How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Austin, Texas

As a 911 dispatcher in Austin you will work in the bustling Combined Transportation, Emergency and Communications Center located on Old Manor Road in Northeast Austin. You will take calls for medical, police, and fire emergencies and be responsible for dispatching the appropriate services.

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Because the lives of callers and first-responders rest in the hands of emergency dispatchers, only the most qualified candidates are hired to begin an extensive training process. Last year in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area there were 400 professionally employed emergency operators.

if you are interested in joining the ranks of Texas’ finest emergency dispatch agency, read on to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Austin:

Make Yourself a Competitive Candidate
Apply with the City of Austin
Participate in On-the-Job Training
Maintain your Qualifications



Step 1. Making Yourself a Competitive Candidate

Because 911 dispatcher jobs in Austin are so competitive, you may consider a degree in any of the following subjects. Available online and at more than six Austin campus locations, these will help you both in your initial job application and in your longer term career options:

  • Communications
  • Law Enforcement
  • Emergency Management
  • Psychology
  • Public Safety
  • Fire Science
  • Criminal Justice

Obtaining these certifications before your job interview is a good way to distinguish yourself. Consider these Austin-based and online 911 operator training and certification options:

  • CPR and First Aid
  • Emergency Medical Dispatching
  • Police Dispatching
  • Fire Dispatching
  • Computer Aided Dispatching



Step 2. Apply with the City of Austin

To apply for these positions, you can conduct a search for 911 dispatcher jobs in Austin on the city’s employment vacancy website. The city provides an official 911 dispatcher job description online.

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When applying for emergency operator positions with the city you will first need to create an online account. Along with your application you will need to:

  • Be able to type at least 40 words per minute
  • Pass a basic-skills test
  • Complete a background investigation
  • Provide a copy of your high school transcript and DD-214 if applicable



Step 3. Participate in On-the-Job Training

As you become a 911 operator in Austin you will encounter the following dispatcher training requirements:

  • Certification as a Telecommunicator through TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education), required within the first year of employment
  • TCIC (Texas Crime Information Center) Certification within the first six months of employment
  • NCIC (National Crime Information Center) Certification within the first six months of employment
    • Both TCIC and NCIC are available through TCLEOSE



Step 4. Maintaining Your Qualifications

As an emergency 911 dispatcher it is your responsibility to the callers and first responders you are serving to be as qualified as possible. This means attending conferences or training workshops and keeping up with the latest developments in technology. Doing this can save lives not to mention help your career develop.

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Some local dispatcher organizations providing networking and educational resources include:

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