As a San Antonio 911 operator you will work at the city’s new Fire and Police Emergency Dispatch Center. The 40,000-square-foot facility was competed in 2012 with a price tag of over $28.077 million, and serves the city with state-of-the-art technology and high-quality professional dispatchers. This facility alone has 120 dispatchers; however, the greater San Antonio-New Braunfels region supports some 470 jobs for 911 dispatchers.
Last year the average emergency dispatcher salary in the metro region was $31,580.
While researching how to become a 911 operator in San Antonio consider the following steps:
|Get Qualified to Work in San Antonio|
|Apply for 911 Dispatcher Jobs in San Antonio|
|Keep up with Training|
Step 1. Getting Qualified to Work in San Antonio
Your first step in the process of how to become a 911 dispatcher in San Antonio is to become qualified so you will distinguish yourself over your competition.
The Fire and Police Emergency Center is looking for candidates with the following:
- Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) Telecommunicator Certification
- Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) Certification, available through TCLEOSE
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Certification, available through TCLEOSE
If you do not already possess these certifications you will be required to obtain these soon after being hired. Additional 911 operator training in the fields of fire, police, and emergency medical services dispatch can also be beneficial.
Having an emergency-dispatch-related degree with you at the job interview can also be beneficial. Besides improving your long-term career mobility it also demonstrates you have acquired valuable skills in a specific area, such as:
- Emergency Management
- Homeland Security
- Fire Science
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
These degree programs are available through at least four colleges with campus locations in San Antonio, and there are additional resources available online.
Step 2. Applying for 911 Dispatcher Jobs with the City of San Antonio
You can apply for emergency operator positions with San Antonio’s Fire and Police Emergency Dispatch Center through the city’s employment website. There are two slightly different 911 dispatcher job descriptions with the city:
The differences between these jobs used to be more pronounced, but after the new dispatch center opened these roles are gradually being combined.
If there are no current openings posted on the employment website you can fill out a job interest card for 911 Telecommunications and be notified by email when vacancies become available.
Step 3. Keeping Up with Your Training
Although you are not required to complete continuing training as a 911 dispatcher in San Antonio once you have obtained the initial certifications, it is a good idea to keep up with the latest developments in your field. It is also not unlikely that future continuing education requirements could be implemented; rules and regulations governing dispatchers in Texas do frequently change.
Besides improving your chances for career growth and promotion, obtaining continuing education in your field through organizations such as the Texas National Emergency Number Association (Texas NENA) will ensure you are doing all you can to be the best possible life-saver.