Salaries for 911 Operators in Ohio

Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Akron…Ohio is home to no less than four major cities, so its 911 system—and the dispatchers who work there—must be capable of providing emergency communication services that are efficient, coordinated, and streamlined.

Ohio’s 911 operators earn a median salary of $44,510 – that’s about $4,000 more than the national average. Plus, 911 operators at the 90th percentile earn $60,350. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, there were 4,260 911 dispatchers in 2016; by 2026, this number is projected to rise to 4,430 – an increase of 4%.

Agencies and Jurisdictions Employing Dispatchers in Ohio

Ohio’s 911 system is organized by the Ohio 9-1-1 Program Office, which oversees the state’s 318 PSAPs. Ohio operates one PSAP per 36,000 citizens. It is the goal of the 9-1-1 Program Office to eventually consolidate these PSAPs and develop a more efficient and modern system.

The Cleveland-Elyria metro area is home to the largest number of 911 operators – 880, followed by the Columbus metro area, at 640. Emergency operators earn the highest median salary in Columbus, followed Cincinnati. Columbus also comes out on top for the 911 dispatchers at the top 10%, who earn $73,800. That’s $11,000 more than Cincinnati and about $16,000 more than Cleveland.

Cleveland-Elyria includes:

  • Cuyahoga Emergency Communications
  • Cleveland Emergency Medical Services
  • Lorain County 9-1-1 Agency
  • Brunswick Police Department
    • 10th percentile: $15.98/$33,230
    • Median: $21.11/$43,910
    • 90th percentile: $27.72/$57,660

Columbus includes:

  • Delaware County 9-1-1
  • Licking County 9-1-1 Communications Center
  • Morrow County Sheriff’s Office
  • Columbus Police Department
    • 10th percentile: $15.12/$34,110
    • Median: $23.37/$48,610
    • 90th percentile: $35.48/$73,800

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN includes:

  • Brown County 9-1-1
  • Union Township Police Department
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol- Batavia
  • Hamilton County Communications Center
  • City of Cincinnati 9-1-1 Center
    • 10th percentile: $14.77/$30,720
    • Median: $22.33/$46,440
    • 90th percentile: $28.98/$60,290

Taking a Closer Look at Employment and Salaries for 911 Dispatchers in Ohio’s Metro Areas

The median salaries for 911 dispatchers in Ohio range from $36,970 in Canton to $49,460 in Dayton – a difference of about $13,000. Not surprising, the largest numbers of 911 operators are found in the Cleveland and Columbus metro areas, at 880 and 640, respectively.

Area Name
Employment
Hourly 75th percentile wage
Akron
320
25.04
Canton-Massillon
130
20.74
Cincinnati
570
25.41
Cleveland-Elyria
880
23.98
Columbus
640
29.02
Dayton
290
27.62
Lima
-
21.82
Mansfield
50
22.51
Toledo
290
26.95

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_oh.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 Ohio Department of Job and Family Services 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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