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Natural Resources Officer (COMMISSIONED)- Multiple positions located throughout the State

Job Duties

Who we are:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is committed to its mission “To ensure a balance between wise use & protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.”  Our agency embraces the insightful use of our natural resources to assure the continued safety, happiness & prosperity of Ohio’s people.
ODNR owns & manages state parks, state forests, state nature preserves & wildlife areas. We license all hunting, fishing and watercraft; oversee & permit all mineral extraction, monitor dam safety, manage water resources & serve as the second largest Law Enforcement presence in the State of Ohio.
We are accepting applications for Natural Resources Officers (multiple positions) within the Division of Parks & Watercraft.  To learn more about becoming a Natural Resources Officer, including automatic disqualifiers, commission requirements, application process, & interview & selection procedures, please visit Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer.

Upon successful completion of training, Natural Resources Officers are headquartered at the following locations:
Central District – Indian Lake State Park (Logan county), 13156 State Route 235N, Lakeview, OH 43331 (1 position)
Central District – Deer Creek State Park (Pickaway county), 20635 State Park Road #20, Mt. Sterling, OH 43143 (1 position)
Central District – Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (Licking county), 2200 Gratiot Road SE, Newark, OH 43056 (1 position)
SE District – Hocking Hills State Park (Hocking county), 19852 State Route 664 South, Logan, OH 43138 (1 position)
SE District – Jesse Owens State Park (Morgan county), 9290 SR 284, McConnelsville, OH 43756 (1 position)
SW District – Grand Lake St. Marys State Park (Auglaize county), 834 Edgewater Drive, St. Marys, OH 45885 (1 position)
SW District – Buck Creek State Park (Clark County), 1976 Buck Creek Lane, Springfield, OH 45502 (1 position)
SW District – Hueston Woods State Park (Southwest, Preble county), 6301 Park Office Rd., College Corner, OH 45003 (1 position)
SW District – East Fork State Park (Clermont county), 3294 Elklick Road, Bethel, OH 45106 (1 position)
NW District – East Harbor State Park (Ottawa county), 1169 N Buck Road, Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440 (1 position)
NE District – Punderson State Park (Geauga county), 11755 Kinsman Road, Newbury, OH 44065 (1 position)
NE District – Fernwood State Forest (Jefferson county), 11 Township Rd. 181, Bloomingdale, OH 43910 (2 positions)
NE District – Cleveland Marine Enforcement Office (Cuyahoga county), 1150 E. 49th Street, Cleveland, OH 44144 (1 position)
NE District – Mohican State Park (Ashland county), 3116 State Route 3, Loudonville, OH 44842 (1 position)
NE District – Findley State Park (Lorain county), 25381 State Route 58, Wellington, OH 44090 (1 position)
NE District – Pymatuning State Park (Ashtabula county), 6100 Pymatuning lake Rd., Andover, OH 44003 (1 position)
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.
  • All officers will receive a $5,000 signing bonus upon the completion of field training.
  • 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.
Are you qualified?
  • Associates degree or completion of undergraduate core program in certain areas
  • Do you have 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)
  • Must be able 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
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
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 CONDITIONSMay 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 30th percentile of the Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training Program (OPOTC) Fitness Testing Entry Standards for New Recruits upon testing, which is tentatively scheduled for January 2023. Cadets must meet the 50th Percentile of the Fitness Testing Entry Standards at the time of hire, tentatively scheduled for August 2023.  To learn more about the fitness standards and testing procedures, please visit Becoming an Ohio Natural Resources Officer.
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.  


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.
Knowledge of criminal & civil laws, rules & regulations of division of parks & watercraft, forestry, natural areas, wildlife & recreational trails; parks & watercraft law enforcement (e.g., patrolling & enforcement techniques, laws of evidence, methods of arrest, search & seizure, investigation methods, handling of prisoners), public & human relations, departmental regulations outlining standards of ethics & uniform dress & care. Skill in use & maintenance of firearms; Multi Agency Radio Communications System [MARCS], Department Records Management System (RMS), Law Enforcement Automated Data System [LEADS], National Crime Information Center [NCIC]; operation of patrol vehicle, watercraft, audio-visual equipment, photography equipment, water rescue equipment, swimming; use & maintenance of firearms & weapons, watercraft, & patrol vehicle first aid & emergency care. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts & draw valid conclusions; understand manual & verbal instructions, technical in nature; demonstrate physical fitness; prepare meaningful & concise reports, cooperate with co-workers on group assignments.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources 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. To request a reasonable accommodation due to a disability please contact the Office of Human Resources at 614-265-6981 or
Effective July 1, 2015 applicants must apply online for positions at all state agencies except the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).
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".
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.
Applicants may attach the following document types:
•Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx)
•PDF (.pdf), •Plain Text (.txt)
•Rich Text (.rtf)
Please do not upload attachments that have an anomaly or are password protected.
Background Check Information
All information pertaining to education, training and/or experience must be verifiable on your State of Ohio Civil Service Employment Application and/or attached resume, transcript or licensure(s) for the information to be considered.
All final applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointments. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment. This position is also subject to Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) regulations that prohibit someone to carry, transport, or otherwise possess firearm(s) and/or ammunition from consuming marijuana, including medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is prohibited as a valid medical explanation for a positive drug test for final applicants in this position.