Entry Level Police Officer

  • Full Time
  • West Coast
  • Applications have closed

Website NationalTesting National Testing Network

Recruitment and Employment Testing Services for Public Safety

Job Information


Updated: February 13, 2023

The Seattle Police Department is an equal-opportunity employer that values diversity in its workforce.

HIRING BONUS: The City of Seattle is offering a $7,500 hiring bonus for entry-level police officers.  Half of the hiring incentive will be paid in the first paycheck and the second half upon completion of any probationary period established by the Public Safety Civil Service Rules. Hiring incentives paid to recruits who leave Seattle Police Department employment before five years of completed service must be paid back to the City.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate: All City of Seattle employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If selected, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination before your start date. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

The Seattle Police Department is currently hiring for the position of Entry-level Police Officer. This is an invite-only testing process. To be invited to test, first, you must complete a department application here. The Seattle Police Department is accepting applications from December 28th, 2022 to February 8th, 2023 for the first exam cycle in 2023.

Entry Level Police Officer describes a candidate with no prior law enforcement experience and those who have completed a self-sponsored academy and have not worked as a commissioned officer/deputy for a law enforcement agency. Exceptional Entry Police Officer describes a candidate who has completed a basic law enforcement academy and FTO, but who does not have the required 24 months of full-time service as a law enforcement officer in the last 36 months to qualify as a lateral applicant. Exceptional Entry Police Officer candidates must test with the entry-level candidates and are not eligible to take the Lateral entry exam. Exceptional Entry candidates must identify themselves as such by sending an e-mail to the Police Exams Administrator upon completion of their application.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will receive an email notification from NTN inviting you to take the Frontline National Test and complete the PSSA part 1 & 2 through NTN. Both the Frontline National Test and the PSSAs must be completed by the closing date of February 8th, 2023.  Before you apply and test, please be sure that you are available to participate in the post-exam assessments advertised below.  The post-exam screening steps will be conducted in Seattle, Washington.  If you are unavailable to participate in any of the screening steps listed below, you will need to wait to participate in a subsequent exam cycle.  You will need to reapply with the City and be reinvited.

****Please read the entire job bulletin information carefully, as our testing process has changed.  Out-of-state applicants will now participate in oral board interviews and background interviews via MS Teams. ****

Applications for this exam cycle (2023 – Cycle 1) will be accepted from December 28, 2022 through February 8, 2023.  Once a completed application is received by the City of Seattle’s Fire & Police Exam Unit and the application is successfully screened, applicants will be contacted via an NTN system e-mail with instructions for how to schedule participation in the NTN Frontline exam process at no cost.

Applicants must be available to participate in all parts of the pre-employment screening process that are listed below.  If you apply between December 28, 2022, through February 8, 2023, and you complete the first stage of the assessment process (NTN’s Frontline National Exam and Public Safety Self Assessment), you must then immediately schedule yourself (via your NTN account) to participate in a physical agility test and complete that test by February 10, 2023 (the close of this exam cycle). The physical agility test will be administered by NTN at no cost to you. Candidates must also be available to participate in the oral board interviews to be conducted on February 18, 2023.

Exam Step 1 – Video Exam and Online Job Survey (PSSA) (Please Note:  There are two options to complete the video exam.  Seattle will only accept one of the test result options listed below.)

Option 1:  Between December 28, 2022, and February 10, 2023, exams will be conducted by the National Testing Network (NTN).  Applicants will be able to participate in the exam process in one of two ways:  (1) from their home computer with a virtual proctor, or (2) at an NTN center location convenient to them. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for exam administration. Test results earned at these exam administrations will be sent to Seattle and are not transferable to any other department. All candidates will receive their scores on or about February 14, 2023, via e-mail from Seattle’s Fire & Police Exam Unit. If you select Option 1 you forfeit the ability to transfer a current NTN exam score (see Option 2 below).

Option 2: Applicants can transfer any current NTN Frontline score earned between August 10, 2022, and February 10, 2023, as long as that score was not applied toward a Seattle exam in the previous six months.  Applicants who elect to transfer scores will be able to add Seattle as a department (at no cost) following NTN’s standard “department add” process. The City of Seattle will pay the fee for a score transfer.

Candidates who pass the NTN exams will be scheduled by the Seattle Police Department’s Background Investigation Unit for the remainder of the scheduled pre-employment assessment screening.

Exam Step 2 – Post-Exam Screening with the Seattle Police Department

Oral Board interviews: Saturday, February 18, 2023

Interview with Background Detective: Scheduled individually
Applicants who are Washington State Residents:

Oral Board interviews: February 18, 2023

Interview with Background Detective: Scheduled individually
Applicants who Live Outside the State of Washington:

Oral Board interviews: February 18, 2023 (Formal Interview conducted virtually via MS Teams) Interview with Background Detective: Scheduled individually (Formal review) After a background investigation (and when a conditional offer of employment has been made), candidates will need to travel to Seattle (one time) to complete the PAT, medical, polygraph exams.

All accommodation requests will require documentation from a medical professional.

To apply for Reasonable Testing Accommodation for the video exam, you must fill out the request forms and submit them by mail to National Testing Network (NTN). NTN will consider all requests for Reasonable Testing Accommodation. Candidates will be informed of their decision. Please follow these steps:

Do not schedule your test. Your test accommodation must be approved before you can schedule your test. Print and fill out the Reasonable Testing Accommodation forms completely and mail them to the National Testing Network at the address below. You can download the form here (Download PDF reader).  All sections of the form must be completed; if one of the forms does not apply, please complete it as “not applicable”.
Fax or Mail the completed forms and supporting documentation to the National

Testing Network:
National Testing Network
Accommodation Request
2122 164th St. SW, Suite 300
Lynnwood, WA 98087
Fax number: 425 977 0566

National Testing Network will inform you of their decision. If you have National Testing Network approval, you will be contacted to schedule your test. Please start this process as early as you can, as it may take several weeks to complete.

Please note that the Seattle Police Department requires applicants to complete a separate Personal History Information (PHI) packet. Candidates are required to bring their completed PHI packet to turn in at the administration of the Physical Agility Test. Failure to turn in a completed and notarized PHI at the appointed time will result in an applicant’s disqualification from further participation in the pre-employment assessment steps associated with this exam cycle. To access the Seattle Police Department’s PHI packet, please click here.

Salary Information for Police Recruit: $40.06-$52.45 Hourly

Department Overview: The mission of the Seattle Police Department is to prevent crime, enforce the law, and support quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. The Seattle Police Department is seeking individuals who are committed to understanding and protecting the ethical, cultural, and ethnic values of the City of Seattle and its residents as Police Officers. As first responders, Police Officers are vital to public safety and under regular supervision, perform basic police services in accordance with the mission, goals, and objectives of the City of Seattle Police Department and in compliance with governing federal, state, and local laws.

Vacancies: It is anticipated that approximately 75 to 100 positions will be filled annually, depending on attrition and budget.

Benefit Information:

  • Yearly uniform allowance of $550.00
  • 10 Paid Holidays plus 16 Hours of Personal Holiday
  • 12 Days paid vacation per year to start; accrual increases with longevity
  • 12 Days paid sick leave (can be used for spouse/domestic partner, child or parent – unlimited accrual)
  • Enrollment in Washington State LEOFF2 Retirement
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (Optional – City matches up to $4,380 per year)
  • Medical/Dental/Vision/Life Insurance (Benefits start within 30 days of being hired)


  • Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. Explains laws and police procedures to residents.
  • Operates a patrol car. Patrols city streets, areas, and businesses to deter criminal activity and promote public safety.
  • Investigates conditions hazardous to life or property; conducts initial investigations of crime and crime scenes; may assist detectives in criminal investigation work. Conducts search and seizure activities as appropriate.
  • Collects and preserves crime scenes and evidence.
  • Arrests and/or detains suspected violators of the law. Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal acts or statute violations were involved.
  • Records facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
  • Transports individuals in custody.
  • Presents evidence and testimony in judicial settings.
  • The City of Seattle provides police service 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Shift work, including nights, weekends, and holidays, is required.


