How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in St. Paul, Minnesota

9-1-1 emergency dispatchers in St. Paul, Minnesota are called fire dispatchers and police dispatchers, depending on which of the services they dispatch. Both are hired by the police federation and work in the Emergency Communications Center. There is a constant demand for quality emergency dispatchers in the city, in part as a result of the following stats:

  • St. Paul is a city which is more violent than the average U.S. city, and is only safer than 9 percent of U.S. cities.
  • St. Paul has a rate of rape, assault, and theft which are much higher than the U.S. averages.
  • You have a 1 in 24 chance of being a victim of violence in St. Paul.
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There are a number of steps to becoming an emergency dispatcher in St. Paul. These steps include:

Meet Education And Job Requirements
Apply For a Position in St. Paul
Get Certified
Maintain Certifications and On-the-Job Training



Step 1. Meet Education And Job Requirements

In order to qualify to be an emergency dispatcher in St. Paul you must possess a high school diploma or GED. If you would like to dramatically increase your chances of being accepted for the position you are advised to seek higher education before applying. This will both increase your standing among others who are competing for the position, and increase the base knowledge that you can call upon on the job.

There are a number of learning institutions in the St. Paul area which offer relevant courses such as:

Linguistics. With a rapidly expanding and diversifying population, the St. Paul area is in need of emergency dispatchers who can speak multiple languages. A degree in linguistics will help to prepare you to diversify your base of languages.

Management Information Systems.  The technology used in emergency dispatch is essential to the proper functioning of the system. A degree in management information systems will make you an expert in your field, and ensure that you become an essential asset to your team.

Speech – Hearing – Language Sciences.  911 dispatch is essentially a communications position. A degree in speech-hearing-language sciences will prepare you to not only excel at the job position, but perhaps provide valuable feedback which will help your team continue to provide better service to your residents.

A fire dispatcher for the city of St. Paul has a salary range of $24.39 – $32.85 hourly. A police dispatcher has a salary range of $22.84 – $30.76 hourly.

Both of these positions have similar basic requirements, including:

  • Ability to work any shift
  • Minnesota Justice Information System certification on file
  • One year as a St. Paul Police telecommunicator or
  • Two years as a dispatcher in another jurisdiction.


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Step 2. Apply For a Position in St. Paul

In order to complete an application for a job position as an emergency dispatcher in St. Paul you must create an account for the city’s job engine. From there seek the job position for which you want to apply. Click the “apply” link at the top right, and follow the instructions.



Step 3. Get Certified

You will need to earn a Minnesota Justice Information System certification in order to qualify to become a police or fire dispatcher. This certification program can only be taken by current employees or those in the employment process. If you are selected to move forward the steps to obtaining this certification will be explained in the employment process.

For the fire dispatch position you will also need to obtain the following:


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Step 4. Maintain Certifications And On-the-Job Training

Once you have been hired as an emergency dispatcher you will need to continue to grow into your profession. In order to continue to grow in your career you will need to:

  • Maintain all certifications
  • Demonstrate that you can work well on a team
  • Learn St. Paul landmarks and streets
  • Learn to effectively operate and maintain job related technology and systems
  • Learn job related terms and codes
  • Maintain calm during emergencies and times of crisis
  • Demonstrate good decision making capabilities, especially under pressure

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