911 operator jobs in Florida are booming along with the state’s population. Florida already ranks third highest in the country when it comes to the employment level for 911 operators, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity forecasts a 14.4 percent increase over the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026, nearly twice the national rate. Through a combination of both attrition and addition, that amounts to around 700 openings a year.
On the median, those positions will make about $38,930 ($18.72/hr) each year according to 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics data. At the top ten percent, dispatchers can make $63,600 ($30.58/hr). With a violent crime rate about 16 percent higher than the national average, Florida dispatchers are kept busy, particularly at the Miami-Dade Police Department Communications Bureau, which is the busiest PSAP in the Southeastern U.S.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Police Administrations & Operations, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Justice Studies Programs offering a wide range of industry-relevant programs
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Salaries at the Agencies Employing 911 Dispatchers in Florida
The heavy demands of a bilingual population factor into hiring and pay decisions in many Florida jurisdictions. In fact, the majority of calls taken at Miami-Dade Police Comms are in Spanish as of 2014.
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach – Includes:
- Broward County Regional PSAP
- Miami-Dade Police Department Communications Bureau
- North Palm Beach Public Safety Department
- Palm Springs Public Safety Department
- Boca Raton Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $16.75/hr / $34,830
- Median: $25.10/hr / $52,200
- 90th percentile: $36.10/hr / $75,100
The Miami area has the 6thhighest employment level for dispatchers in the country, many of them working at the three different PSAPs maintained by Broward County alone.
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – Includes:
- Manatee County Emergency Communications Center
- Tampa 911 Communication Center
- Hillsborough County 9-1-1 Administration
- Pinellas County Regional 9-1-1
- Sarasota County Consolidated Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $14.92/hr / $31,030
- Median: $18.24/hr / $37,940
- 90th percentile: $25.19/hr / $52,390
With a large population packed into a region where several counties intersect, the Tampa area is a patchwork of PSAPs, each of which offer fast-paced positions demanding critical thinking and organizational skills.
Orlando-Kissimmee – Includes:
- Orange County 911 Administration
- Seminole County Sheriffs Office
- 10th percentile: $13,50/hr / $28,090
- Median: $17.90/hr / $37,230
- 90th percentile: $27.65/hr / $57,510
Orange County’s 911 administration covers 10 different PSAPs serving 1.3 million people in 13 different municipalities in the county.
Jacksonville – Includes:
- Jacksonville Sheriff’ Office
- Atlantic Beach Police
- Baker County Sheriffs Office
- Jacksonville Beach 911 Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $13.56/hr / $28,200
- Median: $17.68/hr / $36,780
- 90th percentile: $23.62/hr / $49,140
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is the primary PSAP for Duval county agencies.
A Full Breakdown of 911 Dispatcher Salaries Across Florida
The Villages, with only around 80 dispatchers, happens to rank highest in the country for concentration of dispatching jobs according to BLS, but Miami-based dispatchers make more money, with a median of $52,200 ($36.10/hr).
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_fl.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 Florida Department 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.