Emergency dispatchers are the bridge between emergency personnel and victims. They are responsible for answering calls made by people in life-threatening or dangerous situations. There are currently more than 6000 dispatch centers across the United States employing about 98,600 personnel.

According to the latest data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a regular emergency dispatch employee earns, on average, $38,870 annually. Their salary is considered to be around 5% higher than the average wage of all occupations in the US.

There is also a significant difference between the highest earners and the lowest earners in this profession. The top 10% receive a median salary of $61,270 annually compared to the lowest 10% group who earn $25,100 for the same period.

Emergency dispatchers who work with different types of employer receive varying amounts. For example, those who work for the state government (excluding hospitals and educational institutions) receive an average annual pay of $44,240; on the other hand, those who work private ambulance services earn a lower $35,670 for the same period. (1)

Factors That Affect An Emergency Dispatcher’s Salary

The median salary can give us a look at how much a dispatcher receives; however, it does not wholly demonstrate other variables that may affect such value. An emergency dispatcher salary may change significantly depending on many factors.

These factors can be anything from the department’s location, the dispatcher’s position, or their years in service. The salary of an emergency dispatcher may also be affected depending on the length and time of their shifts. It may also change depending on if you are working for a public or private company.

Location Of The Dispatch Department

With regards to location, departments may adjust the salary they give their employees depending on the economic prosperity of their locality. Hence, dispatchers from more prosperous states or districts receive higher compensations that those who live in more impoverished areas.

For example, those who work in Washington, on the average, receive an hourly rate of $25.90 or 453.870 annually; meanwhile, those who provide emergency dispatch services in the less wealthy state of Mississippi often receive a significantly lower $11.93 per hour or $24,800 annually. (2)

Years In Service

The number of years in service may also have a significant impact on a dispatcher’s salary. Employers tend to give more value to employees who have worked longer for the company. One primary reason for this is that they believe that more seasoned employees have more skills and understanding of how the business operates.

According to Payscale, an online salary gathering website, an entry-level dispatcher, on average, receives an initial annual salary of $33,000. A dispatcher who has been working for five to ten years can expect to receive around $39,000 annually. Lastly, experienced employees who have been in service for more than a decade often earn about $43,000 annually. (3)


911 Dispatcher Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2017, from PayScale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=911_Dispatcher/Hourly_Rate

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers. (2017, October 24). Retrieved November 9, 2017, from US Bureau Of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/police-fire-and-ambulance-dispatchers.htm#tab-2

Salary Finder- Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2017, from Career One Stop: https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/wages/find-salary.aspx?soccode=435031&location=UNITED%20STATES&dataview=table&hourly=False&national=True