Schools for Aspiring Emergency Dispatch Workers: How to Choose

Students in school to become emergency dispatch workers are trained to dispatch vehicles and emergency personnel in various crisis situations, from fires and medical emergencies to crimes in progress. A number of training options are available for those interested in becoming emergency dispatchers.

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A career as an emergency dispatcher is fast paced and can be quite rewarding. Training programs for aspiring emergency dispatchers are offered by community colleges and specialty schools dedicated to public safety training.

Schools for Emergency Dispatchers

These schools offer training programs for emergency dispatchers at varying levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Anna Maria College Paxton, MA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $35,074 (Undergraduate)
Barry University Miami, FL 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $28,800 (Undergraduate)
Ohio Christian University Circleville, OH 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate $18,840 (Undergraduate)
Schenectady County Community College Schenectady, NY 2-year, Public Associate's $4,054 in-state, $7,582 out-of-state (Undergraduate)
St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $3,352 in-state, $11,607 out-of-state (Undergraduate)
Red Rocks Community College Lakewood, CO 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,429 in-state, $13,145 out-of-state (Undergraduate)
Philadelphia University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Graduate Certificate, Master's $19,260 (Graduate)
Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate, Master's $39,226 (Undergraduate)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Aspiring emergency dispatch workers may want to consider the following when choosing a school:

  • State licensure requirements vary from state to state, so students should check to see what is required in their area.
  • Students may want to consider what type of program they are interested in; some programs cover the basics, which others give more in-depth career training.
  • Equipment and practical experience opportunities are important to many students; some programs include hands-on simulations and ride-alongs which can provide students valuable experience.

Certificate Program for Emergency Dispatchers

Students in an emergency dispatch training program might learn appropriate responses to specific emergency situations, such as domestic incidents, missing person cases or attempted suicides. Programs typically include simulation training so students can learn the practical skills they need to handle emergency calls. Most programs require students to hold CPR certification prior to enrollment or to earn it over the course of their studies.

Programs for emergency dispatchers are available at a variety of levels and training areas. Students should look for programs that prepare them for licensure and include practical experience opportunities.

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