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Conservation officer hiring process

The DNR is currently accepting applications for a Conservation Officer Training Academy that will begin in January 2025. Please refer to the below instructions on how to apply.

All applicants must meet the MCOLES licensing standards.

Step 1: Entry-level law enforcement exam

The written law enforcement exam evaluates an individual's skills, knowledge and abilities related to elements of law enforcement positions. Individuals must have a passing score to advance in the process.

A FrontLine National practice test is available for purchase.

Civil service exam

  • Applicants who successfully completed the civil service exam within the past five years can submit their civil service exam results.
    If you have questions regarding your previous civil service examination, please call the Michigan Civil Service Commission at 1-800-788-1766.
  • Michigan applicants that do not have a valid (within five years) civil service exam must complete one of the entry-level law enforcement exams mentioned above.
Step 2: Application

The next step is to submit a State of Michigan NEOGOV application. Make sure to use a valid email address on your application; the email address you provide is how you will be communicated with throughout the entire hiring process.

The following documents must be attached to your application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • References
  • Driver's license
  • DD214 (military discharge papers – long form), if applicable
  • Entry-level law enforcement exam results with a passing score

If you are selected to advance in the hiring process, the DNR Law Enforcement Division will email you additional information and next steps.

Step 3: DNR Law Enforcement Division orientation

On orientation day, applicants will complete the following:

  1. MCOLES physical fitness test: Applicants must take and pass the MCOLES physical fitness test during orientation. The cost of this test will be covered for individuals who make it to this point in the process.
  2. Orientation: If you successfully pass the MCOLES physical fitness test, you will receive a tour of the premises, learn about recruit expectations and have a chance to ask questions.
  3. Pre-screening interview: After orientation, you will participate in a pre-screening interview.
Step 4: Background investigation

Applicants who successfully complete orientation day will be required to complete an online personal history questionnaire.

Once the questionnaire is complete, your file will be forwarded to a DNR LED background investigator who will conduct an in-depth and exhaustive background investigation.

Step 5: Final interview

Applicants who successfully pass the background investigation will be contacted to schedule a final interview.

Step 6: Conditional offer of employment

Successful applicants will receive a conditional offer of employment which requires the following prior to being hired:

  1. Psychological test to be administered by DNR LED approved doctors.
  2. MCOLES medical, hearing and eye exam to be administered by DNR LED approved doctors.
  3. Attendance at a hiring preparation day, which includes civil service hiring requirements, physical measurements and providing additional information.

If an applicant’s MCOLES physical fitness test expires prior to the academy start date, another MCOLES physical fitness test session will be offered by the division prior to the start of the academy.

Step 7: Academy and training

Upon successful completion of steps 1-6, applicants will receive a final offer of employment.

If the offer and associated requirements are accepted, applicants will be hired as full-time State of Michigan employees and begin the Conservation Officer Training Academy.

During this step, county assignments will be considered.

Step 8: Probationary training

Following graduation from the Conservation Officer Training Academy, recruits become probationary conservation officers (PCO).

PCOs will spend several months working with field training officers in different areas of the state, before reporting to their assigned county. PCOs will receive additional specialized training in the areas such as:

  • Marine
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Snowmobile
  • Fish and game
  • Waterfowl identification and enforcement
  • General law enforcement