Wisconsin’s population continues to grow, along with its number of 911 operators. In 2018, the population of this Midwestern state was 5.8 million, an increase of 2.7% since 2010. Much of the state’s growth is due to an influx of new residents to the Madison area. In fact, between 2010 and 2018, the population of Madison has grown more than 10%. More people and an increase in population density always results in increased use of emergency fire, medical and police services.
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That’s exactly why job growth projections for 911 dispatchers reflect this population growth. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, there were 1,230 dispatchers here in 2016; by 2026, this number is projected to increase to 1,300 – a 5.7% increase.
911 dispatchers in Wisconsin earn a median salary of $44,730 – that’s about $4,000 more than the national average. The top 10% here earn $58,870.
Salaries at the Agencies that Employ 911 Operators in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Office of Emergency Communications oversees the state’s 911 system and its network of 73 PSAPs.
Salaries for 911 operators tend to vary considerably throughout the state. For example, the median salary for dispatchers in the Oshkosh-Nennah metro area earn just $33,800, while those in the Madison metro area earn significantly more, at $50,690.
- Milwaukee County OEM
- 10th percentile: $16.75/$34,830
- Median: $22.63/$47,080
- 90th percentile: $28.64/$59,580
- Dane County Public Safety Communications
- 10th percentile: $18.43/$38,320
- Median: $24.37/$50,690
- 90th percentile: $29.79/$61,970
- Winnebago County 911 Communications Center
- 10th percentile: $12.86/$26,750
- Median: $16.25/$33,800
- 90th percentile: $18.66/$38,810
911 Operators in Wisconsin: Examining Their Employment, Salaries
The largest number of 911 operators – 290 – work out of the Milwaukee metro area, followed by 190 in Madison and 130 in Oshkosh-Neenah. The top 10% earn the most in the Madison metro area, at $61,970, with dispatchers in the Appleton and Eau Claire metro areas close behind at $60,570 and $60,120, respectively.
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_wi.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 Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Office of Emergency Communications 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.