CareerGPS

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
33 39 7 21.33% 1 3 5 $29.42 $61,188 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Receive complaints from public concerning crimes and police emergencies. Broadcast orders to police patrol units in vicinity of complaint to investigate. Operate radio, telephone, or computer equipment to receive reports of fires and medical emergencies and relay information or orders to proper officials.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Determine response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatch units in accordance with established procedures.
  • Record details of calls, dispatches, and messages.
  • Question callers to determine their locations, and the nature of their problems to determine type of response needed.
  • Enter, update, and retrieve information from teletype networks and computerized data systems regarding such things as wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, and stolen vehicles.
  • Scan status charts and computer screens, and contact emergency response field units to determine emergency units available for dispatch.
  • Relay information and messages to and from emergency sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to all other individuals or groups requiring notification.
  • Receive incoming telephone or alarm system calls regarding emergency and non-emergency police and fire service, emergency ambulance service, information and after hours calls for departments within a city.
  • Maintain access to, and security of, highly sensitive materials.
  • Observe alarm registers and scan maps to determine whether a specific emergency is in the dispatch service area.
  • Maintain files of information relating to emergency calls such as personnel rosters, and emergency call-out and pager files.
  • Monitor various radio frequencies such as those used by public works departments, school security, and civil defense to keep apprised of developing situations.
  • Learn material and pass required tests for certification.
  • Read and effectively interpret small-scale maps and information from a computer screen to determine locations and provide directions.
  • Answer routine inquiries, and refer calls not requiring dispatches to appropriate departments and agencies.
  • Test and adjust communication and alarm systems, and report malfunctions to maintenance units.

Knowledge

89%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
85%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
82%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
73%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
70%
Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
68%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
65%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
57%
Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
54%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
52%
Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Skills

81%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
78%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
62%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
62%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
62%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
62%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
60%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
56%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
56%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
56%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
53%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
53%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
50%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities

81%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
78%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
78%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
78%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
75%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
69%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
65%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
60%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
60%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
60%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
56%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
56%
Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
53%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
53%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
53%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
53%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
50%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.

Work Activities

95%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
91%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
90%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
90%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
87%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
86%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
84%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
81%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
80%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
77%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
77%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
72%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
71%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
69%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
69%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
63%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
63%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
62%
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
59%
Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
58%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
56%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
54%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Interests

Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Styles

Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.