Entry-level applicants

WDFW police firearms training
Photo by WDFW

If you’re looking to get your start in law enforcement and want to protect Washington’s unique fish and wildlife, patrol the state’s deepest woods and waters, and proactively engage with the public, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Police may be the place for you.

WDFW Police employ a rigorous, three-phase hiring process to select the best possible candidates. Our process begins with a written and physical exam administered by  Public Safety Testing. If you pass, your name, score and personal history statement (PHS) will be forwarded to WDFW Police for review. If you advance in the hiring process, you’ll meet with an interview panel.

Before you apply, take a look at our minimum qualifications and disqualifiers. Some past actions could immediately disqualify you from a role with the WDFW Police. Be honest when applying – it’s better to disclose something up front than have it discovered halfway through the hiring process.

Testing phases

Phase 1

  • Schedule a testing date with Public Safety Testing
  • Complete the Law Enforcement Written Exam and Physical Ability Test
  • Complete your Personal History Statement, available through Public Safety Testing

Phase 2

  • Interview panel
  • Suitability assessment screening
  • Background investigation
  • Chief's interview

Phase 3

  • Conditional offer of employment
  • Polygraph
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Pre-employment medical exam with drug screening
  • Pre-academy Physical Ability Test

On-the-job training

Upon hire, all new recruits will be paid as a Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Recruit as they attend the 720-hour (18-week) Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) in Burien or Spokane, WA. WDFW covers all equipment, uniforms, meals, lodging, and academy costs.

After graduation from BLEA, our WDFW Police Recruits complete a natural resource centric training at WDFW Police headquarters (HQ) in Olympia. This comprehensive training spans five to seven weeks and covers hunting, fishing, vessel operations, firearms, commercial investigations, species identification, dangerous wildlife control, and many more topics. 

Following HQ Training, new Recruits begin a 14- to 20-week Field Training Program, getting hands on experience with seasoned training officers preparing them to work independently within their assigned community.

Successful applicants will join our team committed to protecting our natural resources and the public we serve.

Competitive benefits, unique opportunities

WDFW Police offer a competitive pay and benefit package, along with opportunities for advancement into supervisory or specialty roles, for example detective, swiftwater and dive teams, firearms instructor, dog handler, etc.

Have other questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact our Recruitment and Hiring Division at officerrecruitment@dfw.wa.gov.