CFAES Give Today
Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Natural Resources Officer

Job Title: 
Natural Resources Officer
Company, Organization, or University: 
Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Who we are:

Did you know Ohio operates 76 state parks, manages over 750,000 acres of diverse wildlife land and more than 2 million acres of water? That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we do at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as we seek to ensure a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all!

Across our 12 divisions and support services, we employ office staff, law enforcement officers, geologists, biologists, engineers, attorneys, communicators, managers, and so much more. Whatever your passion, we likely have a position to fit it and pathways for advancement!

Job Description

What we need:

We are seeking energetic, passionate people who enjoy the outdoors and want to play a key role in enforcing laws to protect our environment and wildlife as well as the safety of those who use state lands and waterways. Our Natural Resources Officers work within our Division of Parks & Watercraft.

We are currently seeking commissioned candidates for Natural Resources Officer positions headquartered at one of the following locations:

Central district covering Champaign, Delaware, Franklin, Knox, Logan, Marion, Morrow, and Union counties.

Alum Creek State Park, 3615 S. Old State Road, Delaware, OH 43015 (Delaware County)
Buckeye Lake State Park, 2905 Leibs Island Rd NE, Millersport, OH 43046 (Fairfield)
Deer Creek State Park, 20635 State Park Road 20, Mt. Sterling, OH 43143 (Pickaway County)
Indian Lake State Park, 13156 State Route 235N, Lakeview, OH 43331 (Logan County)

Northeast district covering Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties.

Findley State Park, 2 5381 OH-58, Wellington, OH 44090 (Lorain)
Geneva State Park, 4499 Padanarum Road, Geneva, OH 44041 (Ashtabula county)
Guilford Lake State Park, 6835 E Lake Road, Lisbon, OH 44432 (Columbiana county)
Punderson State Park, 11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury Township, OH 44065 (Geauga)
Pymatuning State Park, 6100 Pymatuning Lake Rd, Andover, OH 44003 (Ashtabula)
Mohican State Park, 3116 OH-3, Loudonville, OH 44842 (Ashland)

Northwest district covering Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood counties.

East Harbor State Park, 1169 N Buck Rd, Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440 (Ottawa county)
Harrison Lake State Park, 26246 Harrison Lake Rd, Fayette, OH 43521 (Fulton county)
Mary Jane Thurston State Park, 1466 State Route 65, McClure, OH 43534 (Henry county)
Maumee Bay State Park, 1400 State Park Rd, Oregon, OH 43616 (Lucas county)
Sandusky Marine LE Office, 1407 Cleveland Road, Sandusky, OH 44870 (Erie)

Southeast district covering Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, and Ross counties

Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 State Route 664, Logan, OH 43138 (Hocking)
Lake Hope State Park, 27331 OH-278, McArthur, OH 45651 (Vinton county)
Salt Fork State Park, 14755 Cadiz Rd, Lore City, OH 43755, (Guernsey)
Shawnee State Park, 4404 OH-125, West Portsmouth, OH 45663 (Scioto)

Southwest district covering Auglaize, Clark, Mercer, Miami, Shelby, Butler, Clinton, Drake, Greene, Montgomery, Preble, Warren, Adams, Brown, Clermont, Hamilton, and Highland counties.

Buck Creek State Park, 1976 Buck Creek Lane, Springfield, OH 45502 (Clark county)
Caesar Creek State Park, 8570 OH-73, Waynesville, OH 45068 (Warren county)
Cowan State Park, 1750 Osborn Rd, Wilmington, OH 45177 (Clinton county)
East Fork State Park, 3294 Elklick Rd, Bethel, OH 45106 (Clermont county)
Hueston Woods State Park, 6301 Park Office Rd., College Corner, OH 45003 (Preble county)
Rocky Fork State Park, 9800 N Shore Dr, Hillsboro, OH 45133 (Highland county)

Learn more about the process of becoming a Natural Resources Officer, including automatic disqualifiers, at Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer

What you will do…

Natural Resources Officers receive extensive training to prepare them for their career.

