Conservation Officers

Department seeking next generation
of conservation officers

Carla Jo Ehlinger

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is seeking qualified men and women to join the next generation of conservation officers who protect and conserve the state’s wildlife and natural resources.

The department is accepting applications for game warden trainees with a starting pay of $17.03 an hour. Applications for this position will be accepted until Oct. 20.  Please visit to learn more about the position and how to apply.

Prior law enforcement experience is not required, but successful applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as fisheries or wildlife biology, forestry or criminal justice. Please visit for a complete list of qualifying degrees. Candidates also must pass psychological and medical exams, a background investigation and fitness and drug tests.

Applicants also must pass a written exam and an oral interview board before being offered a position. If hired, recruits will receive basic training at the state Law Enforcement Academy and the department’s recruit school before training with a field training officer.

Those hired can look forward to extensive training in subjects such as emergency vehicle operations, criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms training and arrest procedures. Training also includes aerial wildlife survey techniques, wildlife restraint, off-highway vehicle and boat training. 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 offers.

Conservation officers primarily work alone in remote, rural regions of the state while enforcing New Mexico’s game and fish laws, investigating criminal cases and pursuing civil cases against offenders. Officers also educate the public about wildlife and wildlife management, conduct wildlife surveys, capture nuisance animals, investigate wildlife damage to crops and property, assist in wildlife relocations, and help develop new hunting, fishing and trapping regulations.

For more information about conservation officer duties, educational and physical requirements, training and employee benefits, please visit or contact Lt. Brady Griffith, the department’s recruiting officer at (505) 795-1700 or