The emergency number 911 was first instituted in 1968. Ever since then, whenever people have an emergency, all they have to do is dial 911, and they will be connected with the help they need. The person responsible for answering those calls and directing emergency services where they are needed is a telecommunicator, also sometimes called a dispatcher.

Above all, the telecommunicator needs to be a good communicator. They have to get the facts of a situation, often from callers in distress and who are unable to speak clearly. They then have to relay that information to emergency responders such as EMTs or firefighters, direct them to the right address, and record call details.

Most telecommunicators do not have bachelor's degrees. Instead, they need to have other important skills that are usually not learned in a classroom. Besides excellent communication skills, telecommunicators need to have a cool head when under pressure and even know basic first aid to instruct people over the phone while they wait for help. A good telecommunicator can save many lives.

What Does a Telecommunicator Do

There are certain skills that many telecommunicators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed ability to multitask, communication skills and empathy.

Learn more about what a Telecommunicator does

How To Become a Telecommunicator

If you're interested in becoming a telecommunicator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 38.7% of telecommunicators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.6% of telecommunicators have master's degrees. Even though some telecommunicators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Telecommunicator

Telecommunicator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Telecommunicator

Telecommunicators in America make an average salary of $39,327 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $53,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Telecommunicator Salary
$39,327 Yearly
$18.91 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Telecommunicator

There are several types of telecommunicator, including:

Communications Officer


The primary duty of a communications officer is to support both internal and external communications strategies. He/She writes and distributes content to promote an organization's brand, activities, services, or products. He/She serves as a liaison between the organization, the public, and the media to maintain the organization's image. Generally, he/she creates content, including publications, press releases, website content, annual reports, and other marketing materials. Furthermore, he/she responds to media inquiries and arranges interviews. Also, he/she keeps records of media coverage and compiles analytics and metrics.

Most communications officers hold a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or a related field. However, most employers prefer two to five years of experience in a similar role. Candidates must possess interpersonal, time management, analytical, communication, computer, and organization skills. You must be familiar with content management systems and social media platforms. The annual salary ranges between $32,000 and $106,000, with an average of $58,184

  • Average Salary: $40,161
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Telecommunication Operator


Telecommunications operators play an important role in satisfying the rising demands of individuals and businesses. They were very vital when multi-line telephone networks were first adopted. In comparison, although some businesses have moved over time to digital processes, consumers enjoy a hands-on approach more. A telecommunications operator is required to handle incoming calls, gather necessary information, write quickly and precisely, route calls, and monitor conversations when necessary.

There are really no formal qualifications to become a telecommunications operator. Most employers, however, would prefer someone who has experience in the field. Many large companies and emergency services often provide on-the-job training. Bear in mind that his/her position demands outstanding oral communication skills and someone who must be able to work under pressure.

  • Average Salary: $39,381
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Police Dispatcher


A police dispatcher responds to distress phone calls. They coordinate and direct emergency personnel to areas where their services are needed. Also, they review burglar and fire alarms as well as monitor video surveillance.

A police dispatcher alerts law enforcement officers, paramedics, or firefighters as the case may be. Not just this, but they also provide drivers' licenses and warrant information to other police officers. You have to put in data, update and recover data from computer systems. The minimum education requirement for this role is a high school diploma.

Excellent customer service and communication skills are key skills needed for this role. It is also essential that you understand police techniques and procedures. In addition to this, you should have comprehensive knowledge about radio dispatch controls and protocols. You may be required to write and pass a civil service examination to qualify. Averagely, a police dispatcher earns an annual salary of $49,660.

  • Average Salary: $37,402
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Telecommunicator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active telecommunicator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where telecommunicators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Telecommunicator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
10New York16$46,235
11New Jersey15$46,237
15North Carolina14$33,488
33South Carolina4$30,903
37West Virginia2$49,653
40South Dakota2$38,492
41New Mexico2$38,913
44Rhode Island1$48,325
46North Dakota1$44,431
49New Hampshire0$47,357

Telecommunicator Education

Telecommunicator Majors

18.1 %

Telecommunicator Degrees


38.7 %


27.4 %

High School Diploma

20.8 %

Top Skills For a Telecommunicator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.0% of telecommunicators listed computer aided dispatch on their resume, but soft skills such as ability to multitask and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Telecommunicator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Telecommunicator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Telecommunicator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Telecommunicator diversity

Telecommunicator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among telecommunicators, 71.0% of them are women, while 29.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among telecommunicators is White, which makes up 72.1% of all telecommunicators.

  • The most common foreign language among telecommunicators is Spanish at 83.3%.

Online Courses For Telecommunicator That You May Like

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1. Communicating During Global Emergencies


In collaboration with the Rollins School of Public Health and the CDC's Division of Global Health Protection, Emergency Response, and Recovery Branch, this course introduces basic concepts and principles of communicating during a global crisis or emergency. It explores why communication during an emergency is different and the importance of adapting emergency messages to the needs of affected populations. Through sample scenarios, you will get the opportunity to identify information needs and...

2. Medical Emergencies: CPR, Toxicology, and Wilderness


In this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills to assess and stabilize certain types of patients for transport. By the end of this course, you will be able to: (1) Identify the signs and symptoms associated with a patient in shock, to describe the major categories of shock, to assess a patient with signs of shock and formulate a plan for treatment to stabilize the patient for transport, (2) Identify a patient in cardiac arrest and to describe the components of high performance CPR...

3. Basic Fire Safety Awareness


Basic Fire Safety Awareness - Your Gateway towards Career in Fire Safety...

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Best States For a Telecommunicator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a telecommunicator. The best states for people in this position are California, Oregon, Illinois, and Maine. Telecommunicators make the most in California with an average salary of $59,153. Whereas in Oregon and Illinois, they would average $56,981 and $54,658, respectively. While telecommunicators would only make an average of $52,018 in Maine, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Telecommunicator Jobs: 97
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Oregon

Total Telecommunicator Jobs: 10
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Wyoming

Total Telecommunicator Jobs: 2
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Telecommunicators

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Top Telecommunicator Employers

Most Common Employers For Telecommunicator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Ramsey County$42,992$20.6710
2City of San Antonio$41,927$20.163
3Polk County Sheriff's Office$41,014$19.724
4University of North Carolina$39,129$18.813
5City of Houston$38,676$18.598
6New Hanover County$38,625$18.5717
7City of Columbia$37,141$17.864
8RCCAA Head Start$37,102$17.844
10Mohawk Regional Information Center$36,900$17.746

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