911 operators are the first point of contact between citizens and first responders, and their value can’t be overemphasized, particularly in a state like Nevada that’s home to a major tourist destination. FBI data from 2018 revealed 5,129 instances of violent crime in Las Vegas – an increase of 223 from 2017.
In Nevada, police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers enjoy salaries that often exceed the national average. In fact, their median salary is $51,680 ($24.85 per hour) – much higher than the national median salary of $40,660.
According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Research & Analysis Bureau, there were 570 911 dispatchers in Nevada in 2016; by 2026, the number of professionals in the field is projected to rise to 660 – an increase of 15.8%.
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Agencies and Jurisdictions Employing Dispatchers in Nevada
Nevada is a state of extremes, from the bright lights of Las Vegas in the southern part of the state to the vast expanse of desert throughout the northern part of the state.
With Sin City bringing in tens of millions of visitors every year to the state (nearly 43 million visitors in 2016 alone), it’s not surprising that 911 dispatcher jobs in the Las Vegas metro area are projected to increase in the coming years. More than three-quarters of the state’s population lives here. 911 dispatchers in this metro area earn among the highest salaries in the state, largely due to the major Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. There are currently 280 dispatchers in the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
Even though the Reno metro area is much smaller than the Las Vegas metro area, salaries here are expected to remain competitive for 911 operators. The median salary for these professionals is $3,000 more than the median salary for those in the Las Vegas metro area.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Area (Las Vegas–Henderson–Paradise, Nevada, Metro Area), includes:
- Boulder City Police Department
- Henderson Police Department
- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
- Mesquite Police Department
- North Las Vegas Police Department
- 10th percentile: $33,950/$16.32
- Median: $53,760/$25.80
- 90th percentile: $77,610/$37.32
Reno Metropolitan Area, includes:
- City of Reno Emergency Communications Division
- Sparks Police Department
- Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Storey County Sheriff’s Office
- 10th percentile: $40,460/$19.45
- Median: $56,230/$27.04
- 90th percentile: $75,790/$36.44
Salary Averages for Nevada’s 911 Operators by Metro Area
Average salaries for 911 dispatchers remain consistent between the metro areas of Las Vegas and Reno, although Reno comes out slightly ahead for median salary—$56,230 vs. $53,670. In Las Vegas, top earners in the 10th percentile come out ahead—$77,610 vs. $75,790 in Reno.
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_nv.htm. 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 Nevada Department of Employment, Research & Analysis Bureau 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.