Wu Jie was born in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. In 1987 he graduated from the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Engineering College and later the PLAAF Flight College. A fighter pilot in the PLAAF, he had accumulated 1100 flight-hours.
In November 1996, he and Li Qinglong, started training at the Russian Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center. When they returned to China a year later, they acted as the trainers for the first group of Shenzhou astronauts. Before the flight of Shenzhou 5 it was thought that he or Li Qinglong would fly the mission, that was eventually flown by Yang Liwei.
Wu was then one of the six astronauts in the final training for Shenzhou 6.