Nebraska’s Office of Labor Market Information expects an 8.2 percent growth rate for operator positions in the state over the decade between 2016 and 2026, exactly in line with the national rate. That translates into about 100 openings annually, a combination of new positions and turnover in existing jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median salary for those positions is $36,400 ($17.50/hr) as of 2018, with those in the 90th percentile bringing in $50,920, or $24.48 per hour.
Although it may just be an old Nebraska folktale, folks from Lincoln will tell you that 911 was invented there. Today, the state remains a leading innovator in the field, however, exploring a next-generation 911 system that will allow not only text messages, but also photo or video to be received by dispatchers to assist with assessing the situation and providing the correct response.
Salaries at the Agencies that Employ 911 Operators in Nebraska
With blizzards, floods, and tornadoes all on the menu, Nebraska has a variety of recurring natural disasters on top of the usual roster of regular human-centered crimes and ills that afflict the population. Dispatchers here have to be adept at operating notification systems, from old-fashioned storm sirens to new high-tech reverse call systems, on top of dealing with coordinating and communicating with emergency responders out in the teeth of the elements.
Lincoln – Includes:
- Lincoln – Lancaster 9-1-1 Center
- 10th percentile: $15.52/hr / $32,290
- Median: $19.31/hr / $40,170
- 90th percentile: $29.15/hr / $60,630
This combined call center takes care of all dispatch service for the Lincoln police and fire departments, the Lancaster County Sheriff, and 14 rural fire agencies throughout the area.
South Nebraska nonmetropolitan area – Includes:
- North Platte Police Department/ Lincoln County
- Kearney County Sheriff’s Office
- Jefferson County Sheriff Law Enforcement Center
- 10th percentile: $11.38/hr / $23,670
- Median: $15.78/hr / $32,820
- 90th percentile: $22.40/hr / $46,590
Jefferson County’s Law Enforcement Center has been bringing Enhanced 911 to the county since 1993, a forward-thinking move that put this largely rural agency well ahead of even well-funded urban PSAPs in many areas.
A Full Breakdown of 911 Dispatcher Salaries Across Nebraska
Unfortunately, data was not available for the Omaha area in the 2018 BLS data. While the Lincoln area is the highest paying region in the state according to those numbers, it’s likely that Omaha area dispatchers make similar salaries at all stages of their career.
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_ne.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 Nebraska Office of Labor Market Information 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.