Employment of police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Although the prevalence of cell phones has increased the number of calls that dispatchers receive, advanced 9-1-1 systems have increased the efficiency of emergency communication centers, allowing them to serve broader regions than before. Consolidation of these centers is expected to reduce the employment of dispatchers.
Local and state governments employ most police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers. Therefore, any future budget constraints will likely further limit the number of dispatchers hired in the coming decade.
Overall job prospects should be favorable because the work of a dispatcher remains stressful and demanding, leading some applicants to seek other types of work.
The majority of positions will come from the need to replace the large number of dispatchers expected to transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
Those with good communication skills and experience using computers should have the best job prospects.
Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers
Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program