Requirements for Texas Game Warden

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

Age: An applicant must have reached the age of 21 years on or before October 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 January 1, 2024. Prior military or law enforcement experience is not a substitute for the education requirements, lateral transfers are not allowed, all applicants must go through the game warden academy.

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 *From any state in the US

Peace Officer License: The applicant must not have had a commission license:

  • denied by final order
  • revoked
  • have a voluntary surrender of a license currently in effect.

Military Service: The applicant must not have been discharged from any military service under less than honorable conditions.

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, and/or probation or parole for any criminal offense above the grade of Class C Misdemeanor.

Salary (Schedule C): Applicants currently holding Schedule C positions with another state agency in Texas, who meet all minimum qualifications, are selected and complete the Game Warden Academy, will return to their current Schedule C salary position after 1 year of satisfactory performance in the field. This applies only to the similar rank of Game Warden VI or below.

Drug Use: Applicant must have no current illegal drug use, within the past 2 years from the start date of the application process. Illegal drug use is the use of a drug that is considered illegal in Texas. For example: Marijuana use in some states is legal, but illegal in Texas. So if you used marijuana in those states, TPWD will consider that as illegal drug use. This also includes the use of prescribed drugs used in an illegal manner.

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

Physical Condition: The applicant must be examined by a licensed physician and be declared to be able to physically perform the duties of a game warden cadet prior to employment.

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:

  • Handgun stability
  • 2,000-meter row
  • Swim

*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 Game Warden is very competitive, and only the top qualified applicants will be selected to attend the Texas Game Warden Academy.

All Game Warden 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. Game Warden 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

*To calculate individual row times use this link

Swim Test

Applicants must fall backwards into the pool and tread water for 1 minute (body upright treading water not merely floating), 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:

  • Touch or hold the horizontal edge of the pool
  • Touch the bottom of the pool
  • Hold onto any pool lane markers

Note: needs to be mentally and physically capable of submerging themselves underwater.