Conservation Officers may be in demand

Are you interested in becoming a Wildlife Conservation Officer?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission may have a spot for you.

The Game Commission will begin recruiting the 31st class of Wildlife Conservation Officer Cadets through its Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg.

The State Civil Service Commission will be accepting applications from March 1 until April 1, or until 600 applications are received, whichever occurs first.

Applications will only be accepted online. You can send an online application on after March 1.

In order to be eligible to be a conservation officer, applicants must be a resident of Pennsylvania, Applicants must be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D equivalent certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Although a college degree is not required, educational experience beyond the high school level is helpful. Persons interested in entering this occupation are encouraged to take courses in wildlife management, environmental sciences, police sciences and similar fields of study. Applicants must also be at least 21 years old, must possess a valid driver’s license, must have possessed a hunting license for at least two years prior to the date the examination is announced, and must pass a competitive written and oral examination administered by the Civil Service Commission.

Any offer of employment is conditional upon successful completion of the medical, vision, hearing, physical, strength, fitness and agility, stress, drug scan, and swimming tests. A confidential psychological evaluation, pre-employment background and character investigation, credit history and criminal background check including child welfare clearances will be completed for all applicants considered for employment.

The agency is seeking up to 35 qualified candidates who have a genuine interest in becoming a Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officer.

For more information on the position, visit and select the quick link “WCO Test Opening,” or click on “Information and Resources,” then “Careers and Volunteers.”

The Game Commission did not hire any new conservation officers in 2016.

“We should have put a class through this year, but without a hunting and furtaker license-fee increase, we simply did not have the funding,” said Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough.

Pending approval from the governor’s office, the new class will report for training in March 2018 and graduate in March 2019.