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Do you want to work as a Game Ranger?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential rangers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 1 September 2020

1. What is a Game Ranger?

A game ranger works within a government or privately owned game reserve, and is foremost responsible for protecting the animals within the demarcated area.

Also known as:

  • Wildlife Ranger

This career looks at rangers who work mostly with animals, within a park, rather than the park rangers who look after a national park, which includes animals. So Game Rangers are more about the animals. You can access the Park Ranger career if you are interested in it.


The job to protect natural reserves is thousands of years old

Experience counts

Most game rangers are experienced trackers and survivalists

2. What do they do?


Law & enforcement / Wildlife Conservation


Game rangers ensure that reserves or game farms are operating smoothly, including the well-being of the wild animals. Game rangers act as the protectors of wildlife and maintain the game reserve on which the wildlife is kept – the biological populations of the animals as well as roads, fencing, water resources, erosion control, alien plant control, burning programs, and population control.

Daily Tasks:

  • General safety of wild animals
  • Capturing and releasing of animals
  • Resource protection and management
  • Population control
  • Studying wildlife behavior
  • Collect data and samples
  • Monitoring air and water quality
  • Actively combat potential or actual threats to the area and animals
  • Promote the value of, and prevent the degradation/destruction of natural resources
  • Contribute towards a public general awareness of conservation
  • Work with the reserve manager and wildlife veterinarians, where required
  • Write reports
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


They live and work mostly outdoors.

Places of Employment –

Game rangers are employed by government to work on national parks or reserves, or by private game reserves.

Average Yearly Salary:

They can earn a yearly average of US$60,000 per year. The salary will also differ from country to country, and whether you are employed within the public or private sector.


Some can go into specialized areas, while others may be promoted into management positions that do focus more on office work.

The possible levels:
Assistant Game Ranger > Game Ranger (middle level) > Senior Game Ranger > Wildlife Manager


As a game ranger you will definitely work with difficult and sometimes dangerous animals. The work might also entail long hours and working over weekends and holidays. Game rangers also have to deal with difficult people that visit the reserve from time to time.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

​The future growth of the sector looks good with growth at around 12% per year.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a game ranger can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Good customer service skills
  • Good animal handling and care
  • Excellent health and physical fitness
  • Good driving skills
  • Basic computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

The minimum qualifications in some countries is a High School certificate, but a College Diploma or even University Degree would be best to secure a good position, especially if you are looking at working within a privately owned game reserve.


Majors –

Studies can include majors in nature conservation, game management, land management, resource protection, or law enforcement.

Short Courses –

Short Courses in general guiding skills, basic astronomy, local history, weather and climate, basic ecology, fauna, flora, and bush signs and tracking, as well as basic first aid.


The duration of College is between 2 to 4 years, while Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being a game ranger can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to enter (sometimes due to things like high tertiary fees, low pass marks in High School etc).

You can begin as an assistant ranger after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a ranger will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions may require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Join the Game Rangers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

As most game ranger also protect the animals and the property, they need to carry a gun. For this reason they will need a license and a Police Certification to be allowed to carry and operate a weapon.

Professional Associations:

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards environmental and game management.

Game Ranger_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a game ranger.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a game ranger, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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