Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. We anticipate conducting our next oral interview panel in the 1st quarter of 2018 (exact dates TBD).
We recommend completion of all Public Safety Testing requirements be January 5, 2018. We will review lateral officer
applications as we receive them and schedule qualified applicants for interviews.
An entry level
applicant is someone who has not previously worked as a general authority police officer. Please note: applicants
who have served as military police in a branch of the military service are considered entry level applicants, unless
they have worked as a general authority peace officer after fulfilling their military service.
A lateral applicant is a
candidate who is currently a certified general authority peace officer in good standing, and has
worked as a full-time law enforcement officer for at least two years (from date of commissioning). Work as a
Corrections Officer, Military Police, or State Park Ranger does not qualify as general authority law enforcement
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a lateral applicant, please contact our Recruitment and Hiring
Division at OfficerRecruitment@dfw.wa.gov.
You can find minimum eligibility requirements for an entry level applicant here.
Minimum requirements for lateral applicants can be found here.
Please note: We do not offer waivers for educational requirements.
Certain past behaviors and circumstances may disqualify you from applying. For a full list of automatic
and potential disqualifiers, click here.
If you have any automatic disqualifying factors that are on the list, do not apply to become a Fish and
Wildlife Police Officer.
Please keep in mind that potential disqualifiers are considered in the context of all other information
that is obtained about an individual while completing the hiring process. Although you're welcome to contact us to
discuss potential disqualifiers, we cannot tell you with absolute certainty whether certain past behaviors may
disqualify you until all relevant information is available to us.
No. We have a minimum age requirement (21), but we do not have a maximum age limit. As long as you meet our
minimum eligibility requirements, do not have any disqualifying factors, successfully complete all of our
pre-employment exams and are declared fit to perform the duties of a Fish and Wildlife Police Officer, you can be
Although all candidates must apply through Public Safety
Testing, the hiring processes for entry level and lateral applicants are slightly different.
For information about the entry level hiring process, please click here.
For information about applying as a lateral applicant, please click here.
Yes! We hire many out-of-state officers. However, please understand that the majority of our testing
takes place in Washington, so an out-of-state applicant must be willing and able to travel here on at least three to
five separate occasions (depending on whether you are a lateral or entry level applicant) to complete the hiring
Our current policy states that tattoos may not be visible outside of the uniform. Tattoos on the face,
neck, hands, head, etc., that are not able to be covered by the uniform are not permissible.
You may apply at any time after you meet the minimum requirements for the position. You may not apply in
anticipation of meeting the requirements sometime in the future.
However, there may be instances where an applicant is scheduled to receive their college diploma within a month
or two of a scheduled oral panel. Please contact us at OfficerRecruitment@dfw.wa.gov
with questions regarding your specific circumstances.
Applicants who are currently in the military and meet our minimum requirements should begin the
application process at least six months before their separation date. Of course, this will depend on the
applicant's availability to travel for scheduled interviews and exams. For more information about the hiring
process, please click here.
You must be able to provide a copy of your degree and official transcripts before we begin the background
investigation, which takes place immediately after the oral panel. We will not delay the hiring process in
anticipation of receiving these documents.
This depends on the timing of scheduled oral panels, as well as the availability of the applicant and
various contracted examiners (polygraph, psychological assessment, medical, etc.). We must also consider the schedule of
the Basic Law Enforcement Academy or Equivalency Academy, and available start dates. Generally, the hiring process
takes 3 to 5 months to complete.
If you fail the initial written and physical exams through Public Safety Testing, your name will not be
forwarded to us for consideration. You will have to work directly with Public Safety Testing to determine when
you'll be eligible to re-test.
If you fail any other portion of the hiring process, but are not disqualified, you may be eligible to
participate in another oral panel after six months. This will depend on whether your Public Safety Testing score
is still valid (scores expire after one year).
If you are permanently disqualified at any point during our hiring process, you may not reapply at
When we have vacancies, we generally hold up to four oral panels per year.
Applicants who are currently in the military and meet our minimum requirements should begin the
application process at least six months before their separation date. Of course, this will depend on the applicant's
availability to travel for scheduled interviews and exams. For more information about the hiring process, please
We do recognize military training and experience as applicable to this career, and have reduced the
minimum educational requirement for veterans. Applicants who have served at least three years of active military
duty in the last nine years are required to have a minimum of an Associate Degree (instead of a Bachelor's Degree).
Yes. Your clearance through the military does not transfer over. We are required by law (RCW 43.101.095) to complete a background
investigation, polygraph, and psychological assessment on every candidate, regardless of prior clearance granted by
We do not provide a list of available duty stations to prospective candidates. Because our hiring process
takes 3 to 5 months to complete, and we consistently have other applicants going through various phases of the
process at the same time, the list of available duty stations changes frequently. The stations that are vacant today
may not be vacant by the time an applicant completes our hiring process. This is why we require all applicants to be
willing and able to live anywhere in the State of Washington.
No. Candidates must be willing to accept a Fish and Wildlife Officer (FWO) position anywhere in the
state. Duty stations are assigned based on designated patrol priorities. We also consider any special skills or
experience that a recruit may possess (i.e., a recruit with a Master Vessel Operator certification may be assigned
to a marine station). If you are not willing and able to move, you should not apply.
An entry level recruit will be assigned a duty station before he or she enters the Basic Law Enforcement
Academy to allow ample time to establish residence (if a move is required) before initial training is complete.
A lateral recruit will be assigned a duty station at the completion of all phases of testing.
All entry level Fish and Wildlife Police Officers are required to complete the Basic Law
Enforcement Academy (BLEA) at the Criminal Justice Training Center, along with all other law enforcement
officers in the State of Washington.
Lateral Fish and Wildlife Police Officers who are certified peace officers in the State of Washington will not
have to complete BLEA or the BLEA Equivalency.
Lateral Fish and Wildlife Police Officers who are certified peace officers in another state will have to complete
The Basic Law Enforcement Academy requires 720 hours (18 weeks) of training. Recruits can choose to stay
at the Academy or commute from home if they live within commuting distance. However, we recommend staying at the
Academy to allow a recruit to focus completely on training.
The BLEA Equivalency Academy requires 80 hours of training, including written exams, practical exercises,
and orientation, over a two-week period at the Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien. For more information
about the BLEA Equivalency Academy, click here.
Yes. Recruits are hired by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife prior to entering the Academy,
and are therefore paid employees while completing initial training. We also pay for your lodging and meals while at
We currently do not have an internship program in place. However, the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife has many volunteer opportunities available. If you'd like to volunteer with our Department, please visit
the Volunteer Opportunities website, or contact the WDFW
Volunteer Coordinator at 360.902.8303.
Ridealongs are offered to individuals interested in pursuing a career as a Fish and Wildlife Police
Officer. You must be at least 18 years old to request a ridealong.Please Note: Due to limited staffing
and the nature of our work, opportunities for ridealongs are limited. Candidates who have already applied and
completed initial testing through Public Safety Testing take precedence.
To schedule a ridealong, you'll need to contact WILDCOMM (the WDFW Police dispatch center). Please call
360.902.2936, and choose option 2 or 3 to speak with a Communications Officer and request a ridealong. All
requestors will have to pass a simple background check before they are allowed to ride with one of our
For candidates wanting to ridealong in preparation for an oral panel, we suggest requesting a ridealong as soon as
you complete initial testing. Do not wait until the last minute.