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Public Administration Careers in Emergency Management

Master of Public Administration – Emergency Management Specialization

Wanted: Crisis Management Leadership

Those with specialized skills in crisis management and disaster response leadership are in high demand. Most emergency management professionals work within state or local governments to coordinate, implement, and oversee disaster response activities. Others may work for private companies, consulting firms, hospitals or nonprofit organizations. Opportunities within this field manifest in many areas, such as:

  • Local and state government
  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Community food and housing services
  • Emergency and other relief services
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
  • American Red Cross
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

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Emergency Management Job Outlook

Because emergency management is called for within many fields, there are a variety of career opportunities that utilize the focused teachings found in the Emergency Management MPA curriculum of Anna Maria College’s online Master of Public Administration.

Careers in emergency management include:

  • Crisis Response Manager
  • Critical Incident Management Specialist
  • Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness
  • Disaster Recovery Specialist
  • Emergency Planner
  • Emergency Management Analyst
  • Emergency Management System Director (EMS Director)
  • Emergency Preparedness Program Specialist
  • Emergency Services Director
  • Emergency Management Consultant
  • Emergency Management Director
  • Emergency Management Program Specialist
  • Emergency Preparedness Specialist
  • Hazard Mitigation Specialist
  • Risk Management Specialist

There is steady job growth for those seeking roles in emergency management. Careers in emergency and disaster management can also be very lucrative for those with the right combination of education, experience, and training. Here are a few job facts that highlight the bright outlook for professionals in the emergency management field.

Emergency Management Directors

Emergency management directors will see a six percent increase in employment through 2024. The median annual wage was $64,360 in May 2014, with the highest 10 percent of earners making more than $116,9001

Emergency Management Specialists

Emergency management specialists had a median annual wage at $56,928 as of January 2016, but have also been seen to go as high as $90,340 due to advanced specialized skills and credentials. Massachusetts is one of the highest paying states for this position, with emergency management specialists in MA earning an average wage of $75,570 per year2

Top-Paying Industries for this Occupation

Employees with specific emergency management skills and applicable education and training can be highly compensated. Some examples of the highest paying industries for emergency management professionals include:

Scientific Research and Development3 $100,150 annual mean wage

Petroleum/Coal Manufacturing3 $99,370 annual mean wage

Waste Treatment and Disposal3 $89,820 annual mean wage

Colleges and Universities3 $87,130 annual mean wage

Medical and Surgical Hospitals3 $81,210 annual mean wage

Emergency Management Qualifications

Although some smaller municipalities may consider applicants with only a high school diploma, most crisis management and disaster response agencies prefer candidates with extensive learning and/or experience in the field of emergency management. According to the American Job Center Network, 15 percent of emergency management directors in the United States have at least a master’s degree.4 Certain federal emergency management administration positions might also require a master’s degree or higher for promotions and/or paygrade advancements.

Learn More About the Career Outlook for Your Chosen Specialization

This master’s degree offers a variety of career-focused specializations that deliver nuanced skills that belong to a particular area of emphasis. You can explore career options with above-average salaries and growth rates for the different specializations by clicking on the below links.

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  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Emergency Management Directors, on the Internet at (visited April 01, 2014).