How Much Do 911 Operators Make In 2023?

In case of any kind of emergency, a burglary, a medical emergency, or any kind, there is only one phone number that you can freely call to get any help you need, and that number is 911.

Behind that number, people are working non-stop to provide you with the best help in time, which is known as 911 operators.

911 operators around the country accept incoming calls, identify the type and location of an emergency, and deploy rescue personnel such as cops, firemen, and EMTs to the area.

Because this position entails stress, it demands someone with a high level of empathy, excellent communication skills, and the capacity to multitask.

The compensation of a 911 operator is determined by a variety of variables, including the business and state in which the operator works.

According to ZipRecruiter, 911 operators gets paid 10.9% greater than the national average in New York followed by Idaho and California.

Since this is a demanding profession where you need to multitask a lot, you might wonder how much 911 operators make per hour if you are considering pursuing it as a career.

Keep reading to find this out!


GuideHow Much Do 911 Operators Make?
Average Income$43,290 per year
Highest Income$70,000 per year
QualificationHigh school certificate or equivalents

Who Are 911 Operators?

911 operators, often known as emergency dispatchers or police dispatchers, receive inbound emergency calls regarding crimes, fires, and medical emergencies.

One of the first responders to a disaster is a 911 operator. They assist individuals with their needs and queries by connecting them to the appropriate resources.

They figure out what the problem is and where it is. The proper rescue professionals are then dispatched or alerted and given location information.

Police, firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics all work closely with 911 operators.

During an emergency, 911 operators attempt to keep callers calm, aware, and informed while also obtaining help and resources for individuals who have injuries.

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What Is It Like to be a 911 Operator?

How Much Do 911 Operators Make?

The amount of money you make in this job depends on a number of things, including your degree of expertise and where you work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 911 operators earn an average of $43,290 per year or $20.81 per hour.

According to the Bureau, there are more than 95,000 emergency dispatchers in the United States.

Dispatchers often work shifts of eight to twelve hours, while some work shifts of up to 24 hours.

On weekends and holidays, they are frequently obliged to work. Dispatchers work in high-stress, life-or-death situations that need rapid, precise decisions.

1. How Much Do 911 Operators Make in an Hour?

911 Operators make minimum of $10.58 an hour and maximum of $29.09 an hour.

2. How Much Do 911 Operators Make a Month?

911 Operators make minimum of $1,833 a month and maximum of $5,042 a month.

3. How Much Do 911 Operators Make a Year?

911 Operators make minimum of $22,000 a year and maximum of $60,500 a year.


Highest Salary Of 911 Operators In 2023

With 911 operators, the fact that you have a lot of experience does not make a massive difference, but the location matters.

If you are working in a state like California, which is the highest-earning state in the United States in terms of 911 operators, you tend to earn way higher than other smaller states.

The highest-earning 911 operators, the top 10%, have a salary of $70,000 annually. Even though expertise does play a role, it is not as major as in the other professions.

Is Being A 911 Operator Good Or Bad?

Operators for 911 operate in shifts. Each one may last anywhere from eight to twelve hours, with some lasting up to 24 hours.

They frequently work weekends and holidays, and also they frequently work extra.

In this position, you may interact with many individuals in a variety of emotional states throughout the day and listen to terrible facts. So the majority of PSAPs work inside.

The 911 operator job involves you sitting in front of a computer all day, answering phone calls using a headset.

They may ask you to stay at your call station for the full shift if there is a staffing shortage or a spike in emergency calls.

There are many disadvantages; however, if you like helping people and talking to people in need, you might consider this career as it might be a good choice for you.

Pros and Cons of Being A 911 operator


  • You get to save lives
  • Competitive pay
  • Health benefits
  • Career stability
  • Fast-paced environment


  • Stressful
  • Long work hours
  • Emotionally draining


How To Become A 911 operator?

You must satisfy some standards to become a 911 operator, but they are not as stringent as you may assume, as you do not need further schooling or training like other professions.

Here’s how you can become a 911 operator:

  • To be eligible, the applicant must be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as the GED. Some institutions also demand that applicants have a current driver’s license.
  • Those wishing to progress in the industry may pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. However, it is not required.
  • Apart from this, Criminal justice, emergency management, and also communications are all popular educational choices.
  • To get started, the applicant will have to go through and attend a series of preliminary employment testing and training.
  • Once the applicant gets the job, he/she will have to complete a 911 dispatcher training program. Which consists of on-the-job training. a
  • Post the completion of training; you can start working as a 911 Operator full-time.


How Many Hours Does 911 Operator Work?

As 911 department needs to be available 24×7 for 365 days. 911 Operators work in 12-hour shifts ideally.

They can be posted in the morning, evening, or night shift for this. Some departments make their agents work for 36 hours a week and then 48 hours the next week, and so on.

What is the Starting Pay of 911 Operator?

911 Operators get paid less than the national average, but it is a good job for those who want to help others and create a difference.

The starting pay of a 911 Operator is $10.58 an hour or $1,833 a month; with more time and experience in this field, they can earn up to $5,042 a month.

911 Operator Training Programs

911 operators get their training on the job when they first start working because the working environments and conditions might be similar but might require different approaches with people, and the systems could have small differences that you need to be aware of.

That is why, once you start working as a 911 operator, you first go through a training session for some time.

The length of the training program may vary, but you learn how to act, how to send vehicles to the location, and how to make the coordination between both sides.

Read: How Much Do Firefighters Make An Hour?


As a 911 operator, you need to be aware of a lot of stuff at the same time when you receive a call from someone in need.

You need to multitask, comfort the person in need, coordinate the dispatch car, and send them to the person’s location.

All this is hard to do, and not many people are up for this task. Additionally, the salary does not match the requirements and the soft skills you need for many people.

However, the job involves helping people in need and talking to a variety of people during the day. If you like doing this, you might consider being a 911 operator.


How much do 911 operators make when they are in training?

You earn your salary when you are in training. That salary is generally below the average salary of 911 operators.

How much do 911 operators make if they have prior experience in being a dispatcher somewhere else?

If you have prior experience before working as a 911 operator, you might earn something close to average or higher than that, depending on your experience.

How much do 911 operators make after many years in the profession?

Once you have a lot of experience working as a 911 operator, your salary could increase drastically, making you one of the top 10%.

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