Career as an Anti-poaching Ranger

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Do you want to work as an Anti-poaching 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 an Anti-poaching Ranger?

Anti-poaching rangers are normally armed and highly trained individuals who regularly patrol a pre-defined area to stop or reduce illegal hunting (poaching) of wildlife.

In some countries the duties of conservation officers (game wardens) are similar to those of anti-poaching rangers, and the job title might also be the same.


Although humans have looked after animals for thousands of years, rangers are a recent career due to the high numbers of animals facing extinction

Gender equality?

In some countries, such as South Africa, there are all female ranger units to protect endangered animals

2. What do they do?


Law & Enforcement


They may focus on protecting a specific animals or groups of animals by patrolling the parameters of designated zones.

Daily Tasks:

  • Ensure all equipment, including firearms are in working condition
  • Patrolling of designated area
  • Write reports
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


They spend most of their working time in the outdoors, and mostly out in non-urban areas.

Places of Employment –

They are mainly employed by government and private game reserves.

Average Yearly Salary:

They can earn a yearly average of US$72,000 per year, plus free accommodation and meals. The salary will also differ from country to country.


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

The possible levels:
Junior ranger > senior ranger > manager > departmental manager


It can be a physically demanding job, and it may even be dangerous. Unlike some outdoor employment, anti-poaching rangers are generally outdoors in all types of weather, including heavy rains, snow, and heat. Rangers may work overnight, on weekends, and on holidays.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

​The future growth of the sector is increasing with growth at around 12% per year.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an anti-poaching 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:

  • ​Excellent survival skills
  • Excellent health and physical fitness
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 educational requirement to become a ranger is a High School certificate. There are specialized colleges that do have courses in anti-poaching.


Majors –

All of the training required will be given by the place of employment, but will focus on military tactics, such as handling a weapon, patrolling and tracking.

Short Courses –

They will also, when necessary, complete available short courses to further their knowledge.


The duration of College 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):

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 an anti-poaching 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 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 Anti-poaching 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.

In the case of anti-poaching rangers, a certified firearm license will be required, which is normally obtained through the employer as a part of the daily training.

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 anti-poaching.

Anti Poaching Ranger Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an anti-poaching 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 an anti-poaching 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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