The demand for 911 operators in Rhode Island in the coming years won’t be from a population increase but from an aging population instead.
Rhode Island’s population of just over 1 million has gone largely unchanged in recent years, but its senior population is quickly increasing. In fact, by 2030, the number of residents age 65 and older will increase by about 100,000 – or about 23% of the population. And by 2040, the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Office projects a 100% increase of residents ages 74 to 84 and a 72% increase in residents age 85 and older—many of whom will require the state’s 911 system for health-related emergencies.
In 2016, Rhode Island was home to 440 911 operators; by 2026, this number is projected to increase by 2.3% to 450. At $46,810, 911 dispatchers in Rhode Island earn a median salary that’s about $6,000 higher than the national average. Even more impressive, those in the top 10% earn $61,900.
Agencies and Jurisdictions Employing Dispatchers in Rhode Island
The 911 system in Rhode Island is managed by the Rhode Island Enhanced 9-1-1 Uniform Emergency Telephone System which, in 2018, received 461,218 calls. Rhode Island is just one of two states in the nation (the other being New Hampshire) that operates a statewide 911 system. In Rhode Island, all 911 calls are received at one answering point located in North Scituate.
911 calls in the Providence-Warwick metro area are routed to the following departments:
- East Providence Police Fire And Rescue Department
- Warwick Police Department
- Warwick Fire and Rescue Department
- Providence Police Department
- Providence Fire and Rescue Department
- 10th percentile: $16.71/$34,750
- Median: $21.98/$45,710
- 90th percentile: $28.96/$60,240
Employment and Salary Statistics for Rhode Island’s Providence-Warwick Metro Area
911 operators in the Providence-Warwick metro area may have salary averages that are slightly below the state average, they still come in above the national average. The median salary for 911 dispatchers here is $45,710, which is about $5,000 more annually than the national average.
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_ri.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 Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training 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.