How does someone become a 911 operator these days? In reality, the requirements aren't nearly as strict as you may think. It will certainly require some work on your end, and possibly some formal education, but it can be done. Why would you want to become a dispatcher? Because these dispatchers make a decent wage, have great benefits, and are set up with a nice retirement plan. Here's how to become a 911 operator.
Things You Will NeedAmbition and desire to succeed.
To figure out how to become a 911 operator in your area, you should investigate your local job market. Many states have no educational requirements beyond high school. Keep in mind that while the specific state may not have any educational requirements, the local law enforcement agency may. Local agencies can make the requirements more strict, but not more lax. In other words, local agencies can require more education that the state mandated minimum. For this reason, the question, how to become a 911 operator, varies a little by area. A law enforcement or dispatching degree wouldn't hurt.
Step 2Generally, the hiring process will begin by filling out an application. Most of these applications are standard, and are the first step to become a 911 dispatcher. You'll want to make yourself look as professional as possible, so be sure to type out the application. Just because your learn how to become a 911 operator, doesn't mean you'll get hired without a professional looking application and resume. It's not easy to land law enforcement careers.
Step 3Now that you've learned the first few steps in how to become a 911 operator, let's take a look at a few more things to consider when you go for the dispatching job. First off, typing speed may very well be tested. Some agencies will set a minimum typing speed, and they test for it during the interview process. In addition, the testing will include the ability to read maps, alphabetize, and prioritize phone calls for dispatching. Generally speaking, you can pass these tests with gold old common sense.
Step 4How can I become a 911 operator without any law enforcement or dispatching experience? You'll need to think outside the box a little on this one. Don't sell yourself short, come up with ways to make past work or life experience relevant to the position. Hey, a parent can diffuse fights with their verbal skills. Secretaries can prioritize and are good with paperwork. A pizza delivery driver can read maps effectively. Never sell yourself short. If you know how to become a 911 operator, you can make your experience relevant.
There are some more things to keep in mind for the interviewing process when you try to become a 911 operator, to improve your chances. You will want to focus on volunteer and community involvement during the interview. Many agencies have implemented a community policing philosophy, making community involvement key. If you've never volunteered, get started today.
If you wanto to be a dispatcher, you can do it.
Tips & Warnings
A law enforcement degree or formal education will only help you in the process, but you can become a police dispatcher without a college degree.