WDFW PoliceWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife
WDFW PoliceEnforcement
Entry Level
Lateral Officer
Salary & Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

WDFW Police Dungeness crab checkHow do I apply for a Fish and Wildlife Officer position?

Entry-level (no prior experience) officer candidates can apply online at publicsafetytesting.com.

Lateral (experienced police officer) candidates can apply by downloading the application and other materials.

The complete packet must be submitted to Lt. Steve Crown at WDFW Enforcement via USPS or email at officerrecruitment@dfw.wa.gov.

When should I apply?

You can apply anytime after you have met the minimum requirements for the position.  You may not apply in anticipation of meeting the requirements sometime in the near future. 

WDFW Police snow patrolCan I apply for a specific duty-station location?

No. Candidates must be willing to accept a Fish and Wildlife Officer (FWO) position anywhere in the state. Officers are stationed based on designated patrol priorities.

How long does the background investigation take?

Once an entry-level applicant has completed the physical fitness test, written test, and oral panel exam with passing scores, and is selected for a background investigation, the investigation takes approximately one month.

What happens if I fail a portion of the testing process?

An applicant may re-apply with WDFW Enforcement six months after a previous test date if he or she fails a portion of the testing.  However, an applicant receiving a permanent disqualification from the testing process may not re-apply with the Enforcement Program.


How many positions are available?

We are currently hiring multiple Fish and Wildlife Officer positions throughout the state.

WDFW Police marine patrol checksHow long must I be a Fish and Wildlife Officer before I can promote to a higher rank?

To be eligible for promotion to Sergeant or Detective, an officer must complete a Career Development Plan, advance to Fish and Wildlife Officer 2 (FWO2) status, and serve at least five years as an FWO.  Promotional candidates must also complete a pre-promotional Career Development Plan prior to the testing process.

What is a Career Development Plan?

A Career Development Plan (CDP) consists of technical skills training, law enforcement instruction, and natural resource courses designed to improve critical job-related skills and knowledge.  The CDP incorporates a broad range of officer duty assignments, such as endangered-species patrol and commercial fishing enforcement, to improve job-specific knowledge.  Completion of the CDP allows a FWO1 to advance to a FWO2, which comes with a pay increase.  Lateral Officers with four or more years of previous law enforcement experience can advance to FWO2 in two years, while entry level officers can advance in four years.

What shifts do FWOs work?

FWOs work 171 hours in a 28-day work period.  Detachment Sergeants and Officers attend planning meetings every 28 days to design work schedules to maximize call coverage and enforcement capability.  FWOs work varied hours to monitor fish and wildlife harvest activities, illegal land use, habitat destruction, commercial harvest practices, and other law enforcement demands.

WDFW Police - Chief for a DayHow do I schedule a ride-along with a Fish and Wildlife Officer?

You can call WILDCOMM (the WDFW Police dispatch center) at 360-902-2936 (choose option 2) to request a ride-along with a Fish and Wildlife Officer.

Please Note: All requestors will have to pass a background check before they are allowed to ride-along with one of our Officers.

Still have questions? Contact us at officerrecruitment@dfw.wa.gov.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.