Career in the Wildlife Department (2023)

The Wildlife Division is always looking for talented and passionate individuals with a strong interest in fish and wildlife conservation. College or university graduates with degrees in the natural sciences, such as wildlife management, biology, fisheries, environmental law enforcement or environmental science, fill many of our positions. You must be a talented writer and communicator and enjoy working with the public. Our employees develop wildlife habitats, regulate hunting and fishing, educate children and adults about wildlife and hunter education, research causes of species extinction and how we can increase the diversity of our wildlife. . We also employ support staff such as accountants, maintenance workers, computer specialists and other talent as needed. Pay depends on the skills, training, and experience needed to do the job.

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Check out seasonal openings in the Wildlife Division
Volunteer with ODNR

education and preparation

If you are interested in a career in fish and wildlife management/investigation or law enforcement, we recommend the following:

High school

In addition to your major subjects, try to emphasize science courses, such as biology, chemistry, and math, and communication courses, including writing and public speaking. Advanced courses in these areas are recommended. Participation in natural resource classes and FFA activities is also encouraged.


It's not easy to get an entry-level position without a college degree. Some colleges or universities do not offer specializations in wildlife or fisheries management or law enforcement. If such a major is not available at the college of your choice, choosing a major in Biology, Ecology or Zoology with an emphasis on Mammology (mammal science), Ornithology (bird science) or Ichthyology (bird science) is helpful. Fish). .

University vs. Technical University

Most technical schools offer a two-year degree and have courses that cover most basic needs. If you choose to attend a two-year college or university, make sure the school is accredited and that the courses offered are transferable to other universities and colleges.

A bachelor's or master's degree from a university is preferred and offers better opportunities for advancement. That's the bare minimum if you want jobs of a research nature. Whatever educational institution you attend, be a conscientious student. Good grades are important. Fishing and wildlife jobs are limited and turnover is low, so be prepared to work hard to compete for the few spots available.

career opportunities

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

Fish Management and Research

Fishery Biology Supervisor
Fisheries Biologist I and II
Fish Management Supervisor
Head of the Fish Management Department
Fish Management Technician
Head of Fish Farming
fish farming coordinator
natural resource workers


The Wildlife Division manages fisheries for 124,000 freshwater acres, 7,000 miles of creeks, 2 ¼ million acres of Lake Erie and the Ohio portion of the 481-mile Ohio River. For the benefit of approximately two million fishers and other resource users, the department manages the aquatic areas by improving spawning habitat, installing fish attractants, restocking, enforcing fisheries regulations, and incorporating structural features to improve fish habitat. . Management also includes monitoring fish populations and catches by fishermen, performing counts of electric fishing nets and pots. An important service for fishermen is the construction and maintenance of facilities such as inshore fishing areas and boat ramps at docks and parking areas. Efforts continue to make these and other facilities available to people with reduced mobility. Providing fishing information to the public through publications, clinics, and personal contact is an important aspect of serving Ohio fishermen.

To maintain a variety of fishing opportunities in Ohio, the division operates six hatcheries that raise up to 30 million fish annually. Some of the main species produced are walleye, suckeye, channel catfish, hybrid sea bass, musculopulmonus and rainbow trout.


The department conducts research in the inland lakes and streams of the Ohio and Ohio Rivers to develop management practices that improve fisheries in these waters. Fisheries in Lake Erie are constantly monitored in cooperation with the other Lake Erie states and the Province of Ontario to serve as a basis for developing management programs for this heavily exploited body of water.

information and education

Wildlife Communications Coordinator
Specialist in wildlife communication
Head of Wildlife Program
public information officer
publication editors
Electronic Project Coordinator
Audiovisual Production Specialist

The Wildlife Division is actively involved in a variety of educational projects designed to raise the awareness of all Ohioans who have an interest in wildlife resources.


The Wildlife Information and Education team and other staff conduct many educational projects throughout the state. They also work with the Ohio media (radio, newspaper and television) to educate the public about fish and wildlife management.

The Division of Wildlife's Wild Ohio magazine provides informative articles for anyone interested in Ohio's wildlife. The weekly Wild Ohio television show airs on many Ohio PBS stations.


A primary focus is placed on efforts to educate middle and high school students about Ohio's wildlife. The department is actively involved in bringing Project WILD to Ohio schools. The WILD Project is an educational conservation project designed to complement existing curricula and create awareness and appreciation of wildlife as a resource.

A comprehensive aquatic resource education project features beginner fishing classes, fishing activities at the Ohio State Fair, a variety of fisheries clinics, and the Aquatic Project WILD, which emphasizes the value and functions of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems.

Specially trained volunteer instructors teach thousands of hunter and hunter training courses every year. Hunter and Trapper training courses are necessary for novice hunters and hunters. Courses are designed to provide a code of ethics and responsibility, as well as instruction in special wildlife skills and equipment, wildlife management and regulations. Clinics and courses for advanced hunters are also offered.

Wildlife management and research

Wildlife Biology Supervisor
Wildlife Biologists I and II
Wildlife Management Supervisor
Wildlife Management Assistant
Wildlife Management Consultant
Wildlife Research Technician
wild area caretaker
Wildlife Refuge Coordinator
wildlife technician
natural resource workers


Wildlife management consists of projects that impact wildlife populations and recreational wildlife users. These projects often involve habitat manipulation, wildlife management, land acquisition, research, or providing opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife.


Wildlife research forms the backbone of the department's programs and provides the basic information needed to establish seasons, make management decisions, and assess the status of wildlife populations. Research projects also open new ways to solve problems and improve existing programs. A significant amount of research is done in collaboration with Ohio colleges and universities.

Wildlife Law Enforcement

Wildlife Law Enforcement Program Manager
District Chief of Wildlife Law Enforcement
wildlife researcher
wildlife officer
Wildlife Officer Cadet

Managing wildlife and natural resources requires effective enforcement of laws and regulations. This enforcement responsibility is delegated to the Ohio Wildlife Officers, whose responsibilities include protecting wildlife resources, ensuring fair and equitable use, safeguarding state property, and enforcing other laws such as B. Litter, Pollution Regulations and firearms. Wildlife law enforcement is a unique area of ​​law enforcement that combines criminal justice and law enforcement functions with wildlife conservation, education and public service. Every year, wildlife protection officials contact thousands of local athletes; Patrol thousands of acres of wild land, Lake Erie, and inland streams and lakes. They issue and inspect wildlife permits, conduct criminal investigations, handle countless violation reports and make thousands of arrests. As state troopers, they help keep the public safe in their local and outdoor areas of Ohio. They also speak to hundreds of clubs and groups on conservation and wildlife programs, conduct fish and wildlife research, and provide technical advice and guidance on wildlife management, hunting, fishing and trapping issues.

Learn more about becoming a wildlife steward

seasonal rates

nature management

Seasonal wildlife management staff perform a variety of general support functions that vary from day to day and by location, based on the functions of the wildlife department in public use facilities, such as:

fish management

Seasonal fisheries management staff will perform a variety of general support roles that change from day to day, such as:

Check out seasonal openings in the Wildlife Division

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