How To Become A Police Officer In Washington
Those hoping to work in law enforcement in Washington can look forward to a career with plenty of opportunities for growth. Over 9,600 patrol officers and sheriffs deputies are employed in Washington state, earning an annual average salary of $78,600.1 Known for its varied and beautiful geography including mountains, rainforest, and rugged coastline, as well as the cosmopolitan city of Seattle, Washington is a great place to live. The minimum standards for police officers in Washington are set by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission . Hiring agencies may also set requirements that exceed the state minimums. Continue reading to learn more about becoming a police officer in Washington.
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Who Can Attend Our Classes
This academy is open to recruits who have been hired by a recognized Washington State law enforcement agency. Sponsoring agencies will submit application materials on the recruits’ behalf.
The Basic Law Enforcement Academy must be completed by fully commissioned law enforcement officers of a city, county, or political subdivision of the state of Washington per WAC 139-05-200 and RCW 43.101.200.
Mandated agencies: City, County, State Universities, Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, and Railroad
Non mandated agencies: Tribal Police, Gambling Commission, Liquor & Cannabis Board, WA State Parks & Recreation, Arson Investigators, DNR and Reserves.
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Law Enforcement Salaries In Washington
The average salary of police officers in Washington state is around 67,000 a year. This is higher than many surrounding states, which is good news for those working in Washington however, living in Washington also means an increased cost of living when compared to many other US sates. This is however, simply an average salary. This means that some officers in Washington make less and some make more. Often how much an officer makes depends greatly on experience as police officer. Education is also another factor, those with higher degree make more than those with simply a high school diploma. Officers who are employed in more populous cities usually make more money than those employed by rural departments. For officers who gain promotions in rank their pay can greatly increase. For example: state detectives and Washington criminal investigators make, on average, 86,000 per year.
Schools in Washington State with Law Enforcement Degrees
Seattle PD requires applicants to have a college degree. Other cities do not have this requirement. No matter where you are applying, it may be most advantageous to obtain a degree with a criminal justice major, or the like, prior to applying for a police officer job in Washington. The below Washington schools have law enforcement related programs.
- Bellevue College
Police Officer Degree Levels
There are many degree options for prospective and current police who are interested in furthering their education. As previously mentioned, a successful policing career does not necessarily require a college degree, but pursuing a degree can benefit your career as a police officer not only by helping you get hired but also by putting you in a better position to be promoted and/or move into a supervisory position. Before we look at the degree majors available for those interested in police education, lets look at the police officer education levels available.
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Training Institutions For Police Officers
Washington has maintained set standards for police officers training in the state. All of these training institutions operate under Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. They are mandated to provide entry-level, in-service, and career development training to improve skills and enhance public safety. Below are some of the best academies in the state of Washington, WA that provide basic training to the police officers.
School in Burien, Washington, it is open for recruits who are hired by a recognized Washington State law enforcement agency. A 41 hours training course, it introduces the candidates to staff, culture of law enforcement, and key concepts revolving around criminal psychology.
Located in Spokane, WA, the Spokane Police Department offers proper training to the candidates. The recruits are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Training along with additional training to deal with sensitive situations.
The training center is located in Pasco, Washington and includes coursework and practical training in filing incident report, accident investigation, state ordinances and local laws, and firearms.
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Specialty Positions & Rank Structure
Specialty Positions:The Washington State Patrol offers a variety of specialty assignments, which are available to all commissioned officers.
Non-probationary commissioned officers with four years of experience can compete for detective assignments in the following specialties:
- Traffic Accident Investigation
Apply For Police Officer Jobs
To begin your career in law enforcement, apply for police officer jobs in Washington. Most police departments coordinate a recruit’s training after they secure a police officer position. To find open positions, use online resources to view local police department’s social media pages or review government websites. Consider contacting police departments to ask about open positions, or visit police departments in your area to find any job openings.
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Want To Be A Spokane Police Officer So Do More Than 700 Other People
After interest waned in recent years, the Spokane Police Department saw a surge in applicants in 2021.
Though the number still falls short of historic norms, police leaders are proud of the renewed interest shown in becoming a Spokane police officer.
The department saw 762 applications from aspiring officers taking the public safety test in 2021, compared to just 414 in 2019. The recruitment report published by the police department excluded 2020 to avoid any potential abnormalities caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of African American and Hispanic applicants more than tripled during that same time frame. Just 12 African American candidates applied in 2019, compared to 48 in 2021. The number of Hispanic applicants jumped from 29 to 90, while female applicants increased from 47 to 78.
Comparatively speaking, Im happy with the numbers that we have, said Jacqui MacConnell, the departments director of strategic initiatives.
The written public safety test is the first step of several in becoming a commissioned police officer. Upon taking the test, aspiring officers can choose to apply to any number of dozens of law enforcement agencies across Washington. An increase in applicants means more prospective candidates are checking the box next to the city of Spokane.
Thats welcome news for the department and elected leaders, even if not every potential candidate follows through.
Become A Wdfw Officer
Let your career lead you into the mountains, along the banks of a winding river, or deep into the woods. Whether you are just entering the world of law enforcement or a seasoned officer looking for a new assignment, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police are looking for candidates with a passion for protecting our natural resources.
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Basic Skills Youll Need To Be A Law Enforcement Officer
- Am I able to speak clearly and listen to others well? Can I write a report with grammatically correct English?
- Do I read and comprehend well to learn the laws and procedures of law enforcement in the academy?
- Do I have a good memory to recall what Ive learned and what Ive witnessed in incidents?
