State Park Police Requirements

All applicants must meet the minimum qualifications outlined below for consideration as a State Park Police Cadet with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Age: An applicant must have reached the age of 21 years on or before Oct. 1, 2024. There is no maximum age limit for employment.

Education: Applicants must have successfully completed and have conferred a bachelor’s level degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study by Jan. 1, 2024. Prior military or law enforcement experience is not a substitute for the education requirements.

Citizenship: Must be a citizen of the United States.

Work Eligibility: Federal law requires that all new employees present original documents that establish identity and U.S. employment eligibility. These documents must be presented at the time of employment.

License: The applicant must possess a valid driver's license.

Peace Officer License: The applicant must not have had a commission license denied by final order or revoked, or have a voluntary surrender of a license currently in effect.

Military Service: 

  • Applicants that have received a dishonorable discharge, are not eligible for re-entry service or whose discharge from military
    service was for ineptitude, unsuitability, undesirability or like causes will be rejected.
  • Applicants that possess an honorable discharge, re-entry code 4, or general discharge under honorable conditions are eligible to apply. Applicants with military service must submit a copy of their most current military history form (DD-214 Member-4
    Copy or NGB-22) with required forms during the application process.

Background: Applicants will be subjected to, and must successfully pass, a thorough and comprehensive background investigation prior to appointment to a cadet position. The applicant must be of good moral character and not have any of the following incidents in their criminal history:

  • a conviction for any Felony or Class A Misdemeanor offense at any time;
  • a conviction for any Class B Misdemeanor offense within 10 years prior to the date of application, which includes convictions for DWI (driving while intoxicated), DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) and BWI (boating while intoxicated) never have been convicted of any family violence offense currently on court-ordered community supervision, probation or parole for any criminal offense above the grade of Class C Misdemeanor.

Drug Use: The applicant may have no current illegal drug use.

Psychological Condition: The applicant must be examined by a department approved licensed psychologist and be declared to be in satisfactory psychological and emotional health for law enforcement duty prior to entrance into the approved academy and the issuance of a peace officer license.

Physical Condition: The applicant must be examined by a department approved licensed physician and be declared to be able to physically perform the duties of a State Park Police cadet prior to entrance into the approved academy and the issuance of a peace officer license.

Hearing: The applicant must meet the minimal standard with or without hearing aids of 35 decibels or better in each of the following four frequencies: 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz; to include long distance, directional and voice conversation hearing.


  • Uncorrected visual acuity must be at least 20/100 (both eyes) for those who wear glasses or hard contact lenses.
  • Wearers of soft contact lenses are exempt from uncorrected visual acuity. If you wear contact lenses, you must wear them during the medical exam. Corrected visual acuity should be at least 20/20 (both eyes) and 20/40 (each eye).
  • Applicant must have uninterrupted peripheral vision of 140 degrees or better, have night vision and be able to distinguish red and green colors.

Physical Readiness Test

The applicant must successfully complete a physical readiness test, which includes the following activities:

NOTE: Before being allowed to take the physical readiness tests the applicant will be required to provide a description of the test to a physician and obtain a written medical clearance.

The application process to become a Texas State Park Police is very competitive, and only the top qualified applicants will be selected to attend the Texas Game Warden Academy.

All State Park Police Cadets accepted to attend the academy must pass the entrance physical readiness test at the minimum 70 percentile on the first day of the academy. State Park Police Cadets not passing the entrance physical readiness test at the minimum requirement will have their conditional job offer rescinded and will be sent home. Cadets sent home due to not passing the entrance physical readiness test or who resign from the game warden academy will be required to reapply and complete the application process again if the applicant wishes to attend a future game warden academy.

Handgun stability (Dry Fire)

  • Complete five consecutive dry fire trigger pulls with the index finger in the standing position, with both the left and right hand, holding the barrel within a 5-inch ring without touching the sides of the ring.
  • While holding the handgun with both hands, the applicant must transition to the kneeling position and dry fire the pistol five times while holding the barrel inside a 5-inch ring without touching the sides of the ring.
  • After the exercise is complete, the applicant is required to return to the standing position and using both hands pull the slide to the rear locked position therefore displaying a safe weapon.

2,000-meter row*

This test will be conducted on a Concept 2 Rower.

  • Applicants must achieve, at minimum, the 70th percentile VO2 max
  • Time limits will be individualized and calculated based upon, age, weight, and gender.
  • Each rower will be set at 2000 meters with the damper set on level 5.

*To calculate individual row times use this link


  • Applicants must fall backwards into the pool and tread water or float for 1 minute without touching the sides or the bottom of the pool.
  • After the 1-minute water tread, applicants will be required to swim 100 meters within 3 minutes.
  • Any stroke may be used.
  • Applicants will be allowed to push off the vertical part of the wall under the water line on each end of the pool or use a flip turn.
  • Applicants will not be allowed to do the following: (any of the following will result in a fail)
    • Touch or hold the horizontal edge of the pool
    • Touch the bottom of the pool
    • Hold onto any pool lane markers

Other links