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Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer

Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer

Looking for a challenging and rewarding career? Become a Natural Resources Officer.


Are you drawn to a career in public service?

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft is seeking candidates who want to provide law enforcement services to visitors at Ohio's premier state parks, state forests, waterways and state natural areas.

This challenging and rewarding opportunity offers a diverse career path that can be found only within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a Natural Resources Officer?

Hear Officer Brecheisen share his perspective on being an officer as well as what is needed to apply for the current Natural Resources Officer cadet academy.

Read about a day in the life of a Natural Resources Officer

What is Natural Resources Officer training like?

Watch a Q&A session with current Natural Resources Officers about the hiring and training process, including perspectives on the academy and tips on how to prepare.

 

Duties and Responsibilities of Natural Resources Officers

Natural Resources Officers are commissioned peace officers who protect and promote Ohio's natural resources:

  • Law Enforcement and Public Service: Patrol and enforce laws on all waters of the state as well as state park, state forest, scenic river, and natural areas and preserve properties to keep visitors safe and to preserve Ohio's natural resources for future generations.
  • Education and Public Relations: Represent ODNR to the general public as well as recreational and conservation groups. Teach in formal and casual settings. Provide media interviews promoting an array of educational information regarding boating safety and natural resources conservation. Instruct other state, county and municipal agencies in maritime law enforcement.
  • Emergency Response: Support emergency operations and other agencies during flooding, natural disasters, search and rescue operations, and recovery situations.

Natural Resources Officer cadets receive extensive training to prepare them for a career as a Natural Resources Officer.

Cadets attend an in-residence training academy for approximately 6 months. After graduating, cadets are promoted to the Natural Resources Officer position and continue to receive additional on-the-job training.

Are You Qualified?

  • Associates degree or completion of undergraduate core program in certain areas
  • Must be able to pass fitness and swim test
  • Valid driver's license
  • Must be at least 21 years of age upon completing the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Course
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen

Minimum Qualifications for Natural Resources Officers

  • Completion of associate core program in natural resources area (e.g., parks & recreation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, conservation biology, natural science [e.g. biology, geology, wildlife, botany, ecology, agronomy]), or criminal justice/law enforcement.
  • Or 18 mos. trg. or 18 mos. exp. in natural resources area (e.g., parks & recreation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, conservation biology, natural science [e.g. biology, geology, wildlife, botany, ecology, agronomy]), or criminal justice/law enforcement
  • Or 18 mos. trg. or 18 mos. exp. (e.g., military occupational specialty &/or duty assignments) in the United States military (e.g., US Army Military Police [Provost Marshal] or Criminal Investigation Division, US Air Force Security Forces or Office of Special Investigations, US Navy Master-at-Arms or Naval Criminal Investigative Service; US Marine Corps Military Police or Criminal Investigation Division, Army Counter Intelligence, US Coast Guard Investigative Services.)
  • Must be at least 21 years of age per Section 124.41 of the Ohio revised code; must be able to continuously swim 300 yds. in 12 minutes or less, continuously tread water for 5 minutes, perform a surface dive, retrieve object in a minimum of 5 feet of water from water treading position. Watch the OPOTA Physical Fitness Instructional Video here.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Starting pay for Cadets is $21.09/hour; after graduation, Natural Resources Officer pay starts at $26.43/hour
  • Ohio Public Employees Retirement System - Law Enforcement
  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance, including wellness initiatives
  • Generous annual paid leave benefits including vacation, personal and sick
  • Education benefits for tuition, workshops and seminars, up to $3,000 annually

Apply Online