Requirements for 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 the date of entry into the Game Warden Training Academy. There is no maximum age limit for employment.

Education: Applicants must have successfully completed and have conferred a Bachelors level degree from an accredited college or university in any field of study. 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: 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.

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.

Vision: The applicant must have binocular vision of 20/30 or better with or without corrective lenses, soft contacts or hard contacts. If correction with corrective lenses (glasses) or hard contact lenses is required, uncorrected vision must be no worse than 20/40 in the best eye and 20/100 in the worst eye. If soft contacts are used for correction, uncorrected vision must be 20/200 or better in 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 (lights and placards).

Physical Readiness: 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.

  • Sit-up – Measures muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles

The score is the number of sit-ups performed in one minute. Sit-ups measure trunk endurance which is necessary to lift and to perform manual material and equipment handling tasks. Sit-ups will begin lying flat on the ground with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.  Your feet may be together or apart, but the heels must stay in contact with the surface.  Your partner will hold your ankles.  The tips of your fingers must stay behind the ears.  On the command you will lift your upper body (head and torso) by bending at the waist, move your elbows to or past your knees.  Return to the starting position, with your shoulder blades touching the surface.  That will constitute one repetition.  If you arch your back, lift your buttocks from the floor or mat, move your fingertips forward of your ears, fail to touch the knees, stop to rest in the down position, or fail to touch your shoulders to the floor or mat, the repetition will not count.   You must complete at least 22 Sit-ups in one minute to pass this event; rests may be taken in the upright position with the elbows at or past the knees.

  • Push-Ups - Upper body muscular endurance.  Push-Ups will measure the capacity to exert muscular effort repeatedly or continuously over a period of time.  Arm and back endurance capacity is necessary to perform manual tasks and equipment handling tasks without fatigue or injury.  Starting from the up position (elbows fully extended); you must keep your body in straight line from the shoulders to the ankles at all times and lower yourself to the floor until your chest is 3 inches from the floor. Applicant then returns to the up position for one repetition.  The count stops if any part of the body, other than the toes and palms, touch the ground.  You must complete a minimum of 18 push-ups in one minute to pass this event; rests may be taken while in the up position.
  • 1.5 Mile Run - Cardiovascular Capacity.  This run measures cardiovascular endurance and is related to the ability to perform strenuous work for long periods with minimum decrease in performance.  You must finish the run within 17 minutes and 21 seconds to pass this event.
  • Handgun Stability.  Applicant will be required to dry-fire a pistol, five consecutive trigger pulls with the index finger of each hand while holding the barrel inside a 5-inch ring.  While holding the handgun with both hands, applicant must transition to the kneeling position and dry fire the pistol five times while holding the barrel inside a 5-inch ring. When this exercise is complete the applicant is required to return to a standing position and, using both hands with arms extended, pull the slide to the rear, locked position.
  • 300 Meter Run - Speed.  This is a test for anaerobic capacity which is important for performing short intense bursts of effort such as pursuits.  Must be completed in 77 seconds.
  • Swim Test.  This test is to ensure applicant has minimum basic swimming skills, an essential skill for self rescue or rescue of another in the water.  Applicant must fall backwards into the pool from the pool side, and tread water or float for 1 minute, then immediately swim 100 meters, without assistance or rest, in no more than 4 minutes. (Touching the bottom of the pool, the lane dividers, or the sides of the pool, except to change directions at the end of a length during the 100-meter swim or the need for physical assistance will result in a disqualification.  The applicant must swim continuously in a forward motion, without stopping, utilizing any stroke desired. The applicant can push off of the wall and utilize a flip turn if they choose to).  Swim goggles are optional.  Face masks that cover the nose, snorkels, nose clips, fins, wet suits or any other aid will not be permitted.