- Am I able to follow maps and find my way around?
- Do I have excellent physical fitness?
- Do I have basic computer skills?
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Police Officer Salary In Spokane Washington
How much does a Police Officer make in Spokane, WA? The average Police Officer salary in Spokane, WA is $58,900 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $55,000 and $64,100. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
|10th Percentile Police Officer Salary||$51,449|
|25th Percentile Police Officer Salary||$55,000|
|50th Percentile Police Officer Salary||$58,900|
|75th Percentile Police Officer Salary||$64,100|
|90th Percentile Police Officer Salary||$68,834|
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Pass The Physical Agility Test
Before entering the police academy, recruits can pass the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission Fitness Ability Test. This allows your employer to identify your physical fitness and endurance levels. During the exam, you can complete squat thrusts, sit-ups and pull-ups within a specific amount of time to ensure you meet the minimum requirements to enter a training academy.
Check Out Our Virtual Physical Ability Test
Your Washington State PAT completed on YOUR schedule wherever and whenever works best for you!
- No travel to a test site required
- Fully proctored via our secure platform
Candidates for the position of police officer/deputy sheriff/trooper must successfully complete the following Physical Ability Test . The PAT administered by PST is the same test that is required for entrance into the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
- You must successfully complete the minimum number of correct repetitions for each individual PAT event.
- You must successfully pass each event. Failing one event will constitute a failure of the PAT.
- There are no maximum scores for the events.
|Squat Thrusts 3 minutes||35|
If you do not pass your PAT, you are eligible to retest all events on another day. For agencies that required the PAT to recieve your test scores, your PAT must be successfully completed within 90 days from your written exam date. A PAT retest fee will apply.
You are highly encouraged to watch the below demonstration video PRIOR to taking the PAT.
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How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer
In Washington, it can take two to three years to become a police officer. The length of training programs and fieldwork can vary by department. Typically, recruits can complete a year of field training before becoming independent officers, or they may start working as an officer once their field training officer verifies that they’re ready for independent work.
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Washington Sheriffs Deputy Requirements
Each county in the state of Washington has a sheriffs department with an elected sheriff and hired deputies. The deputies perform law enforcement duties within the county and may coordinate with other agencies like the Washington State Police. To become a deputy sheriff, recruits must meet the standards set by the WSCJTC. Each county may pose additional requirements for deputies, such as prior experience working as a commissioned police officer.
Requirements To Become A Police Officer In Washington
Before becoming a police officer, it’s important to check that you meet your state’s minimum requirements to pursue a law enforcement career. The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission establishes the police officer requirements for Washington. Here are the requirements to become a police officer in Washington:
Be at least 18 years of age
Have a high school diploma or GED
Have no criminal record
Possess a valid Washington driver’s license
How Much Does A Police Officer Make In Spokane Wa
The average police officer in Spokane, WA makes $69,906 annually. The average hourly rate for a police officer is $33.61/hr. This compares to the national average police officer salary of $52,638. Below, we break down the average police officer salary in Spokane, WA by the highest paying companies and industries. You can also compare different types of police officer salaries in and around Spokane and a salary history chart that shows how the average salary for police officers has changed over time in Spokane.
What Am I Worth?
Washington Police Jobs Outlook
Growth in police and deputy sheriff positions in the state of Washington is expected to be strong in the coming years. From now through 2026, projections anticipate a 10.5% jobs growth rate for police and sheriffs patrol officers in Washington, with 770 average annual openings in the state.8 This growth along with the statewide average annual police salary of $78,600 demonstrates the opportunities for new cops and sheriffs deputies in the Washington.9
For more information about current law enforcement openings, take a look at our police jobs board.
Basic Law Enforcement Academy
The Basic Law Enforcement Academy is Washingtons mandated training academy for all city and county entry-level peace officers in the state. Through a centralized training model, Washington ensures all officers are equipped with the same base-level understanding of their responsibility to the communities they serve, standards to uphold, and education for effective community-oriented policing . To facilitate this training, WSCJTC hires exceptional training officers from agencies throughout the state and current subject matter experts.
With a focus on a guardian model of policing, students attend a wide array of courses throughout the 720 academy hours. A description of the courses covered is available on our Core Block Descriptions page and in our syllabus. WSCJTC is committed to developing new officers to high standards and providing exceptional training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively protect the life, liberty and property of the people they serve.
Washington State does not allow for self-sponsorship to attend BLEA. All students must first be hired by a law enforcement agency who will submit application materials on their behalf. Training must be commenced within six months of hire. For more information, please review RCW 43.101.220 and WAC 193-05-210.
Additional Tests Once You Are Selected
Once applicants clear all the above mentioned tests, they will receive a conditional offer for employment. Another series of exams are scheduled before the academy training begins. These tests typically include:
This is also known as a lie-detector test and is used in many other law enforcement agencies as well. The test will detect abnormal variations in blood pressure, body motion, heart rate, etc. These variations can depict the level of truth and honesty.
A psychological exam is conducted to asses a candidates mental and emotional stability, neurological functioning, reasoning skills, and personality traits.
Medical exams are a necessary part of the hiring process. Applicants will be tested for various medical conditions and disorders. Any applicant that suffers from a medical disorder that can affect his or her performance on the job will be disqualified.
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What Is The Work Environment For A Police Officer
Police officers often travel while working to patrol neighborhoods. They may operate police equipment, like a patrol car or motorcycle. They often work evenings and weekends to enhance a community’s safety. Police officers may work in an office environment in which they write reports or meet with victims of crimes or other members of law enforcement.
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