Emergency Dispatch Schools
Get info on finding a school that offers emergency dispatch training, and find out what you'd learn as a student. Check the requirements for employment as an emergency dispatcher, and review the typical job duties for this position. Read about the career outlook and salary potential for emergency dispatchers.
Study to become an emergency dispatcher through certificate or associate's degree programs from myriad schools across the country. Earn your certification and/or degree in less than two years.
What Schools Have Emergency Dispatch Programs?
For the most part, certification, degrees or training in emergency dispatch is offered by community colleges or through adult continuing education programs. This is because a degree or certification is not necessary to work as an emergency dispatcher. Generally, employers provide training after hiring you and only require that you have a high school diploma.
Emergency dispatch programs range from a 1-semester certification program to 2-year associate's degrees. Regardless of the exact nature of the program, most contain coursework in telephone and radio communications, police and fire procedures, computer systems, emergency first aid and a variety of incident-response protocols.
Which Schools Offer Certificates for Emergency Dispatchers
These programs are available through technical schools and community colleges. Students can acquired certification in under a year.
- Arapahoe Community College offers a Criminal Justice Emergency Dispatch Certificate program
- Harper College offers a Public Safety Dispatcher Certificate program
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College offers a Emergency Dispatch certification program
Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees for Emergency Dispatchers
There are a variety of institutions which offer associate's degrees for emergency dispatchers. Consider any of these 2-year degrees, some of which can be completed in two semesters.
- Triton College offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Public Safety Dispatcher degree program
- Joliet Junior College offers an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Associate's degree program
- The College of Davidson and Davie Counties offers an Emergency Medical Science Associate in Applied Science Degree Program
What are the Hiring Procedures?
To work as an emergency dispatcher, sometimes called a telecommunicator or 911 operator you will likely need to pass a test, be observed at work for a period time, be interviewed and pass a background check. Once hired, you will be extensively trained to learn the systems and protocols of your employer. Training can last as long as 8-9 months.
What Tasks Will I Perform?
Emergency dispatchers are the first line of communication between the public and emergency response teams. Usually, you would be responsible for identifying what a caller needs, assessing and prioritizing the importance of those needs and then dispatching the appropriate type and numbers of responders to the scene. Many dispatchers work long hours. Some dispatchers work in a team.
What are my Job Prospects?
The demand for police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers is expected to increase 6% between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Also according to the BLS, in May 2018 police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers earned a median income of $40,660.
Although many employers provide on-the-job training, some may require certification. The National Academies of Emergency Dispatch offers certification as an Emergency Medical, Fire or Police Dispatcher.
Emergency dispatchers can choose from certificate/certification programs and associate's degrees. It all depends on the field of work you're considering for employment.