Schools for Aspiring Emergency Dispatchers: How to Choose

Dec 10, 2019

Several community colleges and technical schools offer certificate programs for emergency and medical dispatchers. Program length varies from as few as six weeks to 6-12 months.

Program and individual courses for emergency dispatchers are available through organizations, such as the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), and prepare students for state and national certification exams. Students can pursue these optional credentials in order to demonstrate a national standard of professionalism.

Schools with Emergency Dispatcher Programs and Courses

These institutions offer emergency dispatcher programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered In-state Tuition (2018-2019)*
Arapahoe Community College Littleton, CO 2-year, Public Certificate $2,623
Portland Community College Portland, OR 2-year, Public Certificate $116 per credit
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, NC 2-year, Public Continuing education program N/A
Passaic County Community College Paterson, NJ 2-year, Public Refresher program $6,960 in-state; $8,850 out-of-state
Nash Community College Rocky Mount, NC 2-year, Public Continuing education course $76 per credit in-state; $268 per credit out-of-state
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI 2-year, Public Certification $221 per credit
Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS 2-year, Public Associate's $114 per credit in-state; $145 per credit out-of-state
Texas A&M University College Station, TX 4-year, Public Course N/A

Sources: *School websites

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in emergency dispatcher programs may want to keep these considerations in mind when selecting their program.

  • Longer programs typically offer more hands-on training and could allow students to observe practicing dispatchers and emergency responders in a working environment.
  • Students might want to consider enrolling in programs that offer the most relevant and state-of-the-art equipment.
  • If your state requires certification, students should ensure that the training programs they consider are approved by the state.
  • Some schools also offer online learning for remote students and working professionals.

Certificate for Aspiring Emergency Dispatchers Overview

Certificate programs in emergency and dispatch are typically designed to qualify students for state certification or national credentials in emergency telecommunications. Program graduates are trained to respond to and provide remote support for a variety of emergency situations, such as heart attacks, fires or burglaries CPR certification is a common requirement of such programs.

Programs for emergency dispatchers range from a few days to a year, depending on the content. Those interested in pursuing studies in this field should consider their career goals and the scope of the program to ensure they select the right school.

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