Career Information:

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

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Nature of the Work for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers are also known as 911 operators. They work from their emergency service departments to monitor the location of emergency services personnel. When calls are made to police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers for assistance, these 911 operators will operate the type and number of units for each call.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Within 3 to 6 months, police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers can learn and develop necessary skills for the job. Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers usually have a high school diploma. Depending on the state, police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers might need to complete a type of training or receive certification from a professional association in order to work.

Employment and Job Outlook for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Number of People in Profession

98,090

Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow faster than average (increase 14 - 19%).

The employment rate for police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers is expected to grow faster than the average. Due to a growing and aging population, police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers will be in demand and new jobs will be created for these workers.

Some municipalities tend to consolidate their call centers, so jobs in certain places may lessen.

Due to those workers who leave the labor force and transfer to other occupations, jobs are likely to open for 911 operators.

Those with computer skills will have better opportunities due to equipment dispatchers becoming more complex to operate.

Earnings and Salary for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Median annual wages for police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers are $34,790. The middle 50 percent earn between $27,550 and $43,660. The lowest 10 percent earn around $22,200, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $53,190.

Annual Salary for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

On average, Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers earn $34,790 per year.

10% 25% 75% 90% $22,200/yr $27,550/yr $43,660/yr $53,190/yr

Hourly Wage for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

On average, Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers earn $16.73 per hour.

10% 25% 75% 90% $10.67 $13.24 $20.99 $25.57

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook