How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Burlington, Vermont

As a 911 operator in Burlington – officially known as an Emergency Communications Specialist – you will be responsible for dispatching the appropriate fire, medical, and police services in response to emergency phone calls you receive at the Burlington Emergency Communications Center, located downtown at 1 North Avenue.

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Because lives will depend on your actions, you will need to ensure you are fully prepared for what this job entails:

  • Long hours during times of crisis
  • Eliciting active intelligence from Burlington residents or visitors who are panicking
  • Completing an intensive and thorough training process
  • Emotionally difficult work

If you believe you have the responsibility and work ethic it takes for this challenging career path then consider the following steps detailing the process of how to become a 911 dispatcher in Burlington:

Become a Competitive Job Candidate
Apply with the City of Burlington
Maintain and Develop Your Expertise



Step 1. Become a Competitive Job Candidate

911 dispatcher jobs in Burlington paid an average salary of $39,730 last year, so competition for these positions can be significant. This means you will need to make yourself stand out among your competition, a goal accomplished by having 911 dispatcher training as listed in the job description:

  • Associate Degree in Communications or Business
  • Vermont Criminal Information Center (VCIC) Certification
  • National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) Certification
  • Geographical knowledge of Burlington and GPS mapping experience
  • Fire Science degree or training
  • Knowledge of technical equipment operations for police, fire, and medical units:


    • Radio systems
    • Computer systems
    • Alarms

As well as having certifications and experience related to 911 operator training, having a degree is also a strong credential. There are at least three colleges located in or near Burlington, with additional resources available through online educational programs.

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Relevant areas of study include:

  • Psychology
  • Emergency Management
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Homeland Security
  • Computer Science
  • Nursing



Step 2. Apply with the City of Burlington

Your first step in submitting an application will be to check Burlington’s online listing of current job openings. Although 911 dispatcher jobs in Burlington are technically through the police department, you will submit your application for employment to the City of Burlington. Along with your application you will also need to include a completed Personal History Information packet. You can submit both these to the city’s human resources office located on 179 South Winooski Avenue in Suite 100. Do not forget to include a cover letter and resume.

Once your application has been determined to be complete and competitive you will be notified about when to complete the following:

  • Basic written exam
  • Typing speed exam
  • Psychological examination
  • Physical examination



Step 3. Maintain and Develop Your Expertise

Once you have been hired it will be up to you to maintain your edge. This will ensure you secure a faster promotional track but more importantly it will improve your ability to make life-saving decisions.

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Training courses and workshops are offered to Vermont residents through the following agencies:

Also keep in mind that you will have to maintain your good standing with the VCIC and NCIC. Last year there were 120 professional emergency operators working throughout the Burlington-South Burlington area.

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