Police Dispatcher Job Market Trends

A police dispatcher will track the location of police and other emergency service personnel to be able to manage requests for assistance. Most job seekers can find work as a dispatcher if they have graduated from high school and if they can complete on the job training. The training usually takes between 3 to 6 months. According to the BLS, dispatchers with computer skills are the most desirable employees. Some states require dispatchers to complete a training course. Online training is specifically designed for dispatchers from the APCO Institute. A dispatcher is an important job because a dispatcher is the first point of contact when someone calls for assistance.

Job Outlook for Police Dispatchers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an 18% increase for police dispatcher positions. It is estimated that approximately 17,000 additional new jobs will become available by 2018. Job postings for these positions have increased by 68%, since September 2008. In the past year, news stories have cited how shortages of police dispatchers have led to huge increases in overtime and concerns about officer safety. In an effort to keep down city budgets, many cities will consolidate their emergency service dispatchers and hire more dispatchers to keep overtime costs down.


According to the BLS, the nationwide average annual salary for police dispatchers is $36,970. The top paying states for this field include California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Illinois. The five top paying cities are all in California and they include: San Jose, Oakland and Vallejo. Job posting websites report that the nationwide average annual salary as $34,000. The salary data is based on the job postings indexed the search engine. Dispatchers that have more experience, or are fluent Spanish, may be able to negotiate a higher salary.

Sources for Police Dispatcher Jobs

Police dispatcher jobs are advertised on the major job boards. Unless you are only looking only for police dispatcher jobs, you should use additional search terms, such as “public safety” and “operator”, to find relevant job opportunities.

Job seekers should also use niche job boards that specialize in a specific profession, or industry. For police dispatchers, this includes sites such as the links listed on Dispatch Magazine online, or on the job board RealPolice.net. Similar to the recruitment for police officers, employers that hire dispatchers will also attend emergency services career fairs. Upcoming fairs will be listed on the employer website or advertised on major online job boards.

Before attending any job fairs, make sure the fair’s host has published a list of employers on the event’s website. This will allow you to research the employer before attending the fair. Be certain that the fair has jobs in an area where you want to work.