Wildlife Officer Cadet Application Process
How to Apply for the Cadet Academy
The hiring process for the next Wildlife Officer Cadet Training Academy begin with the job posting/test announcement.
State of Ohio job postings, like that for the Wildlife Officer Cadet position, are available through the Ohio Hiring Management System's Web site: careers.ohio.gov. To apply online, you must first create an online user account and complete a State of Ohio job application. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Once you have completed your user account, you can apply for the cadet position by searching for the job posting. From the careers.ohio.gov Web site, click on the link “Search for State of Ohio Government Jobs” on the right-side menu. Then, search for the Wildlife Officer Cadet posting by selecting Natural Resources in the “Agency” category. Click on the red button on the bottom of the page that says Apply Search.
Click on the title Wildlife Officer Cadet. Please read all of the information specific to the qualifications and by what date those must be met. Just above the tabbed information of Job Duties, Benefits, and Supplemental Questions, you can click on Apply.
Application Process Overview
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The application for the position of Wildlife Officer Cadet is the first step in the employment process. Once you have successfully completed the pre-screening process and met the minimum qualifications you will be invited to take the proficiency exam and then a series of assessments. You must complete each step successfully in order to continue in the hiring process and be enrolled in the training academy.
The schedule below is a “typical” hiring timeline for a Wildlife Officer Cadet. The hiring process could extend for a period of over 10 months.
- Posting of the position of Wildlife Officer Cadet
- Prescreening of applicants to verify minimum qualifications
- Written proficiency examination
- Formal interview
- Physical fitness and swim testing
- Conditional offer of employment
- Background investigation
- Polygraph testing
- Psychological testing
- Medical exam
- Drug screening
- Final acceptance for employment
- Orientation and academy training begins
Proficiency Test and Interview
The Division of Wildlife will post a state proficiency test for the Wildlife Officer Cadet position. Once the posting deadline has passed those that meet the minimum qualifications are invited to take the test. The test could include wildlife and fisheries management, hunting, fishing and trapping in Ohio and related regulations, wildlife and fish identification, law enforcement and criminal justice, communications, grammar and mathematics questions and problems. A certain percentage of those that pass the test will be asked to participate in an oral, structured interview that will cover situations common to the job. The top candidates will then advance to the other evaluations and tests before moving further in the process. For further information, see the Proficiency Test Study Guide for Wildlife Officer Cadets.
Physical Fitness and Swim Testing
Applicants must successfully pass the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council (OPOTC) Basic Training Program Physical Fitness Standards at the 50% level for the appropriate age/gender. The three physical fitness standards used for testing are one minute of sit-ups, one minute of push-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. Additionally, a swim test will be conducted where you must demonstrate the ability to swim a distance of 100 yards in five minutes or less and tread water for a minimum of five minutes. The best applicants will have prepared themselves well for these tests through a regular exercise program that includes strength training, emphasizing upper body and core exercises, and aerobic training that includes running. Applicants should also ensure they are a good swimmer who can swim the distance needed and tread water comfortably. It may be difficult to pass these tests without any prior preparation and training. For more information, see the Physical Fitness and Swim Testing Information for Wildlife Officer Cadets.
The Division of Wildlife will conduct a complete and thorough investigation of your background in order to determine your suitability for employment as a Wildlife Officer Cadet. An in-depth interview will be held with you and your family. Friends, neighbors, present and former employers, fellow employees, school officials, courts and local law enforcement agencies will also be contacted as part of the background investigation.
The applicant’s background will be considered in terms of moral character, emotional stability, reputations in the community, and interest in serving people.
The following occurrences in the background could result in the rejection of the application:
- Intemperate use of alcohol
- Anti-social behavior
- Poor work record
- Poor driving record
- numerous crashes and/or numerous convictions for moving violations
- Numerous debts that are not regularly being paid
- Non-compliance to law(s)
- Violations of any federal or state natural resources rules including, but not limited to parks, fishing, hunting, trapping, or boating violations
- Failure of the polygraph examination
The following occurrences in the background will result in the rejection of the application:
- Felony conviction or felony conduct
- Illegal use of drugs or conviction for drug related violations
- an applicant who has sold any illegal drug for profit at any time
- an applicant who is discovered to have misrepresented his/her drug history in completing the application
- an applicant who has used any illegal drug while employed in any law enforcement or prosecutorial position
- an applicant who has used any illegal drug while employed in a position which carries a high level of responsibility or public trust
- an applicant who has used marijuana within the past 12 months
- an applicant who has used any illegal drug other than marijuana within the last 10 years will be found unsuitable for employment. Illegal drugs include anabolic steroids used after February 27, 1991.
- Currently having six (6) or more active points on driving record
- Lack of truthfulness – falsification of any application or background information
- Acts of violence and or admissions of undetected crimes against person(s) (domestic violence, assault)
- Failure of the psychological assessment
Each applicant will be required to take approximately four (4) hours of psychological tests. A licensed psychologist will evaluate these tests. Each applicant will be scheduled to participate in an interview with a licensed psychologist to discuss the results of the psychological tests.
A complete medical examination will be conducted by a licensed physician to determine that applicant’s fitness to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer and meet any other requirements of the training academy. Applicants will be required to meet the basic requirements partially outlined below:
- Weight shall be in proportion to height in accordance with established recognized standards
- Vision requirements will be based in part on vision acuity, depth perception, and color perception. An applicant must have vision correctable to 20/20 binocular vision. Moderate color vision is required.
- There are other physical, medical, and psychological conditions, which could affect the applicant’s application.
- The applicant may be required to furnish additional information from his/her own personal or other physician at his/her own expense.
Selected applicants will be sworn in as wildlife officer cadets and attend an approximately one week orientation training at the Division of Wildlife headquarters, then attend the training academy held at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy campus in London, Ohio. They will live at the academy during the week for duration of this training which will last approximately 25 weeks. The first part is the 16 week basic peace officer training program. Cadets will learn all aspects of law enforcement operations in a classroom, firearms range, driving track, and gymnasium setting. Upon certification as peace officers, cadets will continue training with the 8-9-week Wildlife Officer Pre-Service Training Academy where specific duties of wildlife officers such as their authority and jurisdiction, regulations, wildlife and fisheries management, communications, and agency mission are taught. Cadets will also receive advanced training in firearms and self-defense. All training is in a residential, semi-military academy format, Monday-Friday. Cadets must successfully complete the academy in order to continue employment.
Upon graduation, cadets will be promoted to wildlife officers and assigned anywhere in the state. They will complete a 6-month field training and evaluation program working with experienced officers while they continue to learn the skills, abilities, and duties common to the job in their area of assignment.
For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Wildlife Officer and Self-Assessment Questionnaire.