Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher Salary
Job Description for Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher
Police/fire/ambulance dispatchers perform a very crucial function in society. As such, they are required to possess a number of unique traits, particularly the ability to remain calm under pressure. They will be responding to emergency calls on a daily basis, many of which are life-or-death situations, so it is imperative that they remain rational and maintain communication. A college degree is not usually required, as employers place more emphasis on prior work experience.Read More...
A dispatcher's typical work day revolves around answering emergency phone calls and matching response teams in the area. Computer skills are necessary so they can track which response team is closest to a crisis and direct them in a timely manner. Dispatchers deal with a number of people each day, including police officers, EMTs, and fire-response teams, and typically work in office settings with computers and telephones. There are both day- and night-shifts and overtime is usually available during the holiday season when alcohol-related car accidents are more frequent.
Ideal candidates should be extremely organized and able to juggle a variety of tasks, and excellent communication skills are essential. Dispatchers must be able to communicate effectively to response teams so they can arrive on-scene as soon as possible. They should also have good people skills, as they will be dealing with people all day long.
Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher Tasks
- Operate emergency communication and computer equipment such as radio, telephone, local alarm systems and paging systems.
- Maintain exact times and information on radio shift log.
- Obtain incoming information and dispatch Police Officers, Emergency Medical and Fire personnel.
Common Career Paths for Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher
Though some Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatchers move into positions like Registered Nurse (where the average salary is $56K), this progression is not the norm. Career advancement for the typical Emergency Dispatcher often leads to becoming a 911 Dispatcher or a Police Dispatcher; median salaries in these positions are $2K higher and $2K higher, respectively.
Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher
Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatchers report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Emergency Medical Services, Telecommunications, Customer Service, and Typing are correlated to pay that is above average. It is often found that people who know Telecommunications are also skilled in Customer Service and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Pay by Experience Level for Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatchers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $31K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $35K on average. On average, Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatchers make $39K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $48K.