Eligibility Standards:

  • Be at least twenty and a half (20.5) years of age.
  • Hold United States citizenship, OR have legal permanent residency in the U.S.
  • Attained a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency (GED).
  • Individuals may not have been discharged from military service under dishonorable conditions.
  • Applicants must meet all eligibility standards by the date of participation in the exam process.

Job Requirements

Age: Must be 20.5 years of age at the time of test

Citizenship Required: Hold U.S. citizenship, OR have legal permanent residency in the U.S.

High School Grad/GED: Yes

Valid WASHINGTON Driver’s License: A valid Washington State Driver’s License is required before being hired.

Ability to Read/Speak English: Yes

Desired Qualifications:

  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to effectively interact with people from diverse backgrounds
  • The ability to accurately type at least 35 wpm is highly desirable
  • Seattle residence is not required for application or appointment

Minimum Employment Standards – The following standards apply to all candidates for Police Officer:

  • Drug Use.
  • Before the exam date:
    • Have not used Marijuana within twelve (12) months before taking the civil service exam, and
    • Have not used cocaine or crack within the previous five (5) years, and
    • Have not used club drugs, such as, but not limited to:
      • Ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, or MDMA (ecstasy) within the previous three (3) years, and
      • Have not used any Hallucinogens, LSD, Mushrooms, or Psilocybin within the previous five (5) years, and
      • Have not used PCP, Angel Dust, Wet or Phencyclidine within the previous five (5) years, and
      • Have not used Opium, Morphine, or Heroin within the previous five (5) years, and
      • Have not used Methamphetamine, Crank, Crystal, Ice, Speed, Glass, or Amphetamine within the previous five (5) years, and
      • Have not inhaled aerosols, sometimes referred to as Huffing (paint) or Whippits (Nitrous Oxide), or used Khat within the previous five (5) years, and
      • Have not used any illegal drug(s) while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity, and
      • Have not manufactured or cultivated illegal drug(s) for the purpose of the sales/marketing of the drug(s).

Please note that the use of illegal drugs and the illegal use of prescription drugs, referred to in this standard, means the use of one or more drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Offers of employment are conditioned upon a pre-employment drug screening to confirm abstinence from illegal drug use.

Traffic Record

  • A candidate’s driving record will be thoroughly assessed and may be a factor for disqualification.
  • Examples of infractions/traffic crimes that may be disqualifying:
    • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Reckless Driving, or Hit & Run Driving.
    • Suspension of your driver’s license within five (5) years of the exam date
    • Three (3) or more moving violations (speeding, negligent driving, etc.) within five (5) years of the exam date will be carefully reviewed.
    • Two (2) or more accidents within five (5) years of the exam date, wherein the candidate was judged to be at fault and/or charged with a moving violation.

Criminal History:

  • A candidate’s criminal history, including all arrests, prosecutions, deferred prosecutions, “Alford” pleas, and non-conviction information will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.
  • The following will be disqualifying:
    • Any adult felony conviction.
    • Any misdemeanor or felony conviction while employed in a criminal justice and/or law enforcement capacity.
    • Any domestic violence conviction.

Employment Record:

  • A candidate’s employment history, including any terminations, or leaving an employer in lieu of termination, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.

Financial Record:

  • A candidate’s credit history, including excessive credit card debt or unresolved accounts in collection, will be thoroughly assessed and may be grounds for disqualification.
  • The following will be disqualifying:
    • Failure to pay income tax or child support.

