Disasters strike all over the world and when they do, you need emergency management personnel to act quickly and decisively. Such personnel are trained to manage emergency situations and in particular the needs of people affected by the disaster. Examples of what they do include managing the logistics of major evacuations, managing food and water distribution and ensuring that the right medical aid and equipment is supplied to those most in need. Whatever the type of disaster or emergency, from hurricanes to terrorist attacks, these people are invaluable in minimising the damage and making sure that the situation is returned to normal as quickly as possible.
An emergency management degree offers a career that is possible in both public and private sectors and there are a growing number of career options available from which to choose. You might, for example, choose to specialize in emergency medical relief or terrorist situations. Even just a bachelor degree in emergency management will prepare you for the role of program manager or director in a specific emergency and job descriptors include emergency preparedness instructor and hospital co-ordinator and risk management expert.
A role in emergency management is not for the faint hearted and not everyone can handle the potentially stressful situations in which the emergency manager can find themselves. There is also no real substitute for real life experience but the modern emergency management degree is excellent preparation for dealing with disasters. The courses include the study of finance and budgetary control, emergency situation risk assessment and crisis management. Some courses actually declare intent that their graduates will gain a major leadership position in an emergency service within ten years of graduating.
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average salary for emergency management specialists is over $50,000 per annum. The statistics also show that the private sector pays significantly more than the public sector. The best salaries are paid by power generation, transmission and distribution companies with the average being around $75,000 per annum. Other top payers include waste management ($66,290), fabricated metal production ($67,670) and scientific research ($65,280).
The recent spate of natural disasters and the continued threat from international terrorism means that individuals with skills and qualifications in emergency management will remain in high demand. So, if you want a challenging but rewarding career in helping people then a degree in emergency management may be just the direction for you!