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Selection, Training and Duties of a Deputy Game Warden.

Being a deputy is a big commitment. Only those who are serious should apply. Deputy game wardens are local representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Individuals selected perform their duties under the supervision of a state game warden.

A deputy is very different than a state game warden. Deputies are part-time, whereas state game wardens are full-time, career-oriented positions. Serving as a deputy does not lead to promotion into a state game warden position. Deputies, like any other qualified applicant, may apply for state game warden positions through Civil Service and may be selected to attend the 50 week training program required, but many are not.

The hiring process for deputies, from start to finish, is nearly two years in duration. The Pennsylvania Civil Service Act, or the Commonwealth's Collective Bargaining Act, does not cover deputies.

Deputies do not receive regular salary or wages, however, they may receive limited compensation for certain duties. History clearly has shown that, in the performance of their duties, deputies spend more money than they make.

A deputy may expect to spend a minimum of $1000 for equipment their first year. Additional equipment expenses may be incurred.

Deputy game wardens are recruited locally on an as needed basis. Applicants must be in good physical condition, have knowledge of hunting, trapping, and other outdoor activities, and be able to maintain a good working relationship with fellow wardens and the public. Deputies use their personal vehicles while performing their duties.

"There are roughly 250 Deputy Game Wardens throughout the state of Pennsylvania"


Deputy game wardens should be prepared to function in all phases of activity Game Commission activities and assume the powers as authorized by the Game and Wildlife Code, subject to limitations established by Commission regulations and operating procedures.

Deputies are commonly involved in: law enforcement patrols and investigations, answering complaints and calls for service, nuisance wildlife control, hunter-trapper education classes, educational programs, and assisting other agencies.

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​Basic Requirements and Qualifications​


All applicants who pass the entrance examination must complete a basic training/orientation program.

Part of basic training is a structured 9-day course conducted at the Game Commission's Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg.

Newly commissioned deputies must accrue 80 hours of on-the-job training with the state game warden during the probationary year.

  • A minimum of four district training sessions
  • Two firearm training/ qualifications
  • Defensive tactics training
  • Legal updates training
  • Verbal communication skills training

Much of this training is conducted on weekends.

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Conditions of employment 

Becoming a deputy is a significant commitment. Please read the conditions of employment listed below. If you are not prepared to meet all of these conditions, do not apply.

​If you would like an information packet mailed to you with instructions for applying