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Careers with the Division of Wildlife

Careers with the Division of Wildlife

The Division of Wildlife is always looking for talented, dedicated people who have a strong interest in fish and wildlife conservation. College or university graduates who have natural sciences degrees such as wildlife management, biology, fisheries, environmental law enforcement or environmental science fill many of our jobs. They must be skilled writers and communicators and enjoy working with the public. Our employees develop wildlife habitat, regulate hunting and fishing, teach children and adults about wildlife and hunter education, research reasons why species decline and how to increase the diversity of our wildlife. We also employ support personnel such as accountants, maintenance repair workers, computer specialists and other talents as needed. Pay varies depending on the skill, education and experience required to do the job.

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See open seasonal positions with the Division of Wildlife
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Education and Preparation

If you are interested in a career in the field of Fish and Wildlife Management/Research or Law Enforcement we recommend the following:

High School

Besides your core courses, try to emphasize courses in the sciences such as biology, chemistry, and math, and in communications including composition and public speaking. Taking advanced courses in these areas is recommended. Participating in natural resource classes and FFA activities is also encouraged.

College

It is not easy to obtain an entry-level position without a college education. Some colleges or universities do not offer a major in wildlife or fisheries management or law enforcement. If such a major is not available at the university of your choice, a major in biology, ecology or zoology with emphasis in mammalogy (the study of mammals), ornithology (the study of birds) or ichthyology (the study of fishes) is helpful.

University vs. Technical School

Most technical schools offer a two-year degree and have courses, which will address most of the entry-level requirements. If you choose to go to a technical school or two-year college, make sure the school is accredited and courses offered are transferable to other colleges and universities.

A Bachelor or Master of Science degree from a university is preferred and offers you better promotional opportunities. This is a minimum if you desire research type positions. Regardless of which educational institution you choose to attend, be a conscientious student. Good grades are important. Jobs in fisheries and wildlife are limited and turnover is low, so prepare to work hard to compete for the few available positions.


Career Opportunities

The Ohio Division of Wildlife offers a diversity of career opportunities.

Fish Management and Research

Fisheries Biology Supervisor
Fisheries Biologist I & II
Fish Management Supervisor
Fish Management Unit Leader
Fish Management Technician
Fish Hatchery Superintendent
Fish Hatchery Coordinator
Natural Resources Worker

Management

The Division of Wildlife manages the fisheries of 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams, 2 ¼ million acres of Lake Erie, and Ohio’s portion of 481 miles of the Ohio River. For the benefit of approximately two million anglers and other resource users, the Division manages water areas by improving spawning habitat, installing fish attractors, stocking, implementing fishing regulations, and incorporating structural features to improve fish habitat. Management also includes monitoring fish populations and angler harvest by conducting electro fishing, netting, and creel censuses. An important service to anglers is the construction and maintenance of facilities such as shoreline fishing areas and boat ramps at piers and parking areas. Efforts are continuing to make these and other facilities available to persons with mobility disabilities. Providing fisheries information to the public through publications, clinics, and personal contact is an important aspect of serving Ohio’s anglers.

To maintain a variety of fishing opportunities in Ohio, the Division operates six hatcheries, which annually propagate up to 30 million fish. Some of the primary species produced are walleye, saugeye, channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, muskellunge, and rainbow trout.

Research

The Division conducts research on Ohio’s inland lakes and streams and the Ohio River to develop management practices that will improve the fisheries of these waters. The fisheries of Lake Erie are monitored constantly, in cooperation with the other Lake Erie states and the province of Ontario, as a basis for developing management programs for this heavily fished body of water.

Information and Education

Wildlife Communication Coordinator
Wildlife Communication Specialist
Wildlife Program Manager
Public Information Officer
Publications Editor
Electronic Design Coordinator
Audio/Visual Production Specialist

The Division of Wildlife actively participates in a variety of education projects designed to increase the knowledge of all Ohioans who have an interest in wildlife resources.

Information

Wildlife information and education staff and other personnel conduct many education projects statewide. They also work in cooperation with Ohio’s news media—radio, newspaper, and television—to explain fish and wildlife management to the public.

The Division of Wildlife’s Wild Ohio Magazine has informative articles for everyone interested in Ohio’s wildlife. The weekly Wild Ohio TV program can be seen on many PBS stations in Ohio.

Education

Strong emphasis is placed on efforts to educate elementary and secondary students about Ohio’s wildlife. The Division is actively involved in bringing Project WILD into schools around Ohio. Project WILD is an environmental conservation education project designed to supplement existing curriculums and to create an awareness and appreciation of the wildlife resource.

A comprehensive aquatic resources education project provides angling instruction for beginners, fishing activities at the Ohio State Fair, a wide variety of fishing clinics, and Aquatic Project WILD that emphasizes the value and functions of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems.

Specially trained volunteer instructors also teach hunter and trapper education courses to thousands each year. Hunter and trapper education courses are mandatory for first-time hunters and trappers. The courses are designed to instill a code of ethics and responsibility, as well as provide instruction in special skills and equipment, wildlife management, and regulations. Clinics and classes are also offered for advanced hunters.

Wildlife Management and Research

Wildlife Biology Supervisor
Wildlife Biologist I & II
Wildlife Management Supervisor
Asst. Wildlife Management Supervisor
Wildlife Management Consultant
Wildlife Research Technician
Wildlife Area Supervisor
Wildlife Area Coordinator
Wildlife Area Technician
Natural Resources Worker

Management

Wildlife management consists of projects that affect wildlife populations and wildlife recreational users. These projects usually involve habitat manipulation, management of wildlife populations, land acquisition, research, or the creation of opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife.

Research

Wildlife research is part of the foundation for Division programs, and provides the basic information needed for setting seasons, making management decisions, and evaluating the status of wildlife populations. Research projects also pioneer new ways to tackle problems and improve existing programs. A significant amount of research is carried out in cooperation with Ohio colleges and universities.

Wildlife Law Enforcement

Wildlife Law Enforcement Program Administrator
Wildlife Law Enforcement District Supervisor
Wildlife Officer Supervisor
Wildlife Investigator
Wildlife Officer
Wildlife Officer Cadet

Wildlife and natural resources management requires effective enforcement of laws and regulations. This enforcement responsibility is assigned to Ohio’s wildlife officers whose duties are to protect the wildlife resource, ensure fair and equitable use, protect state property, and enforce other statues such as litter, pollution, and firearms regulations. Wildlife law enforcement is a unique area of law enforcement that blends criminal justice and law enforcement duties with wildlife conservation, education, and public service. Annually, wildlife officers contact thousands of sportsmen and women in the field; patrol thousands of acres of wildlife lands, Lake Erie, and inland streams and lakes. They issue and inspect wildlife related permits, conduct criminal investigations, handle numerous violation reports, and make thousands of arrests. As state law enforcement officers they contribute to public safety in their local areas and in Ohio’s great outdoors. They also speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs, perform fish and wildlife surveys, and provide technical advice and instruction about wildlife management issues, hunting, fishing and trapping.

Learn more about becoming a wildlife officer

Seasonal Positions

Wildlife Management

Seasonal wildlife management employees will perform a variety of general support duties which will vary from day to day & by location based upon Division of Wildlife assignments on public use facilities, such as vegetation control, wildlife banding, controlled hunt admission, and wildlife surveys.

Fish Management

Seasonal fish management employees will perform a variety of general support duties which will vary from day to day, such as fisheries surveys, fishing area and headquarter maintenance, and boat and vehicle maintenance.

See open seasonal positions with the Division of Wildlife