Crisis Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 22, 2019

Natural disasters, acts of terror, and other catastrophic events call for someone to manage people and information, as well as to maintain order. To do this, crisis managers typically possess leadership skills and a bachelor's degree, and possibly certification with experience and training.

Essential Information

When accidents and natural disasters occur, crisis managers step in to assess the situation and restore order. They handle accidents that occur within the private sector, such as oil spills or product tampering. The crisis manager should have the ability to act decisively under pressure and respond to the public to protect the reputation of the company. Prospective crisis managers should seek a bachelor's degree, as well as training or certification for crisis management.

Required Education Bachelor's degree standard requirement; education in public relations may be beneficial
Other Requirements Training or certification through an emergency management association or agency may be necessary
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% for emergency management directors
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $32,050 for emergency management directors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Crisis managers develop emergency plans in the public and private sectors according to government regulations. This usually includes a training plan for workers. They must consider a variety of emergencies such as natural disasters or chemical spills, and they often work with public officials to coordinate response plans. The crisis manager assesses an emergency and oversees the activities of workers to protect the safety of employees and the public.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2018 that emergency management directors, whose duties include crisis management, earned a mean annual salary of $82,570. Many of these directors were employed in state and local government settings. Employment opportunities for these professionals were expected to increase as fast as the average from 2018-2028, which is about average compared to other career fields.

Job Duties

Crisis managers must understand safety training procedures for working in contaminated and dangerous areas. They need to stay current on government regulations for emergency plans, evacuations and safety requirements. Managers monitor activities that could result in a disaster, such as weather reports. They may be responsible for ordering evacuations and opening shelters if necessary.

Crisis managers working for government agencies also monitor the emergency plans of facilities such as hospitals. They may also need to apply for funding and monitor the disbursement of emergency money. In the private sector, the emergency or crisis manager protects an organization's reputation. The manager coordinates public relations for the company, issues press releases and provides information and to those injured by the actions of the organization.


Employers in the private sector may require a bachelor's degree for a position as a crisis manager. Public relations experience can also be beneficial. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides training for crisis managers in the public sector through the Emergency Management Institute.

The International Association of Emergency Managers offers certification for crisis management professionals. This certification requires a minimum of three years' experience in emergency management, including work during a disaster or a simulated exercise. In addition, applicants must have a bachelor's degree education, 100 hours in emergency management training and 100 hours in general management training. The test consists of multiple-choice questions and an essay.

A crisis manager is needed to manage various calamities or preserve a company's reputation. These professionals must be aware of emergency and safety procedures, and have excellent communication and problem-solving skills. Crisis managers typically work for government agencies, and can expect average job growth through 2028.

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