Entry Level
Lateral Officer
Salary & Benefits

Entry Level
(No Prior Law Enforcement Experience)


  • U.S. citizen
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Ability to read and speak the English language
  • No felony convictions
  • At least 20/40 vision (corrected or uncorrected)
  • Must have or be able to obtain a valid Washington Driverís License

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (natural resource science or criminal justice preferred)
  • Two-year college degree + 2 years paid, full-time natural resource experience
  • Two-year college degree + three years active military duty within the last nine years


Certain past actions can disqualify you from becoming a Fish and Wildlife Officer.

See disqualifiers >>

  • Entry level recruits are required to attend the 720-hour Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien, WA, over the course of 19 weeks. While attending BLEA, the recruit is paid as a Fish and Wildlife Officer 1. We also cover the cost of tuition, meals and lodging while the recruit is at the Academy. For more information about BLEA, including schedules, requirements, and rules and regulations, please go to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission website.
  • Upon graduation from BLEA, the recruit becomes a Student Officer, and is required to complete the In-House Training Academy over the course of four weeks at WDFW Police Headquarters in Olympia. The In-House Training Academy focuses on natural resource policing, building upon the general law enforcement principles and practices taught at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.  
  • After completing the In-House Training Academy, the Student Officer begins the Field Training Program.  Field Training is a standardized training program to facilitate the Student Officer's transition from academic learning to actual performance of law enforcement duties in the field. During Field Training, the Student Officer will ride with three different Field Training Officers over the course of 14-20 weeks, until it has been determined that the Student Officer is ready to work independently.  
  • Entry level officers remain on probationary status for one year after gaining Independent Status.

Hiring Process


Once you have completed your initial tests through Public Safety Testing, your name, score, and applicant profile will be forwarded to us. You will need to complete your Personal History Statement (PHS) immediately after completing your initial tests. If your PHS is not available to us at the time we review candidates for an oral panel, you will not be considered for that hiring cycle. There will be some time that lapses between completing your tests and the oral panel – you should spend that time preparing for the oral board and the hiring process.


  • Oral Panel (as needed, generally twice annually)
  • Suitability Assessment Screening
  • Background Investigation
  • Chief's Interview


  • Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Polygraph
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Pre-Employment Medical Exam with Drug Screening
  • Pre-Academy PAT (this will take place approximately two weeks before you enter BLEA – be sure you are prepared for this PAT!)
Testing and Preparation Information
Prepare for the Oral Board
10 Desirable
Candidate Attributes
Physical Ability Test
Public Safety Testing
Salary and Benefits

WDFW Police conducting catch inspection

WDFW Police marine boat team ATV training course WDFW Police AIS boat inspection checkpoint
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.