Salaries for 911 Operators in North Carolina

North Carolina’s location along the East coast makes it a prime spot for vacationers but also for hurricanes, so an efficient and effective 911 system is a must. For example, according to the North Carolina 911 Board, more than 225,000 calls were made to 911 operators during Hurricane Florence (September 12-20, 2018) – an average of 25,103 calls per day.

The median salary for 911 operators in North Carolina is $35,190/$16.92, while the top 10% earn $47,060. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, steady demand for 911 dispatchers is projected through 2026. In 2016, there were 3,620 911 operators working in the state; by 2026, this number is expected to rise to 3,980 – an increase of 10%.

Agencies and Jurisdictions Employing Dispatchers in North Carolina

The North Carolina 911 Board, which was created in 1998 in an effort to consolidate the state’s enhanced 911 system and enhance the system’s efficiency and accountability, oversees all 911 communications in North Carolina, along with the system’s related policies, procedures, and operating fund. The Board currently oversees the state’s 115 PSAPs which, in 2017 alone, answered more than 7.3 million 911 calls.

The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan region employees the largest number of 911 operators in the state – 850 – nearly three times as many as Raleigh, the second largest metro area. However, it’s Raleigh that comes out on top for the median salary of 911 operators – $39,300.

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, includes:

  • Anson County Emergency Communications
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
  • UNC-Charlotte Police
  • Union County 9-1-1
    • 10th percentile: $14.09/$29,300
    • Median: $17.66/$36,730
    • 90th percentile: $23.51/$48,900

Raleigh, includes:

  • Wake County Sheriff’s Communications
  • North Carolina State University Department Of Public Safety
  • Wake Forest Police Communications
  • Clayton Police Communications
  • Johnston County Sheriff’s Communications
    • 10th percentile: $16.18/$33,640
    • Median: $18.89/$39,300
    • 90th percentile: $25.25/$52,530

Winston-Salem, includes:

  • Davie County 9-1-1 Communications
  • Winston-Salem State University Police
  • Stokes County Emergency Communications
    • 10th percentile: $13.13/$26,010
    • Median: $16.73/$33,660
    • 90th percentile: $20.11/$44,660

Greensboro-High Point, includes:

  • High Point Police-Fire Communications
  • Rockingham County 9-1-1
    • 10th percentile: $14.63/$30,420
    • Median: $18.03/$37,500
    • 90th percentile: $25.57/$53,180

Who’s Earning What and Where: Salaries and Employment in North Carolina’s Metro Areas

The median salary for 911 operators in North Carolina tends to be fairly consistent, with the majority of metro areas showing a median salary of between $34,000-$36,000. The top earners here are found in Raleigh ($39,300), while the lowest earners are found in Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton ($31,360).

Area Name
Employment
Hourly 75th percentile wage
Asheville
-
19.49
Burlington
60
18.69
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia
850
19.79
Durham-Chapel Hill
190
20.07
Fayetteville
110
18.45
Greensboro-High Point
230
21.17
Greenville
90
21.54
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton
170
17.63
Jacksonville
50
19.02
Raleigh
320
22.40
Rocky Mount
70
18.84
Wilmington
120
18.17
Winston-Salem
220
18.67

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_nc.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 North Carolina Department of Commerce 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.

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