Emergency operations management is a growing field especially given the concern with homeland security and disaster relief. Planning for and implementing programs that help victims during disasters or attacks is something that no one really wants to think about but that is a very necessary job in today’s uncertain world. Many colleges are now offering four-year degrees in homeland security and emergency management, as well as certificate programs and even graduate degrees in these important fields.
What are the Available Degrees in Emergency Management?
Most schools divide emergency management into two groups of degrees: those dealing specifically with homeland security and those dealing with disaster management. For those who want to spend two years or less in school, there are certificate programs in both areas available from vocational schools and junior colleges. For those who want a four-year or graduate degree, a bachelor’s degree in homeland security or emergency management is available at many schools, and some even offer a master’s degree in these programs.
The biggest difference between the two, besides the types of disasters they are designed to train students to handle, is the focus on law enforcement. Homeland security degrees are usually offered through a school’s criminal justice program, while emergency management degrees are offered through either healthcare or public management pathways.
Students with degrees in homeland security or emergency management could seek jobs as emergency instructors, emergency program directors, hospital coordinators, risk management assessment experts, security directors or technical trainers.
How Much Do Emergency Operations Managers Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an emergency operations manager was $62,850 in 2010. Local government emergency management workers earned a median salary of $56,480; hospital disaster managers earned a median salary of $70,040; state government workers earned a median salary of $53,680; community relief managers earned a median of $63,870; and electrical power disaster managers earned a median salary of $82,560.
What Is the Job Outlook for Emergency Operations Managers and Where Can I Find These Jobs?
The jobs for emergency management continue to grow as more and more communities implement emergency management plans. Because so many of these jobs are dependent on funding decisions at the local, state, and national level, it is difficult to predict job growth.
The federal government also offers many jobs in homeland security and in disaster management for employees across the nation, often working with state agencies to get needed relief to areas affected by natural disasters or other problems or dealing with terrorist attack prevention both at home and abroad. Some homeland security jobs involve travel; others involve working in a particular geographical area designated as a high-risk community. Some homeland security officers work with law enforcement to set up surveillance or other situations that can help identify threats, while others work with the potential aftermath of a security breach.
A career as an emergency operations manager is full of challenges, but for the right person, these challenges can be exciting and provide a way to satisfy personal needs to help others. Those who choose emergency management as a career often have a deep-seated wish to make the world better place and these careers provide a great opportunity to do so.