Perform law enforcement tasks such as patrolling and enforcing laws on state waterways, state parks, state forests and scenic river and natural preserves.
Conduct safety inspections on recreational vessels as well as educate the public, recreation and conservation groups regarding watercraft use and safety.
Provide media interviews, as well as present information & education programs regarding vessel safety and natural resources conservation.
What’s in it for you…

The starting pay for officers is $27.22/hr without any prior state service - salary range of $56,618 up to $72,197/year (increases yearly after step 1), excluding supplements & overtime.
Medical insurance within 30 days, including wellness incentives plus Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) options.
Employer paid dental, vision & life insurance coverage after one year of service.
Additional benefits include: fitness pay, shift differential, uniform allowance, 22 days of paid military leave per year, vacation, sick & personal leave.
Education benefits up to $5,000 annually for tuition, workshops & seminars.
Members of the Law Enforcement Public Employees Retirement System.
Advancement opportunities to investigator & administrative ranks.
Additional duty opportunities such as instructor, field training officer, canine handler, & honor guard team member.
Additional benefits can be found at
We are ready for you!

We’re glad you’re interested in pursuing a rewarding career with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources! Exploring and protecting the natural beauty of Ohio will prove to be the most enjoyable career opportunity you will ever find. To learn more about the Division of Parks & Watercraft, please visit Parks & Watercraft.


What you need:

Associate degree or completion of undergraduate core program in areas such as natural resources area (e.g., parks & recreation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, conservation biology, natural science (e.g. biology, geology, wildlife, botany, ecology, agronomy), or criminal justice/law enforcement

18 months training or 18 months experience in any of the following:
A natural resources area (e.g., parks & recreation, environmental, or natural science)
Criminal justice/law enforcement (i.e., corrections officer)
Military (e.g., military police, security forces, investigative services, intelligence)
Ability to pass fitness and swim test
Valid driver's license
Successful completion of the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Course or Ohio Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Academy Course
U.S. Citizen

Successful applicants will undergo:

An internal investigation, which consists of background checks of schools, employers, creditors and references.
A physical examination
A drug test
A psychological evaluation

Recruitment Timeline*

Job Posting Closes: August 4, 2024

Fitness Testing: mid-August – late August 2024

Interviews: mid-September 2024

Swim Test: mid-October 2024

Background, Psychological, and Medical Processes: late September – early December 2024

Offer: late December 2024

Hire Date: late January 2025

*Recruitment Timeline is approximate and dates can change

Official Position Description:
Natural Resources Officers (NRO) receive extensive training in laws & regulations related to general & natural resources law enforcement. NRO's participate in ODNR specific law enforcement training such as parks law enforcement, watercraft law enforcement, forestry laws, natural area laws, accident investigation, search & rescue procedures, boat & pursuit operation, and water rescue techniques. They also receive instruction on uniform regulations & officers code of ethics. During training NRO's operate state-owned vehicles, watercraft, trucks, trailers, & all-terrain vehicles. Employees in this position are required to maintain physical fitness standards set forth by the agency directive.

During the course of training, NRO's attend guest lectures & discussion sessions and complete exams & in-service training for all classes & practical exams attended. All NRO's also receive extensive instruction in public & human relations in the areas of public speaking, skill development instruction, lesson plan development & student performance objectives.

NRO's will spend time assisting other commissioned officers with various law enforcement tasks such as patrolling assigned areas, assisting with arrests & investigations, conducting safety inspections on recreational vessels, and presenting public information & education programs.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED TO REMAIN IN THE CLASSIFICATION AFTER EMPLOYMENT: Per Article 31.05 of Unit 2 Contract, must maintain agency required physical condition as outlined by department directive & pass any required medical examinations; must maintain OPOTC certification; must qualify for $1,000 surety bond if acts as agent of state in collecting of money.

UNUSUAL WORKING CONDITIONS: May be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year; exposed to inclement weather, search & rescue, floods & environmental hazards/wastes, law enforcement violators & training which may cause substantial physical harm or death; exposed to forest fires; exposed to violent situations.

Special Note:

The Division of Parks & Watercraft has specific direction on tattoos & other body art or body modifications. Tattoos, body art or branding, which do not professionally represent a Natural Resources Officer or are offensive in nature are not permitted. Natural Resources Officer candidates who have body art, tattoos, or branding will need to be reviewed by the law enforcement section prior to receiving a conditional offer of employment. Candidates may receive consideration for hire upon agreement to remove tattoos, body art, or branding, prior to receiving a conditional offer of employment. Intentional body modification to any area visible in any uniform or attire while on duty is prohibited. Body modifications could include, but are not limited to: tongue splitting or bifurcation; abnormal shaping of the ears, eyes or nose; abnormal filling of the teeth; branding or scarification.

In order for applicants to be considered for the Natural Resources Officer, they must meet the 50th percentile pursuant to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Fitness Testing Standards which is tentatively scheduled for mid August – late August 2024. To learn more about the fitness standards and testing procedures, please visit Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer.

