Often times, the best way to determine demand for 911 operators is by looking at the state’s population growth.
And in Virginia, the demand for dispatchers in the coming years looks very promising. Much of the state has seen population increases between 2010-2018, including Loudoun County (Northern Virginia), whose population grew by 30 percent during this time. The overall state population here has increased 6.5%, reaching 8.5 million residents in 2018.
Job growth projections from the Virginia Employment Commission show how the population increase translates into a growing demand for 911 dispatchers. In 2016, there were 3,190 dispatchers working in Virginia. By 2026, this number is projected to increase to 3,530 – a growth rate of 10.7%.
The median salary for 911 dispatchers in Virginia is $18.02/$37,490, with the top 10% earning $53,970.
Salaries at the Agencies that Employ 911 Operators in Virginia
The 9-1-1 Services Board of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency oversees the state’s 911 system and its 119 PSAPs.
911 operators throughout most of Virginia’s metro areas report median salaries that are similar to the state average, although in Richmond, these professionals earn a top salary of $39,490 – or about $2,000 more than the state average.
- Henrico County Police Department
- Richmond Emergency Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $15.14/$31,490
- Median: $18.99/$39,490
- 90th percentile: $25.93/$53,930
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News
- Virginia Beach Emergency Communications And Citizen Services
- Newport News Police
- Norfolk City Emergency Services
- Norfolk County Emergency Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $14.17/$29,460
- Median: $18.40/$38,270
- 90th percentile: $24.39/$50,730
- Roanoke City Communications
- Roanoke County Emergency Communications
- 10th percentile: $13.37/$27,800
- Median: $17.39/$36,160
- 90th percentile: $23.69/$49,270
A Closer Look at Virginia’s 911 Dispatcher Salaries by Metro Area
The largest number of 911 dispatchers in Virginia work in the metro areas of Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News and Richmond, at 520 and 500 dispatchers, respectively.
These metro areas are also where 911 dispatchers earn the highest median salary. In the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area, the median salary for these professionals is $38,270, while those in the Richmond metro area earn a median of $39,490.
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_va.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 Virginia Employment Commission 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.