There are currently an estimated 98,600 ambulance dispatchers in the United States. The ambulance dispatcher job market is expected to grow by 8.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are ambulance dispatchers?

CareerExplorer rates ambulance dispatchers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 13,500 ambulance dispatchers. That number is based on 8,100 additional ambulance dispatchers, and the retirement of 5,400 existing ambulance dispatchers.

Are ambulance dispatchers in demand?

While demand for ambulance dispatchers may be spurred by an aging population and a subsequent increase in emergency medical calls, consolidation of call centres and potential budget constraints of local and state governments will likely limit the number of added positions. However, due to the stressful nature of this occupation, the relatively low pay, and a competitive environment, the regularity of workers leaving the field ensures that there will always be openings for emergency dispatchers. Some new openings are expected, as dispatch centres need to handle more calls due to ongoing increases in cell phone use. Additional new hires should eventually result from ‘Next Generation 9-1-1,’ a developing technology which will allow dispatchers to receive video and text communications, thereby increasing the amount of information they must manage. As dispatching technology becomes more complex, job seekers with advanced computer skills will be most in demand. Bilingual or multilingual candidates will also enhance their employability. Though not required in this occupation, a university degree or certificate in criminal justice or a related discipline will typically place job candidates at the top of employers’ lists. Those who obtain Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) will be qualified to coach callers through basic, potentially life-saving procedures while they await paramedics. This credential is considered a particularly valuable asset in the field. Other designations, such as the National Emergency Number Association’s Emergency Number Professional (ENP) or APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL), further reflect job seekers’ dedication to their career. Equally as valued as this formal education and training for ambulance dispatchers are the capacities to listen, to calmly gather and give information, and to think quickly under pressure. Although they are, of course, required in all jurisdictions, most ambulance dispatchers are employed in large urban centres. Opportunities for advancement in the field are most commonly found in supervisory roles, training, and policy/procedures administration.

What’s the supply of ambulance dispatchers?

The ambulance dispatcher industry is concentrated in Texas, California, Florida

Ambulance Dispatcher job market by state

State Name Employed Ambulance Dispatchers
Texas 7,670
California 6,600
Florida 6,120
New Jersey 4,140
New York 4,070
Ohio 4,070
Pennsylvania 3,810
North Carolina 3,690
Illinois 3,620
Georgia 3,380
Virginia 3,160
Alabama 2,730
Missouri 2,650
Massachusetts 2,510
Tennessee 2,340
Michigan 2,270
Indiana 2,170
Arizona 1,770
Washington 1,690
Oklahoma 1,660
Louisiana 1,600
Colorado 1,550
South Carolina 1,480
Mississippi 1,440
Wisconsin 1,350
Minnesota 1,300
Connecticut 1,270
Kentucky 1,250
Maryland 1,230
Nebraska 1,080
Iowa 1,030
Kansas 1,020
Arkansas 960
Oregon 950
New Mexico 890
West Virginia 810
New Hampshire 730
Utah 710
Maine 700
Nevada 600
Montana 490
Idaho 470
Rhode Island 420
Alaska 320
South Dakota 310
Puerto Rico 300
Vermont 290
Delaware 280
Wyoming 280
Hawaii 200
District of Columbia 180
North Dakota 150