What is an Emergency Dispatcher?
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.
Life As an Emergency Dispatcher: What Do They Do?
- Relay information and messages to and from emergency sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to all other individuals or groups requiring notification.
- Observe alarm registers and scan maps to determine whether a specific emergency is in the dispatch service area.
- Monitor alarm systems to detect emergencies, such as fires and illegal entry into establishments.
- Test and adjust communication and alarm systems, and report malfunctions to maintenance units.
- Receive incoming telephone or alarm system calls regarding emergency and non-emergency police and fire service, emergency ambulance service, information, and after-hours calls for departments within a city.
- Read and effectively interpret small-scale maps and information from a computer screen to determine locations and provide directions.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Emergency Dispatcher?
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.
Other Emergency Dispatcher Job Titles
- Communications Operator
- Telecommunications Specialist
- Police Communications Operator
- Fire Fighters Dispatcher
Emergency Dispatcher Employment Estimates
There were about 98,600 jobs for Emergency Dispatcher in 2016 (in the United States). 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.
Do Emergency Dispatchers Make A Lot Of Money?
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 different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$50,600|
What Tools do Emergency Dispatchers Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Emergency Dispatchers:
- 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.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Emergency Dispatcher?
Emergency Dispatchers Sector
The table below shows the approximate number of Emergency Dispatchers employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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