Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development projects a robust 9.1 percent growth rate for dispatcher positions between 2016 and 2026, a rate that should result in around 210 openings a year through a combination of newly created posts and turnover.
The median pay rate for those positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be $36,670 a year, or $17.63/hr. Dispatchers in the top ten percent do a little better, with $51,030 ($24.53/hr) a year.
Salaries at the Agencies Employing 911 Dispatchers in Indiana
Indiana has been proactive in dealing with the challenges to 911 service introduced by cellular phones. The Indiana Statewide 911 Board has been behind the creation of a self-healing mesh network that is used to provide E911 services for PSAPs all across the state. More dispatchers are being brought on in many jurisdictions to deal with the influx of calls and coordinating responses based on data provided by this network.
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson – Includes:
- Marion County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center
- Indianapolis-Marion County Communications
- Carmel Police Communications
- Hamilton County 911
- 10th percentile: $13.98/hr / $29,070
- Median: $18.12/hr / $37,700
- 90th percentile: $24.17/hr / $50,270
Marion and the city of Indianapolis share 911 communications responsibilities in a unified dispatch center, which means they have also been sharing problems with 911 calls waiting well in excess of NENA standards. An immediate pay raise (not reflected in BLS data) as of 2019 is designed to attract more operators and bring the centers up to standards.
Fort Wayne – Includes:
- Fort Wayne/Allen County Sheriff’s Consolidated Communication Partnership
- Bluffton Police Department
- 10th percentile: $16.48/hr / $34,270
- Median: $23.18/hr / $48,210
- 90th percentile: $29.90/hr / $62,190
With median pay slightly better than the national average, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Consolidated Communication Partnership Department maintains not only a standard dispatch center, but also a tactical communications truck that can be deployed on-scene at major incidents.
Central Indiana Nonmetropolitan area – Includes:
- Fayette County 9-1-1
- State Police District 55
- Decatur County Sheriff’s Department
- Henry County Emergency Services E-9-1-1
- Wayne County Emergency Communications Department
- 10th percentile: $10.23/hr / $21,270
- Median: $16.16/hr / $33,620
- 90th percentile: $19.43/hr / $40,410
Wayne County ECD takes care of 911 service and dispatch for more than 13 municipalities and over 20 different agencies in the Central Indiana area.
A Full Breakdown of 911 Dispatcher Salaries Across Indiana
Fort Wayne comes out at the top of the pack in the 2018 BLS data for dispatcher salaries, with a median of $48,210 ($23.18/hr) and a 90th percentile rate of $62,190 ($29.90/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_in.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 Indiana Department of Workforce Development 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.