Salaries for 911 Operators in Arizona

Arizona has gotten to be a much safer state recently, and the state’s 1,400 dispatchers have been a part of that process. Making a median salary of $38,630 ($18.57/hr) in 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their ranks are projected to grow by a healthy 8.8 percent by 2026 according to the state Office of Economic Opportunity.

Over the long term, dispatchers can rise up the ranks to the top ten percent of the field, which will get them a median salary of $58,290 ($28.03/hr).


Salaries at the Agencies Employing 911 Dispatchers in Arizona

Arizona has a patchwork of dispatch systems that include some truly tiny jurisdictions… the tiny Salt River Pima-Maricopa community only covers a total area of about 84 square miles. Pay rates vary considerably with both the agency and the area served, with the Flagstaff area the clear winner in terms of pay:

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale – Includes

  • Phoenix Police Department
  • Phoenix Regional Dispatch Center
  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Public Safety
    • 10th percentile: $15.21/hr / $31,640
    • Median: $18.62/hr / $38,730
    • 90th percentile: $28.58/hr / $59,450

Embracing Maricopa County and the Phoenix metro region, this area isn’t just the dispatch employment center of Arizona, but also ranked eighth highest in dispatcher employment in the nation. Employers run from Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, covering 92,000 square miles of land and water, to tiny municipalities like the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Public Safety system. The Phoenix Police Department also runs an independent dispatch agency, while Phoenix Regional Dispatch Center handles regional dispatching for fire and EMS resources.

Tucson – Includes

  • Tucson 911 Communication Center
  • Pima County Emergency Communications and Operations Center
    • 10th percentile: $15.64/hr / $32,530
    • Median: $19.66/hr / $40,900
    • 90th percentile: $27.34/hr / $56,870

Tucson police and fire consolidated into the city’s 911 Communication Center in 2017, and the city is looking at further consolidation with the other major emergency services dispatch center in the area, the Pima County Emergency Communications and Operations Center.

Flagstaff – Includes

  • Consolidated City of Flagstaff / Coconino County Communication Center
    • 10th percentile: $18.17/hr / $37,790
    • Median: $21.93/hr / $45,620
    • 90th percentile: $28.28/hr / $58,820

Most jobs in this area come from the Consolidated City of Flagstaff / Coconino County Communications Center, which handles law enforcement and fire dispatch for the city and many surrounding areas and municipalities.

Arizona Nonmetropolitan Area

  • Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • U.S. Border Patrol
    • 10th percentile: $10.61/hr / $22,080
    • Median: $14.73/hr / $30,640
    • 90th percentile: $19.39/hr / $40,330

There is an awful lot of desert out there to cover. This means there’s a wide variety of agencies, from the Arizona Department of Public Safety to the U.S. Border Patrol, that offer positions for dispatchers helping to cover it.

Salaries for Dispatchers in All Cities and Non-Metro Areas Tracked by The US Department of Labor

A full breakdown of salaries for dispatchers throughout the state can be found here:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Arizona nonmetropolitan area
160
31030
Flagstaff
50
46250
Lake Havasu City-Kingman
50
43400
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
1550
42390
Prescott
70
36700
Tucson
270
42370
Yuma
60
36340

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018. Figures represent accumulated data for all areas of employment for emergency services dispatchers https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm#43-5031. BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Job growth projections sourced from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.

All salary and job growth data accessed in June 2019.

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