How to Become a Park Warden

How to Become a Park Warden: Career Guide

If you want to become a park warden, you will need a lot of determination and dedication, as this competitive job field is a highly demanding one both physically and mentally.


Park wardens are the front-line men and women responsible for educating the public, enforcing laws related to provincial and national parks and protecting our natural resources.  This job requires physical and mental fitness, as well as a high degree of responsibility and trustworthiness.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a park warden. We've also included helpful information for a park warden career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Park Warden

If you want to become a park warden, a degree in a Criminal Justice, Criminology, Environmental Science, Forestry or Outdoor Recreation can be of great benefit to you.


Although some employers may not require park warden candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, it is usually required and is highly recommended. Even if it is not a requirement in the eyes of certain employers, it will give you an edge over other applicants.


In place of, or in addition to education, some employers prefer candidates that have a few years of experience of progressively responsible experience in conservation work or park operations.




Park Warden Job Description

A park warden is responsible for the management and oversight of law enforcement, public safety and natural resources within national and provincial/state parks. Park wardens utilize their educational background and work experience to monitor ecological concerns and maintain the environmental health of provincial/state and national parks.



Park Warden Job Duties

• Monitor and manage heritage resources in national parks

• Organize and provide search and rescue services for the general public and staff

• Enforce laws and regulations within the park

• Serve as public spokesperson regarding changes and activities within the park

• Prepare budgets

• Conduct statistical surveys

• Offer information and assistance to park visitors, residents and staff

• Coordinate activities related to the suppression of forest fires



Who Hires Park Wardens?

Park wardens are public sector employees that are responsible for the protection of our natural resources, and enforcing any applicable laws as per provincial and federal legislation. Various provincial and federal government departments hire park wardens. Examples of typical names for government agencies and departments that hire park wardens include:


• Ministry of Environment (Provincial Government)

• Department of Natural Resources (Federal Government)

• Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (Federal Government)

• Parks Canada (Federal Government)




Working Conditions for Park Wardens

Work Environment: Park wardens may work indoors, or outdoors, depending on the employer or even the duties for the particular day. The outdoor work of park wardens may involve extreme weather conditions and rough terrain. Travel is often required in this job, typically by car or boat, but may include traveling by other means such as hiking, horseback, snowmobile, canoe, helicopter and others.


Physical Demands: There is a degree of physical risk involved in a career as a park warden, capturing and handling animals and enforcing regulations can be quite dangerous. Light duty lifting (up to 20 pounds) is often required, and heavy lifting may also be required in some circumstances.


Hours of Work: Park wardens typically work a variety of hours, often working evenings, weekends and holidays. Overtime may be required on short notice to respond to violations or events involving serious conflict between humans and wildlife.



Other Qualifications Needed to Become a Park Warden

• Physical strength, stamina and health

• Good eyesight

• Enjoy working outdoors

• Enjoy working with the general public

• Must be responsible

• Must have a keen interest in nature and the environment

• Must be able to stay calm in stressful situations

• Must be able to effectively deal with difficult people and situations

• Must have a liking of outdoor travel, such as hiking

• Must not have a criminal record



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Park Warden Salary

Park Warden Salary Canada: According to ECO Canada, the average salary for a Park Warden in Canada is $52,400 per year.


Park Warden Salary United States: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, those that worked in the Conservation and Fishery Officers occupational group in Alberta earned an average of $25.28 to $31.53 per hour.



Careers Similar to Park Warden

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Park Warden, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Border Services Officer

By-Law Enforcement Officer

Conservation Officer


Land Manager

Police Officer



References: Park Warden Career

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Park Warden.


Occupations in Alberta:Park Warden.” (March 31, 2017). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 7, 2020.

Occupational Employment and Wages:Fish & Game Wardens.” (March 30, 2018). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved January 7, 2020.

Science & Engineering Careers:Park Ranger.” (n.d.). Science Buddies website. Retrieved January 7, 2020.

Explore Careers:Park Warden.” (n.d.). ECO Canada website. Retrieved January 7, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Park Warden

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Park Warden can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Park Warden: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a park warden. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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