency administrative procedures. In addition to classroom studies, the training program includes temporary field assignments with experienced officers. Field training provides Cadets with practical experience in law enforcement and other duties performed by Wildlife Conservation Officers. Cadets are reimbursed for authorized expenses incurred on these assignments.