5 Great Emergency Management Careers

Emergency management professionals are needed everywhere. As agencies such as FEMA and DHS grow, more jobs become available. From bioterrorism analysis to fighting fires, emergency response is a field with many possibilities. These are some of the top jobs for recent graduates of emergency management degree programs.

1. Emergency Management Specialist

US News and World Report ranked this job among the top 50 jobs in the country. For police and firefighters to show up at an emergency or disaster scene quickly, it takes the help of emergency management specialists. In addition to coordinating responses, these professionals train other workers and develop plans for addressing different emergency situations. These specialists spend most of their time in offices. However, they also travel to conduct training. The average annual wage is above $50,000, and it may be higher than $70,000 in some areas.

2. Emergency Medical Technician

EMTs respond to accidents and other calls about emergencies. In a single day, they may respond to several vehicle accidents, save a heart attack victim from dying and transport a person who is having a severe allergic reaction to a hospital. Their job is always busy and is very challenging. However, many EMTs stay in the field for years because of the reward of saving lives. The average annual salary for an EMT is about $30,000. It may be higher in some areas, and those who work as managers or heads of departments may earn much more.

3. Homeland Security Officer

The Department of Homeland Security is growing as the nation’s population increases. There is a higher demand for officers as more legal and undocumented immigrants enter the country. The tasks of officers vary based on their positions. Some officers may secure vulnerable entry points along the borders and patrol on foot or by vehicle. Other officers may work in office buildings and intercept information or find threats online. They are also responsible for developing response plans for different types of incidents such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Their average salary is about $70,000 per year.

4. Firefighter

Selfless people who enjoy the reward of saving lives often choose to become firefighters. Although it is a risky job, there are many modern safety measures in place to protect firefighters. They may fight fires with hoses from the ground or may go into burning buildings to save people in distress. Firefighters also conduct fire safety training in schools, businesses and organizations. They may work irregular and long hours with exposure to several major hazards. Some firefighters specialize in forest fires. The average annual salary for a firefighter is about $47,000.

5. Emergency Dispatcher

For those who do not have the desire or ability to work as an EMT or firefighter, being an emergency dispatcher is a lighter duty. However, dispatchers are still a vital part of the emergency management system. They take emergency calls and must be able to talk to all types of people. It can be difficult to understand people when they panic, and dispatchers must always remain alert, calm and professional. They guide callers through helpful steps to take until responders arrive. Their average annual salary is about $36,000.

Related Resource: Federal Protective Service

As a rule, most emergency management jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Some may not require a degree. However, a degree is necessary for jobs with higher pay. Also, a degree is necessary for those who want to become researchers or clinicians. The first step toward finding an ideal emergency management job is enrolling in the right degree program.