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WANTED: People with a Passion for Law Enforcement and the Great Outdoors

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Looking for a job that will keep you outdoors and on your toes? The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is looking for a new class of Natural Resources Officer cadets.  Both experienced, commissioned officers and those looking to start their law enforcement career at ODNR are encouraged to apply until December 20.

“Natural Resources Officers are more than guardians of our precious natural areas – they are first responders, community leaders, and educators,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “We are looking for people who have a passion for nature and protecting it, who love to interact with all kinds of people, and who want to step out of the typical office space and into the great outdoors on a daily basis.”

ODNR is looking for people with a thirst for adventure, a desire to serve fellow Ohioans, and motivation to keep people and property safe. Officers are woven into the community, engaging with people every day.  Natural resources officers patrol Ohio’s state parks, forests, preserves, and waterways. Duties include law enforcement, public service, education, and public relations.  You can learn more about a typical day on the job from current officer in this video.

Top scoring candidates will undergo interviews and pre-employment evaluation. Those selected as cadets will complete a training program related to ODNR operations. Following that, cadets will attend the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Academy for about five months. Those cadets already certified as peace officers for the State of Ohio will begin field training as they will not need to attend the academy.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old and possess a valid driver’s license. An associate degree, completion of an undergraduate core program, or experience in natural resources, fish and/or wildlife management, criminal justice, environmental law enforcement or related fields, or military experience is also required.

Other qualifications include completing a background check, medical exam, and psychological exam and passing a drug screen, as well as meeting swim and physical fitness standards. Successful applicants will be assigned to serve in a specific state park area. Applications can be submitted here.

The State of Ohio is an equal opportunity employer and provider of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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