Begin Main Content Area



For people who appreciate the natural resources of Pennsylvania's waterways, a career as a Waterways Conservation Officer is an exciting opportunity. Cadets for Waterways Conservation Officers are prepared for their careers, getting a full-year of paid training. The year includes classroom training in law enforcement principles, fish and boat laws and regulations, watercraft safety, land and water management, fish propagation, fisheries biology and conservation; and field training with experienced Waterways Conservation Officers. 

Application Information


WCO with a kid and his catchEach applicant must:

    • Meet the Pennsylvania residency requirement.
    • Minimum Experience and Training Requirements – 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.
    • Must pass the test to meet the Minimum Experience and Training Requirements.
    • Meet the minimum physical and reading ability standards established by the Training Municipal Police Officers’ Education Act for entrance into the Act 120 Training Program.
    • 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. In addition, applicants must be able to swim continuously for 10 minutes or 250 yards.

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

Application information


WCO conductiong a boardingWaterways Conservation Officer trainees must successfully complete an extensive one-year training program. It includes about 20 weeks of training in law enforcement principles and practices required by the Municipal Police Training Act (Act 120), conducted by a contracted certified training institution.

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission conducts an additional 32 weeks of training at its H.R. Stackhouse School of Fisheries Conservation and Watercraft Safety in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. This curriculum includes:

    • Approximately 20 weeks of classroom training in fish and boat laws and regulations, watercraft safety, land and water management, fish propagation, fisheries biology and conservation. It also includes weapons use, physical training and public relations.
    • Approximately seven weeks of field training in various parts of the state under the direction of experienced Waterways Conservation Officers who serve a Field Training Officers.
    • Approximately five weeks of evaluated on-the-job- training while assigned to a specific law enforcement regional office. 

Waterways Conservation Officers enjoy Commonwealth Employee Benefits

    • WCO with a turtleMedical/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


    • WCO boating with bridge in backgroundFlexible schedules
    • In-home office and Office reimbursement
    • Take home patrol vehicle
    • Training, promotion, and career advancement opportunities
    • Early retirement
    • Uniform and equipment provided

21st WCO Class