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For outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate the natural resources that are Pennsylvania's waterways, a career as a Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) is an exciting opportunity. WCOs are state officers that are specifically trained in fishery conservation, watercraft safety, and environmental protection. WCO's help to protect the Commonwealth's aquatic resources, the fish that inhabit them and the anglers and boaters that utilize them.  

At any given point in a day, a WCO must be prepared to enforce fishing, boating, and environmental regulations. WCOs also interact a great deal with the public and perform a lot of outreach work such as stocking fish, leading fishing programs, and speaking on the importance of wearing life jackets and the dangers of boating under the influence.

 Through their many efforts, WCOs are able to fulfill the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's (PFBC) mission:  to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. Learn more below.​



At a minimum, each applicant must: 

    • Meet the Pennsylvania residency requirement.
    • Graduation from high school or equivalent certification; OR an equivalent combination of experience and training.
    • Possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    • Be at least 21 years of age by the date of hire.
    • Pass Civil Service Exam with a qualifying score to be considered.
    • Pass a Physical Fitness Assessment based on the Cooper Scale.
    • Be able to swim 250 yards in 10 minutes or less.
    • Be able to perform the essential job functions.
    • Pass a background check. (including employment, credit, driving and criminal history and character investigations)
    • Pass a drug test.

Any offer of employment is conditional upon passing the required medical, psychological, vision, hearing, physical strength and agility, and normal color vision standards.

You will be required to wear a uniform and carry a firearm while on duty.



Waterways Conservation Officer Trainees must successfully complete an extensive one-year paid training program. The majority of training takes place at Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's (PFBC) H.R. Stackhouse School of Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety located in Bellefonte, Centre County, PA.

One-year paid training program includes:

    • Training in law enforcement principles and practices at an accredited facility.
    • Classroom and hands on training in fish and boat laws and regulations, watercraft safety, environmental protection, and other related content.
    • Weapons use, defensive tactics, and physical training.


WCO with a turtle
    • Medical/Hospitalization Insurance
    • Dental Insurance
    • Paid Prescription Care & Hearing Aid
    • Vision Care
    • Life Insurance
    • Mandatory Membership in the State Employees Retirement System
    • Paid time off, including sick leave
    • Paid State Holidays
    • Workers Compensation


    • Flexible schedules
    • In-home office with office reimbursement
    • Take home patrol vehicle
    • Training, promotion, and career advancement opportunities
    • Early retirement
    • Uniform and equipment provided


For more information or to be connected with a Training and Recruitment Officer email us at