The Hiring Process

The conservation warden hiring process takes approximately 6 months. The hiring process includes an initial application, law enforcement entrance exam and fitness testing, background investigation, and a final interview. Frequently monitoring this website is one way to get the most current information about our hiring process.

Step 1 – The Application

Begin by filling out the application at Wisc.jobs.com which includes taking an entrance exam. If you have never applied for a job on Wisc.jobs you will need to create an account before you begin the application. The entrance exam is designed to take inventory of those things you have done to prepare yourself for the job. The more you’ve done the better you score, but remember honesty is vital in any law enforcement career.

Step 2 - Physical Fitness Testing

This step consists of pre-employment fitness testing and a swim test. This is a half-day event with no opportunity for the assessments to be taken at a different location.

Pre-Employment fitness testing - Wisconsin law requires that all law enforcement officers must be in excellent health, free from any physical condition, which might adversely affect their performance as a law enforcement officer. As a result the WI DNR administers the physical fitness assessments as part of the pre-employment screening. Candidates need to pass all of the pre-employment fitness standards in order to move on in the hiring process. The standards are as follows:

Pre-Employment Fitness Testing
Vertical Jump Agility Run Sit ups Push ups 300m Run 1.5 mile run
14 inches 19.5 sec 24 in one minute 18 untimed 68 seconds 16:57 minutes

Learn more about the DOJ Fitness Testing Standards

Swim Test – Conservation Wardens regularly work near and on the water, and are therefore expected to be able to swim and perform some water-related tasks. Candidates need to pass the following swim test in order to move on in the hiring process.

  • Swim Test – Candidate must swim 200 yards without aid in 7 minutes and 35 seconds

Step 3 - The Background Investigation

Successful candidates who pass all of the fitness testing and rank highest in the exam are selected to enter the background phase of the hiring process. The background investigation phase takes several months, and is very extensive. Background investigators review past employment, past residences, relationships, school records, criminal records, traffic history, military records, financial history and former background investigations done by other agencies. Investigators are trained to look for omissions and inconsistencies. The most important part of the background investigation is honesty. No one is perfect, but lying about even a small mistake can remove you from consideration.

Step 4 – The Interview

All candidates who pass the background investigation will be asked to participate in the final step in the hiring process – the interview. The majority of the interview questions will pertain to the job and will be the same for every candidate. The remaining questions will be pulled from your background investigation, and will only pertain to you and your ability to do the job.

Step 5 – The Conditional Offer

The top candidates from the interview will be given conditional offers! Before this conditional offer becomes official, a candidate must pass a medical and psychological exam. The medical exam includes a drug screening, physical exam, hearing and vision tests. The psychological screening includes a questionnaire, written assessment and an interview with a psychologist. A conditional offer may be rescinded if any of the medical or psychological screenings are not passed.

Candidates with conditional offers also need to be eligible to drive state-owned vehicles. A candidate must have had no OWIs within the past year and less than three moving violations or at fault accidents within the past two years. Candidates also need to have boating, ATV and snowmobile safety certificates.


For more information contact the Conservation Warden Recruiter: Jeffrey King
Preparing to become a Conservation Warden | Hiring Process | The First Year of Training - What to Expect | A Day in the Life of a Warden | Benefits