It seems like every day the news is filled with stories that center on disasters and how they affect the people and world around them. Whether these disasters are manmade or naturally occurring — as is the case with tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods — there are people at the front lines of the action that are vital to weathering every storm. They are emergency management.
What Is Emergency Management?
In an effort to help communities become safer and less vulnerable to disasters, emergency management offers a framework for knowledgeable professionals to follow in times of crisis. Designed to reduce the effects of hazards and boost the ability to cope with disasters, emergency management both coordinates and integrates activities that support these goals.
Traditionally, emergency management has been a male-dominated profession. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a staff that is nearly 60 percent male, according to data from 2018. Fortunately, that is changing, as demonstrated by history-making women who broke barriers within the sector — and for good reason.
Choosing a career in emergency management provides a number of advantages for women. A rewarding and potentially life-changing job, women are particularly well-suited to this field.
6 Reasons Emergency Management Career Opportunities Are Attractive to Women
As hurricanes, forest fires, floods, tornados, and more continue to sweep across the nation, emergency management teams respond to offer support and assistance. If you are looking for a career that provides you with a number of benefits — both personally and professionally — emergency management could be a great fit.
It Is Fulfilling
Few careers — outside the medical field — provide you with the ability to provide crucial help and specialized assistance to those in need like emergency management. In this role, you can expect to work on comprehensive plans that are designed to mitigate actual and/or perceived risks. In addition to incorporating training that helps prepare community members, you will be responsible for implementing these plans when and if an emergency or disaster strikes.
It Is in Demand
The role of an emergency management professional is not limited to just the physical. As part of this type of team, you might also be called on to help mitigate the impacts of an information technology disaster or a nuclear emergency.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects that emergency management personnel, such as directors, will experience at least a six percent growth rate per year from 2020 to 2030 within the industry. This equates to about 1,000 openings per year for emergency management directors alone. This expected demand is due to a combination of people retiring and transitioning to other careers as well as the formation of new communities.
It Offers Lots of Variety
According to the BLS, most emergency management professionals, such as directors, work for government entities — usually at the state or local level. In fact, more than half of the 10,500 emergency management directors who held this title in 2020 worked in this environment.
You can also experience a career as an emergency management professional at a hospital, educational facility, or a private company. While much of your work will find you in an office, there will also be many times when you are out in the field.
You will often need to be on call in the event of an emergency. In most settings, however, you will share on-call duties with other personnel and take turns.
It Is Filled with Excitement
Like other types of first responders, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), firefighters, and police officers, a career in emergency management means that you are on the front lines when a crisis, disaster, or emergency occurs. You will assume a leadership role as you implement and devise plans that are designed to protect people, their homes, and their belongings.
You could also be tasked with ensuring that a company’s interests and property are protected, or your focus might be on the community as a whole. Regardless of where you find yourself employed and what the focus of your job is, people will turn to you for guidance, answers, and protection. You will be in a position to make a positive impact on the communities you serve.
It Exposes You to Lots of People
If you enjoy building relationships and working in a team environment, a career in emergency management will provide this outlet for you. You will be working with diverse populations in a variety of settings. While you will be interacting with people as they are experiencing and reacting to emergency situations, there will also be many times when you will meet people during periods of calm. For example, you might be part of a group of government agencies and local businesses who are seeking ways to work together more seamlessly to address potential emergency situations within their shared community.
It Can Pay Well
Of course, you should not base your career choice solely on how well it pays. However, the salary is important. It is worth taking it into consideration.
The BLS states the median annual salary for those advancing to emergency management director positions in May 2020 was $76,250. This means that half of those in the career made more than this figure while half made less.
The highest paying industries tend to be those within the private sector. In contrast, working for the state government provides less in annual wages. It is important to note that benefits, such as health insurance, retirement, and educational reimbursement, could increase the overall compensation package for those who work within the governmental sector.
Education Needed to Enter the Emergency Management Field
Opting for a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security positions you well on the career path toward emergency response. Graduates of this rigorous program will be able to tap into the resources necessary to approach emergencies and disasters with the confidence and level head of a leader.
The Right Degree Program Covers a Lot of Ground
During your coursework, you will learn many aspects of emergency management starting with its four key phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Specific knowledge of these four phases will prepare you for the planning and preparation of disasters and emergencies as well as their ongoing management, should they occur.
You will also learn how to problem-solve and think critically, so you can apply these skills to both your decision-making process and the implementation of the emergency management plan. Engaging in mock scenarios that mimic disasters and emergencies that you could face on the job will challenge you and increase your knowledge, and your skills. In doing so, you will be able to better perform in real-life situations.
Because emergency management is applicable to so many diverse groups, it must be flexible in order to be successful. You will need to know how to be professional as you strive toward a flexibility that works with everyone’s goals.
Pursue Your Future with a Post Degree
If you have your eye on becoming an emergency management director, or a similar supervisory role, a master’s in public administration from Post provides you with the educational next steps you need to realize your dream. Learn more about what Post has to offer to today’s bright and ambitious students by contacting them today for more information.
Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!
Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.