Associates Degree in Emergency Management: Program Overview

Associate's degree programs in emergency management addresses the practical challenges of containing or minimizing the effects of an emergency situation. Program content covers planning, prevention and public education.

Essential Information

Students in emergency management associate's programs learn how to make decisions, communicate and follow response procedures for a range of incidents, including accidents, acts of terrorism, hazardous material spills and natural disasters. Enrollment requires a GED certificate or high school diploma. Some programs prefer applicants with work experience in corrections, public safety or health care. An associate's degree is typically earned in two years and also includes general education courses such as mathematics, English composition and social studies.

Associate's Degree in Emergency Management

Courses in public speaking, computer fundamentals, composition and sociology may make up the general education component of an associate's degree program. The following are probable course topics directly bearing on emergency management:

  • Emergency planning and prevention
  • Crisis decision-making
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Volunteer management
  • Disaster and emergency response procedures
  • Operations center management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of occupational health and safety technicians would increase 9% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reported that these workers earned a median yearly salary of $48,070 as of May 2015 ( Most of these technicians were employed by the government or the manufacturing industry.

Continuing Education Information

Most positions in emergency management require job candidates with a bachelor's degree in a related field. Completion programs are available from a number of schools for associate's degree holders who want to apply their credits toward a 4-year degree, which is then often completed in about half the time.

Although jobs in emergency management often require a bachelor's degree, associate's level graduates will be prepared for work as occupational health and safety technicians. They will have knowledge of important matters, such as disaster management and emergency procedure.

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