If you are currently pursuing a fire science bachelor degree and you have hopes to enter the fast-growing field of emergency management, then you might be understandably curious about what a “day in the life” might look like in your new career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that by the year 2018, nearly 3,000 new jobs will be added at an employment growth rate of 22 percent, which is several percentage points above the national average for many other career paths. This is good news for you is only more incentive to excel in your classroom education and prepare for a career that can be both lucrative and personally very rewarding. Read on to explore more about this career field that’s as fascinating as it is useful.
No Shortage of Options
There are countless paths that can take you into the field of emergency management, whether your personal educational background and training is in law enforcement, fire science, emergency response, nursing and the medical profession, or other fields as well. Ever since the disaster of 9/11, the entire field has been evolving and unfolding, starting with the creation of the federal agency called Homeland Security and continuing with a thorough examination of every aspect of emergency management, from prevention to intervention to mitigation. Part of that work has today yielded an understanding that there are four main phases of emergency response in every disaster situation. These four phases are planning, response, recovery and mitigation. You may work in just one phase, or you may oversee all four phases, depending on what your specific role is.
Stress Management: Learn It Now
Regardless of your specific job function and whether you work in-house with an organization or corporation or function as your own free agent in a consulting capacity, professionals in the field uniformly agree that the ability to manage stress is critical to success in your new career. The stress rating is from medium to high for most emergency management-related careers, which means that you can expect to use your stress management skills starting from day one. In times of emergency response, stress levels can climb very high, so it is important to start training and developing stress management skills early in your career.
Connecting With Others
Depending on where you work and what your specific role may be, you can expect a portion of your days to be spent in an office environment, but your work will be far from dull or lonely. Another facet of each day that active professionals in the field cite as key is collaboration. You can expect many opportunities to collaborate, from phone meetings and video conferencing to attending conferences and conventions where you can network with other professionals and connect with other agencies and organizations who may prove to be vital partners in your emergency management efforts. Because collaboration is so key, bringing effective people skills and confidence in communications both written and verbal into your new role will also be key to your success.
You are also likely to be engaged in education and training efforts on an ongoing basis, and may even be called upon to give presentations yourself! The field of emergency management overall is a highly people-oriented role, so you can expect your days to be filled with people who just as urgently you do wish to avert disaster and respond quickly and effectively when it occurs, with all of the planning, training and drills that this shared goal can require.
The Educational Requirements Involved
While earning an advanced degree is not a prerequisite to enter the field of emergency management, your education should include an advanced degree if you aspire to climb the corporate ladder, enter the executive level or establish your reputation as one of the highly paid consultants who operate in the field of emergency management today. Several institutions around the country offer emergency management masters degrees nowadays and that number is expected only to increase.
That Bottom Dollar
Your salary can vary quite a bit depending on your specific job role and the organization you work for, but the median salary within the last few years has hovered around the $50,000 mark. Entry-level emergency management careers may offer just around $30,000, with executive level careers offering an enticing $90,000 or higher. The city in which you live and work can also be a factor in what your starting salary and income earning potential may be. With advanced education and training, your income earning potential will climb commensurately as well.