Washington State continues to be a national leader, both for its population growth and for its economy. In just one year (2017-2018), the population in Washington increased by 83,600, with the greater Seattle area absorbing most of this growth. Since 2010, the population here has grown by 703,000 residents. Population growth and greater density is always associated with increased use of emergency services.
For 911 operators, this is great news and one of the reasons why job prospects continue to impress. According to the Employment Security Department of Washington State, there were 1,720 dispatchers in Washington. By 2026, this number is projected to increase to 1,930 – an increase of 12.2%.
The median salary for 911 operators in Washington is a truly impressive $56,900, which is more than $16,000 above the national average of $40,660. The top 10% here earn $76,330.
Salaries at the Agencies and Jurisdictions that Employ 911 Operators in Washington
- King County Sheriff’s Office
- Northeast King County Regional Public Safety Communications Agency (NORCOM)
- Port of Seattle Police/Fire Communications
- Seattle Police Department, Seattle Police Department/Communications
- University of Washington Police Department
- Valley Communications Center (Valley Com)
- 10th percentile: $22.74/$47,310
- Median: $30.85/$64,170
- 90th percentile: $37.94/$78,910
- Kitsap County Central Communications (CENCOM)
- 10th percentile: $19.79/$41,160
- Median: $26.37/$54,840
- 90th percentile: $33.97/$70,650
Spokane-Spokane Valley includes:
- Spokane County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications
- 10th percentile: $17.09/$35,550
- Median: $24.13/$50,200
- 90th percentile: $32.34/$67,280
Examining Salaries and Employment Among Washington’s 911 Operators
The largest number of 911 dispatchers in Washington—750—are in the Seattle metropolitan area, which is five times the number of dispatchers in the next largest metro area of Bremerton-Silverdale.
Not surprisingly, the Seattle metro area is also home to the highest paid 911 dispatchers, who earn a median of $64,170 and $78,910 at the 90th percentile.
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_wa.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 Employment Security Department of Washington State 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.