The Mississippi Department of Employment Security expects only about a 4.7 percent bump in dispatcher positions between 2016 and 2026, for a total of 140 openings a year, coming from both new job creation and turnover in existing positions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for those positions is $26,010 ($12.51/hr). In the top ten percent, dispatchers make $36,580 ($17.59/hr).
- 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 Mississippi
Although dispatch center consolidation has not come to Mississippi as it has to many other states, it’s a largely rural state where county sheriff’s departments have naturally taken on services for many of the towns in their area. In larger cities, police departments generally take care of call-taking and dispatch for emergency services within their jurisdiction.
Jackson – Includes:
- Jackson Police Department
- Hinds County Emergency Management
- Madison County Sheriff’s Office
- Rankin County Sheriff’s Office
- 10th percentile: $9.99/hr / $20,780
- Median: $12.94/hr / $26,920
- 90th percentile: $16.56/hr / $34,430
Many jurisdictions in the Jackson area handle their own emergency dispatch, but among the smaller towns in the area, operations are consolidated with sheriff or other county level 911 service—the Madison County Sheriff handles services for six area fire departments and one other police agency, for example.
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropopolitan area – Includes:
- Pontotoc County Dispatch
- Lee County Communication E9-1-1 Center
- Union County EOC
- Lafayette County 9-1-1
- 10th percentile: $9.90/hr / $20,590
- Median: $13.10/hr / $27,240
- 90th percentile: $16.74/hr / $34,820
This rural area is dominated by county sheriff-run 911 centers that typically handle dispatch for the unincorporated areas of the county and also answering and service for most of the smaller towns in the county.
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula – Includes:
- Pascagoula Police Department
- Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
- Biloxi Police Department
- Gulfport Police Department
- 10th percentile: $10.70/hr / $22,250
- Median: $15.30/hr / $31,820
- 90th percentile: $19.24/hr / $40,020
In this populous area, police departments for the various cities have generally absorbed fire and EMS dispatch alongside their existing law enforcement duties. Sheriff’s departments handle services for unincorporated areas, but many smaller towns also have their own dispatch centers.
A Full Breakdown of 911 Dispatcher Salaries Across Mississippi
The Gulfport/Pascagoula axis is your best bet if you are looking for high-paying positions in emergency dispatch in Mississippi. The median annual income is $31,820 ($15.30/hr), which beats the next best regions in the state by around $3,000 a year.
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_ms.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 Mississippi Department of Employment Security 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.