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Hiring and Training

The hiring and training process has several steps, including a written examination, application, physical fitness test, pre-screening interview, in-depth background investigation, final interview, and a psychological assessment and medical evaluation. Successful candidates are hired and begin training. Training consists of a Conservation Officer Academy, followed by field training and specialized training in the areas of marine, off-road vehicle, fish and game, and waterfowl identification and enforcement.

As a recruit, conservation officers earn $18.05-$23.69 per hour (based on prior experience). After five years of service, conservation officers may earn up to $33.38 per hour. All conservation officers are offered overtime opportunities and pay after they complete their probationary period. 

Interested in becoming a conservation officer? We encourage anyone interested to take the entry-level law enforcement exam. You must take and pass this exam before applying. 

All applicants must:

  • Be able to lawfully possess a firearm in Michigan.
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be at least 21 years of age before graduation of the academy.
  • Become a resident of the State of Michigan before completion of the Probationary Training Program.
  • Possess a valid driver's license.
  • Possess a satisfactory driving record.
  • Submit to a thorough background investigation measuring the applicant's suitability for law enforcement work.
  • Have proof of passing the MCOLES physical fitness test

The DNR Law Enforcement Division is a 2022 silver level Veteran-Friendly employer.

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Silver Level employer