Emergency Management Work Forces
If you choose to earn a degree in emergency management, you are choosing to make a difference in the lives and success of individuals and businesses on a daily basis. It is a commitment that comes with rewarding results for everyone involved. An emergency management degree prepares you for touching the lives of people around the world suffering from a variety of disasters. With a degree in emergency management, you may find yourself working in any of the areas listed below.
How to Get an Emergency Management Degree
To prepare for a degree in emergency management, you could offer to volunteer at your local fire hall. Finding colleges and universities with good emergency management programs is not an easy task. Emergency management is nowhere near as common as chemistry or history or psychology. Therefore, programs in emergency management are difficult to come by and in some cases difficult to get in. Volunteering in your community will certainly help improve your chances, though.
The National Labor College offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness and Response Management for students interested in pursuing education and careers in emergency management. The college is dedicated to helping members of labor unions across the United States earn degrees in various fields in order to help them advance in their fields. Courses cover topics such as psychology, sociology, statistics, bioterrorism, hazardous materials, at more. Students who graduate with this degree are prepared for advanced careers within their fields with their outstanding leadership and communication skills as well as knowledge of how to handle specific disastrous situations.
With multiple campuses in the state of New York, Adelphi University offers students a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration. This degree program helps prepare students for various careers in the field as well as furthering their education by earning a masters degree or a certification in emergency management. Courses for the bachelors degree program include topics like occupational safety and health, conflict management, organizational behavior, laws and regulations of emergency management, and more. The undergraduate program can be completed strictly online, or students can mix online and in-class learning opportunities for a unique learning experience.
Georgetown University provides students with the opportunity to earn an Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency and Disaster Management. This program includes all skills and knowledge necessary for graduate students to go out into the world of emergency management, further boosting their ability to adjust and assist with nearly any natural disaster and disaster caused by man. Students become excellent critical thinkers and are able to make crucial decisions within a very short time span when it comes to dealing with disasters. Nothing prepares students better than hands-on learning, so students who partake in this program are sent to four different locations, three within the U.S. and one in Qatar, to gain hands-on experience in the field of emergency management. With online and in-class lessons as well as field experience, Georgetown’s masters degree program for emergency management is unlike any other.
Careers in Emergency Management
While you are earning your degree in emergency management, it is very important that you research what kinds of jobs you can get upon graduating from a college or university. Once you determine your career field, it becomes much easier to shape your education to prepare you for that particular career. This section explores different types of careers available to people with emergency management degrees.
Entry Level Careers in Emergency Management
Once you have earned your bachelors degree in emergency management, the probability of you getting a job in the field is significantly higher than that of someone with a mere high school diploma. Your emergency management degree will increase your qualifications for career options described here.
Emergency DispatcherEmergency dispatchers receive telephone, computer, and radio notifications from individuals who are stuck in disastrous situations. The dispatchers are responsible for notifying the correct emergency management professionals so that the professionals are able to arrive at the scene to help control whatever disastrous situations individuals are facing. Emergencies may include anything from car wrecks to house fires or break-ins. Emergency dispatchers have exceptional reasoning and organizational skills so they can prioritize calls in order of importance, and they possess outstanding verbal communication skills used to remain calm while conversing with the individuals calling who may be in a state of panic. Emergency dispatchers receive on-the-job training, but an associates degree or bachelors degree in emergency management is particularly useful.
Emergency dispatchers can earn a salary of around $36,000 annually, depending on training and experience.
Emergency Management Coordinator
Emergency management coordinators organize response systems for emergency management teams and serve as liaisons with other emergency management organizations within the state or throughout the country. They also attend meetings when necessary as representatives of their teams to discuss safety matters within the community, state, and government. Emergency management coordinators stay up-to-date on rules and regulations of emergency management and often hold bachelor degrees in emergency management, public safety, public administration, or other related fields. They have outstanding written and verbal communication skills and organizational skills, as well.
Emergency management coordinators can earn around $47,000 annually, based on location and knowledge and experience levels.
Homeland Security Specialist
Homeland security specialists spend their days preparing for and preventing disasters that threaten the safety of the citizens of the U.S. They monitor the country’s boarders to prevent suspicious individuals or groups from entering the U.S. illegally in attempts to prevent terrorist attacks and other fatal disasters. Some also contribute to the development of disaster response programs. Homeland security specialists possess a bachelors degree in homeland security, emergency management, or another related field. Many also contribute experience from serving in the military or other law enforcement areas.
A homeland security specialist is capable of earning a yearly salary of over $68,000, based on his or her educational and experience levels.
Advanced Careers in Emergency Management
Upon gaining more experience in the field or completing your masters degree in emergency management, you may qualify for one or both of the career options described here.
Director of Public Safety
A director of public safety converses with response units and county officials to develop safety plans and goals for the community in the event of a natural disaster. He or she may also oversee training of new volunteer firefighters and EMTs. Directors of public safety also create and submit reports to state and government officials in order to inform them of updates on county emergency procedures designed to protect their areas in the event of a threat or catastrophe. For these reasons, directors of public safety have outstanding verbal and written communication skills and exceptional leadership skills gained through training and years of experience in the emergency management field. They also have either a bachelors degree or masters degree in public safety, emergency management, or public administration.
Directors of public safety can start at $50,000 and proceed to earn a salary of over $80,000 annually, depending on their education, training, and experience levels.
A battalion chief heads operations performed at the scene of an emergency, including the supervision of rescue teams, within a specific jurisdiction. He or she is in charge of enforcing rules and regulations of the emergency management department so that rescue teams complete their jobs safely and within a timely manner. Battalion chiefs can also oversee training for new members of rescue teams as well as approve the requests for equipment purchases. With a bachelors degree or masters degree in emergency management and many years of experience within the field of emergency management, battalion chiefs possess exceptional leadership skills and knowledge in training and running emergency staff and procedures.
Battalion chiefs can earn a yearly salary of over $67,000, based on education and experience.
Companies that Hire People with Emergency Management Degrees
Once you earn a degree in emergency management, you will be exploring the job market. Although emergency management jobs are not the easiest to find, they are crucial to the protection of communities and society as a whole. Below is a brief list of organizations that hire people with emergency management degrees.
IEM – global security consulting firm; hires positions for emergency planners, business analysts, corporate recruiters, etc.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority – NY; hires positions for incident command officers, directors of program support, chiefs of program analysis and control, special equipment managers, etc.
Argonne National Laboratory – Lemont, IL and Washington, D.C.; hires positions for emergency planning specialists, directors of strategic programs, etc.
Shell Global – hires positions for emergency response specialists, safety engineers, etc.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – hires positions for emergency management specialists, etc.
Emergency management jobs are not easy. They can be messy, but there is nothing like the look of exhausted gratitude on just one person’s face after you have helped him or her survive and cope with the aftermath of a natural disaster. Check out degree programs both online and on-campus to learn how to make a difference in people’s lives by just living yours.