What Careers are in Emergency Management?

People who pursue careers in emergency management tend to share a combination of personality characteristics, including decisiveness and compassion. They keep a clear head while following a disaster recovery plan, as well as guiding workers through that plan, to ensure the best outcome for everyone involved.

Without emergency professionals who have these personality traits, emergency scenes, natural disasters, and national security would be much more chaotic. Even with no shortage of emergency personnel, emergency managers and emergency management teams guide everyone on the scene toward a successful outcome for the community and fellow emergency team members.

Much of the work that professionals in emergency management do is performed in an office setting, among fellow team members who work to foresee and prevent problems at future emergency sites. They look at past events to try to find ways to improve procedures. Additionally, they need to imagine scenarios that, to most people, seem unimaginable so they can have a plan in place.

Benefits of a Career in Emergency Management

US News and World Report notes that, as of 2011, careers in emergency management is among the 50 best jobs. Professionals considering pursuing a career in this field can look forward to median annual earnings of $53,000.

Although the stress level is high, given the stakes of the work, a job in emergency management gives professionals the peace of mind that they have worked to help first responders and unknown future victims of emergencies enjoy the safest possible environment for the best possible results.

Education Requirement

Hopeful candidates in emergency management might start their path by earning an associate’s degree and starting out as an assistant, but students must ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree. Emergency management professionals must also earn certification in the National Incident Management System framework, designed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Career Opportunity

Professionals who want to serve the public sector in this field that requires discipline, imagination and strategy, will find many rewarding careers awaiting them, including the following:

1. Emergency Dispatcher

The entry level position of emergency dispatcher exposes emergency management professionals to their new career field in a complete way without spending time in the field. Emergency dispatchers can learn a great deal about the various emergencies and disasters their team faces while also helping to ensure everyone arrives at right spot on the scene quickly.

2. Emergency Management Specialist

These professionals work to train emergency personnel workers who will arrive on the scene in the aftermath of national disasters, humanitarian crises and other emergency situations. This career is in demand due to continuing national security threats and unpredictable natural disasters around the country.

3. Homeland Security Officer

Professionals who pursue a career as a Homeland Security Officer will work to prevent and prepare for national security breaches. These professionals might become involved in natural disasters, terrorist situations, or breaches in protocol at large-scale national events.

4. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

EMTs are one of the most popular careers in emergency management since they become part of the action, helping those in distress at the scene. While it is a high-stress position, it is one of the most rewarding for professionals.

Related Resource: What is an Emergency Management Degree?


Regardless of the specific position emergency management professionals pursue, careers in emergency management offer a great deal of satisfaction.