California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Careers

Join the dedicated employees who love their jobs. Our employees are committed to managing and protecting California's diverse wildlife, and the habitats upon which they depend. Download a list of all CDFW classifications (PDF).

Read below for more information on CDFW's most popular career fields:

Administrative

CDFW employs various specialists in administrative fields-clerical, accounting, budgets, public and media relations, personnel, information technology, and more. While many of the vacancies are located in the Sacramento area, there are often vacancies at regional offices throughout the State.

Qualifications vary due to the wide variety of administrative specialties. Some of the most common classifications used by CDFW are Office Assistant, Office Technician, Staff Services Analyst, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, Personnel Specialist and Analyst, Budget Analyst, and the Accountant Series.

Look up minimum requirements in the official classification specifications on the Jobs.CA.Gov website.

BIOLOGIST

There are several different professional classes of biologists, including wildlife, botany, general and marine/fisheries.

Wildlife and Botany Biologists do a variety of basic biological work in connection with wildlife management field activities, wildlife research, or environmental protection studies.  For example, they might be out in the wilderness, observing and recording the biological and environmental factors which affect wildlife.  Wildlife biologists also band and tag game birds or other wildlife.  They make surveys to determine how much forage is available for the animals to eat.  Biologists collect specimens for laboratory study or make a laboratory analysis of the specimens.  Both wildlife and botany biologists prepare plans for developing and managing wildlife and plant habitat and help explain to the public why and how we manage wildlife and plants.

Marine/Fisheries Biologists do a wide variety of basic biological work in connection with marine or fishery research, management, and water quality studies.  For example, biologists collect data in the field, including samples,  of marine, fresh water or anadromous fish, and other aquatic organisms.  They determine fish population levels by surveying streams, rivers, and lakes.  Biologists capture and tag various fish species for examination of laboratory analysis.  They study land and water projects such as highways, dams, diversions, and stream and lake alterations to determine the effects on fish and wildlife populations.  They also compile and evaluate research data and prepare technical reports.

Qualifications:  Equivalent to graduation from college with a specialization in zoology, wildlife management, botany, marine biology, fishery management, or a related field.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST

The Environmental Scientist gathers information on environmental issues, performs environmental analysis, research , surveys, investigations, and prepares reports.

Qualifications:  Equivalent to graduation from college with major work in natural science, physical science, environmental science, or a related field.

FISH AND WILDLIFE INTERPRETER

The Fish and Wildlife Interpreters do a wide variety of work concerned with planning, developing, coordinating, implementing, and administering interpretive programs for CDFW's wildlife areas and ecological reserves.

Interpreters convey knowledge of complex natural resource systems to the public; oversee publicity activities; serve as the primary contact for a wide variety of community outreach groups, civic, and conservations groups; develop maps and brochures; and conduct tours and demonstrations.

Qualifications: Equivalent to graduation from college with major work in wildlife management, zoology, fisheries management, botany or other related biological science, including at least 15 semester units, or its equivalent, of course work in natural resource interpretation, natural resource communications, or similar subjects.

FISH AND WILDLIFE TECHNICIAN

Fish and Wildlife Technicians perform work at fixed or temporary installations, such as fish hatcheries, and out in the natural environment.  Fish and Wildlife Technicians are involved with hatching, raising, and planting fish; releasing game birds; and cleaning ponds or animal pens.  They also remove barriers from streams or install and maintain fish screens, ladders, and traps.  Fish and Wildlife Technicians plant, irrigate, and cultivate plants which serve as cover ore food for wildlife.  They assist other departmental personnel by collecting field data on fish or wildlife by censuses and other means; trapping, tagging, or marking fish and wildlife.

Qualifications:  Six months of experience in the natural resources field such as parks, forestry or fish and wildlife; or one year of college with a least six units in the biological sciences; or one year of experience in the mechanical or construction trades.

Internships

CDFW does not offer any formal internship opportunities; however, we do hire seasonal employees. Please refer to information on Seasonal Employees below.

Seasonal Employees

Seasonal Employees supplement permanent staff and help with a great variety of departmental activities.  Seasonal employment is a great way to gain experience and to learn about CDFW. Seasonal Employees are not required to take examinations before appointment. Seasonal employees may collect field data on fish, wildlife, and plants; collect wildlife samples and specimens; clean out fish and animal enclosures; install fish screens and ladders; or maintain building equipment. The most common classifications are Fish and Wildlife Seasonal Aids*, Fish and Wildlife Scientific Aids, Seasonal Clerks*, and Student Assistants.

Qualifications: Please see job specifications for minimum qualifications for Fish and Wildlife Seasonal Aid and Fish and Wildlife Scientific Aid.

*By law, public assistance recipients under the CALWORKs program who meet the minimum qualifications will have priority consideration in hires for vacancies for these seasonal classifications.