Dispatchers work from a central location to receive calls, and send service personnel and their vehicles to work locations. They use may use phones, radios and computers to both receive requests and to transmit assignments. The salaries they earn depend on whether or not they work for emergency services, such as fire and ambulance.
Emergency Dispatcher Salaries:
Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers earned an average $37,460 per year, or $18.01 per hour, as of May 2011, states the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their wages ranged from less than $22,700, or $10.91 per hour, to more than $55,640 per year, or $26.75 per hour. Most worked for local government, such as city fire departments, to earn a mean $37,790 annually, or $18.17 per hour. Their highest wages were with outpatient care centers at an average annual salary of $43,500, or $20.92 per hour. The state with the most job opportunities for the profession was Texas, with 7,710 out of a total 97,100 positions. Average annual salaries were at $32,690, or an hourly rate of $15.72. However, the state with the best pay was California at a mean $55,070 annually, or $26.48 per hour.
Emergency Dispatcher Description:
Emergency dispatchers are also called 9-1-1 operators because they answer 9-1-1 requests for emergency services. They must decide on the appropriate response to a call based on agency procedures, then relay information to the correct emergency personnel, give instructions over the phone before medical staff arrives and keep detailed records about all activities. Remaining calm is essential because many callers may be agitated. The BLS sees wages for the profession increasing at 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is less than the 14 percent predicted for all occupation, but more than the 10 percent expected for all administrative support occupations.
Other Dispatcher Salaries:
Non-emergency dispatchers averaged $37,910 per year, or $18.23 per hour in 2011. The lowest paid 10 percent earned $21,120 per year, or $10.15 per hour, while the best paid 10 percent received $59,160 annually, or $28.44 per hour. General freight trucking offered the most jobs, with average salaries at $39,850 annually, or $19.16 per hour.The highest mean compensation was in aerospace products and parts manufacturing at a mean $59,560 yearly salary, or an hourly rate of $28.64. California boasted the most jobs, with 19,790 out of 182,310 positions. Averages there were at $39,900, or $19.18. Connecticut showed the highest average compensation at $44,250, or $21.27.
Other Dispatcher Description:
Other dispatchers schedule and send non-emergency crews, equipment and vehicles to homes or businesses for maintenance. They talk with customers to address issues about service or equipment, prepare work orders to dispatch to crews and organize files about customer calls. ONET Online sees jobs for the profession increasing by 10 to 19 percent from 2010 to 2020.