Applicants who pass the fitness testing entry standards will be invited to participate in a structured oral interview, which will be tentatively conducted in mid September 2024. Swim testing is tentatively scheduled in mid October 2024.

Successful applicants will undergo an internal investigation, which consists of background checks of schools, employers, creditors and references. A physical examination, drug test, and psychological evaluation will be administered. Offer/hire dates are tentatively set for January 2025.

Voluntary Practice Swim Testing – Friday, August 30, 2024

Ohio State Highway Patrol, 740 E. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211

***If interested in attending the voluntary practice swim test, please send an e-mail to with three timeslots of interest. Confirm your attendance no later than Sunday, August 4.

Timeslots available: 9:00 am,10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm

Learn More

Any questions about the NRO position or to set up a ride along, please send an e-mail to

Why Work for the State of Ohio
At the State of Ohio, we take care of the team that cares for Ohioans. We provide a variety of quality, competitive benefits to eligible full-time and part-time employees*. For a list of all the State of Ohio Benefits, visit our Total Rewards website! Our benefits package includes:

Medical Coverage
Free Dental, Vision and Basic Life Insurance premiums after completion of eligibility period
Paid time off, including vacation, personal, sick leave and 11 paid holidays per year
Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care leave
Education and Development Opportunities (Employee Development Funds, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and more)
Public Retirement Systems (such as OPERS, STRS, SERS, and HPRS) & Optional Deferred Compensation (Ohio Deferred Compensation)
*Benefits eligibility is dependent on a number of factors. The Agency Contact listed above will be able to provide specific benefits information for this position.

Successful completion of Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Council Course or Ohio Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Academy Course; must be 21 yrs. of age per Section 124.41 Ohio Revised Code; valid driver's license; must be able to continuously swim 300 yards in 12 minutes or less, continuously tread water for 5 minutes, perform a surface dive & retrieve object in a minimum of 5 feet of water from water treading position; Completion of associate core program in natural resources area (parks & recreation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, conservation biology, or criminal justice/law enforcement or 18 months training or experience in natural resources area (parks & recreation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, conservation biology, or criminal justice/law enforcement NOTE: Applicant must successfully pass background check by appointing authority, which includes polygraph, psychological & medical examination. Per Article 31.05 of Unit 2 Contract, applicant must be able to perform the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Program (OPOTC) Fitness Testing Entry Standards Per Ohio Department of Natural Resources Directive The final applicant accepted for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointment. An applicant with positive test results will not be offered employment per Section 123:1-76-09 Ohio Administrative Code.

Job Skills: Law Enforcement

Supplemental Information
Application Requirements:
Please ensure your online application clearly indicates how you meet minimum qualifications (MQs). Transcripts are required for all coursework, degrees or educational accomplishments claimed on the application. Applicants must submit a transcript (can be unofficial until point of selection) by the posting deadline (attach in the Additional Attachments section of the application submission Step 6). Should you have issues attaching, please email to: “See resume” is not a substitution for completing supplemental questions. Answers to the supplemental questions must be supported by the work experience/education sections of the application. Applications that fail to demonstrate how they meet minimum qualifications will not be considered.

To request a reasonable accommodation due to a disability please contact Mohammad Yakubu, EEO Regional/Program Administrator at 614-265-6992 or

Effective July 1, 2015 applicants must apply online for positions at all state agencies except the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).

The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.

STATUS OF POSTED POSITIONS: Applicants can view the status of this position by logging into their user profile on the Ohio Hiring Management System [OHMS] Home page at the following link, and selecting "My Profile".

NOTES: Bargaining unit applicants will be given consideration for applicable positions, pursuant to collective bargaining agreement.

Selection devices, proficiency testing and/or assessments may be used to determine if an applicant meets and is proficient in the minimum qualifications for this position.

Please do not upload attachments that have an anomaly or are password protected.

ADA Statement
Ohio is a Disability Inclusion State and strives to be a model employer of individuals with disabilities. The State of Ohio is committed to providing access and inclusion and reasonable accommodation in its services, activities, programs and employment opportunities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws.

Drug-Free Workplace
The State of Ohio is a drug-free workplace which prohibits the use of marijuana (recreational marijuana/non-medical cannabis). Please note, this position may be subject to additional restrictions pursuant to the State of Ohio Drug-Free Workplace Policy (HR-39), and as outlined in the posting.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, August 4, 2024
Application Instructions: 
Must apply directly to website to be considered for employment
Tanya Allen