What Does it Take to Be an Emergency Dispatcher?
Job Description: Operate radio, telephone, or computer equipment at emergency response centers. Receive reports from the public of crimes, disturbances, fires, and medical or police emergencies. Relay information to law enforcement and emergency response personnel. May maintain contact with caller until responders arrive.
Emergency Dispatcher Responsibilities
- Monitor various radio frequencies such as those used by public works departments, school security, and civil defense to keep apprised of developing situations.
- Determine response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatch units in accordance with established procedures.
- Monitor alarm systems to detect emergencies, such as fires and illegal entry into establishments.
- Provide emergency medical instructions to callers.
- Maintain files of information relating to emergency calls, such as personnel rosters, and emergency call-out and pager files.
- Record details of calls, dispatches, and messages.
Things an Emergency Dispatcher Should Know How to Do
Emergency Dispatchers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Types of Emergency Dispatcher
- Police Dispatcher
- Police Communications Dispatcher
- Communications Supervisor
- Ambulance Dispatcher
- Dispatch Specialist
Job Outlook for Emergency Dispatchers
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 98,600 jobs in the United States for Emergency Dispatcher. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,100 new jobs for Emergency Dispatcher by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,000 positions for Emergency Dispatcher per year.
The states with the most job growth for Emergency Dispatcher are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maryland, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Emergency Dispatchers Salary
The salary for Emergency Dispatchers ranges between about $26,590 and $63,930 a year.
Emergency Dispatchers who work in California, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Emergency Dispatchers make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$50,600|
Tools & Technologies Used by Emergency Dispatchers
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Emergency Dispatchers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
- National Crime Information Center NCIC database
- Law enforcement information databases
- Computer aided dispatch software
How to Become an Emergency Dispatcher
Learn what Emergency Dispatcher education requirements there are.
What work experience do I need to become an Emergency Dispatcher?
Where Emergency Dispatchers Work
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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