Professional Appearance:

  • All applicants are expected to maintain a professional appearance at all times. SPD has the sole discretion in determining what is considered professional, as it relates to the position of Police Officer.
  • Any tattoos, branding (intentional burning of the skin to create a design), voluntary disfigurement (marring or spoiling of the appearance or shape of a body part), or scarification (intentional cutting of the skin to create a design) shall be carefully reviewed by SPD on a case-by-case basis.
  • Job offers are contingent on a review of credit, criminal, and driving history as well as verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process.
  • Medical, psychological, and polygraph examinations are administered after a conditional offer of employment is made.

Examination Process:

  • Each candidate is responsible for understanding all of the requirements for successful participation in this exam cycle. To accomplish this, it is very important for candidates to thoroughly read this entire job bulletin.
  • In order to be considered for a Police Officer job opportunity with the Seattle Police Department, candidates must complete a number of exams. Candidates who pass all portions of the exam will be placed on an eligible list according to their exam scores. Candidates will be informed of their final score and ranking on the eligible list by approximately February 14, 2023.
  • The initial exam process used to establish a list of eligible candidates will be administered by the National Testing Network (NTN) in partnership with the Fire & Police Exams Unit at the Seattle Department of Human Resources. Please read the section titled “Exam Application Information” below to learn about the process for scheduling your exam. The testing windows for this exam cycle are listed below in the section titled “Exam Dates”. The City of Seattle reserves the right to halt the acceptance of applications for this exam cycle if/when capacity is reached to conduct the pre-employment assessment steps.

Preference Points:

  • If applicable, candidates may have preference points added to their passing exam scores for military experience, multilingual abilities, prior work experience with the City of Seattle, and prior service as a Police Reserve in the Seattle Police Department. Applicants who are proficient in more than one language may request to be tested for multilingual proficiency (after passing initial exams and the physical agility test). All preference points will be evaluated and granted in accordance with Rules 9.17-9.20 of the City of Seattle’s Public Safety Civil Service Commission.
  • The role of the Fire and Police Exams Unit in the Seattle Department of Human Resources is to oversee the initial exam process, establish an eligible list, and upon request by the Seattle Police Department, certify candidates from the eligible list. The Police Department will directly contact and schedule eligible candidates for all of the remaining steps in the pre-employment screening process.
  • The Seattle Police Department makes all hiring decisions after a pre-employment selection process, which includes a background investigation, additional interviews, a physical agility exam, a polygraph, and psychological and medical exams.
  • Immediately upon successfully completing the Physical Agility Test administered by the Seattle Police Department, all candidates will be required to submit a Personal History Information Packet. This packet is available as a download on the Seattle Police Department “Careers and Opportunities” webpage. You are required to submit the Personal History Information Packet on the day you take the Physical Ability Test. The information and documentation required to complete the Personal History Information Packet is extensive and applicants are encouraged to review the packet and begin collecting the required data in advance of taking the video exam.


  1. Candidates must pass each part of the examination process to be placed on the eligible list.
  2. All candidates will be required to present government-issued identification showing a photograph at each phase of the examination process (e.g. driver’s license, military identification, etc.).
  3. After appointment to a regular Police Officer position, the employee must serve a one-year probationary period during which the employee must demonstrate the ability to perform the work assigned to the position.
  4. Applicants must make prompt notification of a change of address to the Seattle Department of Human Resources in writing through the online application system.
  5. Candidates who qualify for veteran’s preference points will (after passing the video exam) be required to submit documentation (e.g., a copy of their long-form DD214 showing their honorable discharge) to support their claim for veteran’s preference points. Candidates must pass all portions of the civil service exam process before veteran’s preference points can be added to their scores.
  6. Candidates who are bilingual and who pass the Physical Agility Test administered by the Seattle Police Department, may request to be tested for proficiency in another language. Candidates who successfully pass the language proficiency test will have language preference points added to their exam scores.
  7. The Seattle Police Department is seeking to add to its diverse team of hardworking, committed individuals with a passion for public service, and who are deeply aligned with our City’s values of social justice. The City of Seattle is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, gender identity, political ideology, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.