Emergency Response Degree Programs

An emergency response degree program can show you how to establish effective relief plans for locations affected by environmental disasters. Read on to learn about the available degree levels, common curricula for each degree level, online availability, and employment information. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Emergency Response Degree Programs Are Available?

A variety of degree programs are offered in emergency management, as well as crisis and disaster management, emergency planning and emergency services administration. You might earn an Associate of Applied Science, a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science. Programs teach you how to respond to emergency disasters, including floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires and even acts of terrorism. You'll develop the skills to prepare for imminent disasters, work with a response team and manage other emergency response workers.

Degree Levels Associate's, Bachelors, and Master's degrees are available
Curricula Undergrad: Training in forming emergency response plans, assessing disaster risks; may require an intership.
Graduate: Heavily emphasizes administration practices, budgeting, and leadership skills
Online Availability Online master's and bachelor's degrees are available
Median Salary (2018) $74,420 per year (for Emergency Management Directors)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

Undergraduate emergency management programs train you to form emergency response plans in accordance with local and national regulations. You'll also learn how to assess disaster risks, reduce casualties, implement prompt response plans and organize recovery efforts. You can expect to complete courses on disaster problem solving and current national response systems. You might need to participate in an internship or field experience at an emergency management department.

Master's degree programs place a greater emphasis on administration and management practices, as well as budgeting and finance for emergency response agencies. Leadership is also stressed, and you'll learn how to manage volunteer crews during a disaster effort. Graduate programs may include courses in emergency management theories, hazardous material responses, homeland security, risk management and disaster sociology.

Can I Complete My Program Online?

Online emergency management programs are most commonly available at the master's degree level. These programs are usually tailored to working professionals looking to advance their careers. Online bachelor's degree programs are also available, but you may have to already hold your associate's degree before enrolling. Some online emergency management programs may still require you to complete fieldwork with your employer or an affiliated emergency response organization. Online programs usually allow you to learn asynchronously through e-mail and discussion boards, but you may need to log on at a particular time for live chat sessions or timed tests.

What Can I Do with My Education?

With an emergency response degree, you may qualify for careers at private companies or government agencies. Emergency response positions are available in the fields of homeland security, law enforcement, public safety, fire safety and emergency medical services. With a master's degree, you can apply for higher-level jobs in emergency response management, coordination and administration.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that emergency management directors earned a mean yearly salary of $67,330 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). Emergency management positions are expected to grow 8% as fast as the average between 2016-2026, with the majority of available positions offered by the government.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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