Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

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What do they do?

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.

Also known as:

911 Dispatcher, 911 Emergency Dispatcher, 911 Emergency Services Dispatcher, 911 Operator (Nine One One Operator), 911 Telecommunicator, Communications Officer, Communications Operator, Communications Specialist, Communications Supervisor, Dispatcher, Emergency Communications Dispatcher, Emergency Communications Officer (ECO), Emergency Communications Operator (ECO), Emergency Dispatcher, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Emergency Telecommunications Dispatcher (ETD), Fire Dispatcher, Police and Fire Dispatcher, Police Communications Dispatcher, Police Communications Operator, Police Dispatcher, Public Safety Dispatcher, Public Safety Telecommunicator, Telecommunications Officer, Telecommunications Specialist, Telecommunicator

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 10.7%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #11 in job growth rate
  • 340

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #11 in net job growth

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (0.2%)
  • Master's degree (1.8%)
  • Bachelor's degree (14.9%)
  • Associate's degree (11.4%)
  • Some college, no degree (34.9%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (32.4%)
  • Less than high school diploma (4.4%)

Percent of workers in this field

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Discuss goods or services information with customers or patrons.
  • Coordinate operational activities.
  • Maintain call records.
  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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