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Pennsylvania State Game Warden

Cadet Applicant FAQ

W​hat are the requirements for becoming a Pennsylvania State Game Warden Cadet?

    • Graduation from high school or an accredited G.E.D. certification; and
    • Possession of an active Class C driver's license; and
    • Proof of successful completion of a state-level hunter safety course
    • Candidates do not have to be a Pennsylvania resident to apply 

Is there an entry-level age requirement?

    • Cadets must be 21 years of age at the date of admission to the training school.  There is no maximum age.

What does the application process look like?

The application process takes roughly a year from start to finish.  The 2024 application process will be roughly outlined as follows:

    • ​January/February/March – Application open
    • March 30th or sooner - Civil Service Written Exam
    • June - Physical screening (sit-ups, push-ups, bench press, vertical jump, 300-meter run and 1.5-mile run)
    • July/August/September – Background and reference checks
    • October – In-person Interview with Senior Staff
    • November - Medical screening (drug screening, swim test, physical examination, visual, and hearing)
    • December – Psychological test
    • January – Formal offer of Employment extended
    • March 2025 – Class is seated in the Ross Leffler School of Conservation (RLSC) in Harrisburg, PA

Is there a study guide for the written exam?

    • Exam questions are based on information in Today's Hunter & Trapper in Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapper Digest.  In addition to reading these publications thoroughly, a study guide can be found at: Study Guide: Pennsylvania Hunter Ed Course

How can I best prepare for the physical assessment?

    • It is best to begin preparing for the physical assessments as early as possible to ensure you can exceed the minimum requirements.  All tests are pass/fail and candidates must pass every assessment.  A list of all physical requirements is here: Cadet Handbook

Are Cadets paid while attending Ross Leffler School of Conservation (RLSC)?

    • Yes, cadets are paid $1,764 bi-weekly.  Lodging, meals and equipment are all provided ​

How much does a State Game Warden Make annually?

  • A first-year state game warden makes $62k on average.  This number can be higher or lower based on the area and schedule of the warden.  This number is made up of the list below and does not include any bonuses or additional stipends:
    • Base Salary
    • Voluntary Over-time Bank
    • Stand-by Time
    • Standard Over-time

What are the benefits?

    • Benefits & Incentives include:
      • Exceptional health Care Coverage
      • Vision, Dental & Prescription Plans
      • 21 paid annual and sick leave in first year
      • 11 paid holidays
      • Flexible shifts and scheduling
      • Take home patrol vehicle
      • In-home office and office reimbursement
      • Excellent retirement plan and early retirement options
      • Uniforms and Equipment provided

How long is the training program?

    • 44 weeks in total.  Roughly 34 weeks of classroom instruction at RLSC and 10 weeks of Field Assignment.  Cadets will be trained on wildlife management, natural history of wildlife, game laws and regulations, law enforcement principles and methods, land management, public relations, conducting wildlife surveys and educational classes and lectures.

Are Cadets required to reside at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation (RLSC)?

    • Yes, cadets are expected to reside at the training academy.  Cadets report to the academy by 9:00 PM Sunday evenings and are dismissed around 4:00 PM on Fridays.

What district/location will I be given when I graduate?

    • We are not able to guarantee a specific district/location to a cadet prior to joining RLSC.  Near the conclusion of training, cadets will be given the statewide vacancy list and will be able to pick a preferred destination list.  

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