How Do You Become a 911 Dispatcher?


Quick Answer

To become a 911 dispatchers, earn a high school diploma or equivalent to gain employment with local and state emergency dispatch centers. Depending on state requirements, dispatchers may also have to earn an Emergency Medical Dispatcher certification, pass additional written exams and pass a typing test.

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Full Answer

  1. Earn a high school diploma or equivalent

    Complete coursework necessary to earn a high school diploma or equivalent prior to applying for a position as a 911 dispatcher.

  2. Determine dispatcher training and certification requirements

    Contact local and state emergency dispatch centers to determine training and certification requirements necessary to gain employment. Complete on-the-job training and coursework offered by a dispatch center or professional organization, such as the National Emergency Number Association or the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. Determine state certification requirements, such as completing a specific number of training hours and coursework to qualify for state emergency dispatcher exams.

  3. Pass the Emergency Medical Dispatcher exam

    Pass the Emergency Medical Dispatcher exam and other exams mandated by the state to gain employment as a 911 dispatcher. Complete written exams, typing tests, hearing and vision tests, drug tests, lie detector tests and background checks as necessary.

  4. Complete the mandatory job probationary period

    Complete at least one year of job probation as required by the emergency medical dispatch center or the state to successfully transition into the job. Maintain Emergency Medical Dispatcher certification or state-issued certifications as necessary by completing additional coursework and training.

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