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Wanted: Enthusiastic, Dedicated Adventure Seekers

COLUMBUS, Ohio— Looking for an exciting new job that can become a lifetime career protecting the people of Ohio? The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is looking for people who are drawn to the great outdoors to become the newest class of natural resources officers. The first step toward helping to keep our state parks, properties, and people safe is signing up for the upcoming Natural Resources Cadet Academy.

“Being a natural resources officer is not your typical 9-5 job, it’s so much more than that,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “In addition to protecting Ohio’s greatest resources, our officers get to spend their days outside on some of the most beautiful properties and interact with people from all over this great state.”

Do you have what it takes?  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you drawn to a career in public service that embraces all aspects of community policing?
  • Are you looking for a job that takes you out of the office and can be different each day?
  • Do you want to protect and promote Ohio’s natural resources?

ODNR is looking for people with a thirst for adventure, a need to serve fellow Ohioans, and motivation to keep people and property safe. Natural resources officers are responsible for protecting people on the water, land, and trails.  They are woven into the community, engaging with people every day. Watch this video to get a feel of what being a natural resource officer is really like.

“If you feel a need to serve Ohio and keep people safe, this is definitely the job for you,” Law Enforcement Administrator for ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft Pat Brown said.  “You can go days without sitting behind a desk and you never know what you’ll be doing tomorrow.  It’s an exhilarating job that will keep you on your toes.”

The cadet academy includes Ohio Peace Officer training and an additional six weeks of specialized training in law enforcement policies and practices for public lands. After the academy, the graduates are assigned state park locations across the state to continue field training by working alongside experienced officers.  Interested applicants must be 21 years old and possess a valid Ohio driver’s license. Other qualifications include completing a background check, passing a psychological exam and drug screening, as well as meeting swim and physical fitness standards. To apply, click here.

Still have questions? Interested people can read the FAQ on becoming an officer and watch Q&A with current natural resources officers 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, protection, and conservation of Ohio’s 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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