Become A Dispatcher

A Communications Officer, also known as a dispatcher, is a vital link between the troopers on the road and the citizens of Washington State. A Communications Officer’s mission and responsibilities include:

Receive, relay, and dispatch emergency calls for service.

Dispatch services provided to line Troopers and other state agencies.

Provide assistance to the public via telephone or in person.

Answer emergency 911 calls.

Utilize computer-aided dispatch (CAD).

Work with other law enforcement agencies and communications centers.


Communications Officer 1
$3,553 – 4,632 per month
$42,636 – 55,584 a year

Communications Officer 2
$3,905 – 5,116 per month
$46,860 – 61,392 a year

Communications Officer 3
$4,304 – 5,645 per month
$51,648 – 67,740 a year

Communications Officer 4
$4,750 – 6,229 per month
$57,000 – 74,748 a year

Health Insurance
WSP offers more health care
options than almost any other
employer in the state.

Retirement Plan
We offer a variety of retirement
plans, so you can pick the one
that best fits your needs.

Loan Forgiveness

WSP Employees may also be qualified for the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for student loans.


High school graduate or equivalent

At least 18 years of age

Work weekends, holidays, overtime, and rotating shifts

Must pass a typing test (40 WPM)

No felonies or DUIs

Moral character

Good communications skills

Creative problem solving skills

Must pass a hearing test

Passion for helping others

Pass background investigation

Pass polygraph

Pass a computerized skills test

No marijuana use within the last 12 months



When a Communications Officer position is open, it will be listed on Careers WA. All requirements and details for applying will be included in the announcement.


Testing and Beyond

A candidate must successfully complete each level of the testing sequence below before moving to the next. Additional tests will also be cited on each job announcement.

The first step is a skills and abilities examination designed to evaluate an applicant’s potential to be successful as a communications officer. You may wish to review the profile and self-assessment for communications officers.

The second step is an oral interview that requires the applicant to formulate responses to questions concerning general knowledge, experience and abilities.

The third step is the pre-employment polygraph examination and background investigation.

Must attend 5 week Communications Academy (located in Shelton, WA). The training is broken up into two two-week sessions and one final one week session with time spent with on the job training in between.

Contact Us

To talk to a recruiter at headquarters, call 1-800-888-8384, (360) 704-2300 or There are also recruiters available statewide.

Training Program

A communications officer is primarily trained on the job with a lead worker in the local communications center. Training includes:

• Orientation training
• Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)
• Call processing
• Radio procedures
• Area familiarization and ride-alongs
• ACCESS certification
• Additional training is conducted at the Washington State Patrol Academy in Shelton.

There are eight WSP communications centers located at each district headquarters, which have available positions for communications officers who are eligible to transfer after one year of service.

Watch Dispatcher Stories