Online Emergency Management Bachelor's Degree

Students who complete an accredited emergency management degree online can work in myriad exciting careers focused on helping others in their most vulnerable moments and protecting communities from catastrophes. Regardless of whether graduates plan to work as emergency management specialists, homeland security officers, or hospital emergency administrators, an online emergency management degree can help achieve career goals. This guide answers common questions about what this degree entails, with specific focus on skills and knowledge gained, common careers, and corresponding salaries.

What is Emergency Management?

According to the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, this field focuses on creating frameworks that help individuals and communities avoid risks and catastrophic events by putting into place systems and processes for dealing with emergency situations. Given the vast spectrum of possible emergencies, it stands to reason that many different roles exist for individuals who complete an accredited emergency management degree online. Some students may feel drawn to work in areas of natural disaster preparedness and relief, while others may decide to move towards positions focused on response and recovery operations. Government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency also employ graduates of online bachelor's in emergency management.

In addition to the core plan of study comprising all degree paths, some programs allow students to specialize their knowledge through a concentration or electives. Some of the options available include disaster preparedness, fire science, homeland security, and public safety leadership. After taking several classes as part of an emergency management degree online, consider which ones best apply to future career goals.

While an accredited online bachelor's degree in emergency management prepares graduates for many entry-level positions, individuals seeking managerial or senior positions may decide to complete a master's or doctoral degree. Some continue within the emergency management vein, while others may pick a related topic such as homeland security or public health.

What Can I Do with an Online Emergency Management Bachelor's Degree?

Online emergency management degrees allow graduates to seek out roles in various industries, ensuring the opportunity to serve individuals and communities alike at critical times. Regardless of your strengths and passions, the following sections can help you understand the skills and knowledge gained through a program and how those translate to specific careers after graduation.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Completing an online bachelor's degree in emergency management provides graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to adequately prepare communities for disaster and respond to emergencies. Because these professionals must think on their feet, coursework focuses heavily on how to use the available information to create plans for before, during, and after emergency situations.

Communication also plays a key role as emergency management professionals never work alone. Students must learn how to communicate with many types of people in different settings and find ways of cooperating in the midst of chaos. Learners also develop skills related to leadership and delegation, as it requires a strong and organized personality to offer diplomatic supervision in tense situations. Because the responsibilities of emergency management practitioners never end, students also learn how to effectively manage their time and prioritize tasks. In addition to gaining skills in the classroom, most programs require students to take part in an internship or practicum experience with a local organization.

Outside of core classes, online emergency management degrees frequently allow online students to take on additional learning through completing a concentration. While offerings vary by school, some common examples include fire science, child protection, homeland security, public safety, and disaster relief.

Careers and Salary Potential

An emergency management bachelor degree online translates to numerous career paths and fields of work, thanks to a diverse plan of study. Some individuals may know they want to work as part of a local government agency to educate communities about fire safety, while others create plans for emergency situations in a hospital setting. The following section provides a sense of available jobs for graduates of an online bachelor's in emergency management program.

  • Government: Hundreds of emergency management professionals serve as firefighters, emergency responders, preparedness coordinators, and paramedics for local, state, and federal governments.
  • Hospitals: Emergency management practitioners employed by hospitals often collaborate with other departments to create preparedness plans in case of emergency.
  • Colleges and Universities: In addition to teaching future emergency management professionals, individuals working at colleges and universities may also research methods for better preparedness, response, and recovery to emergency situations.
Emergency Management Directors

Annual Median Salary: $72,760

These individuals create response plans, develop training materials, organize teams, and ensure all members of their team understand protocol. They also work with stakeholders to receive buy in on their plans.

Emergency Response Coordinator

Annual Median Salary: $54,468

Rather than working directly in the field, these professionals help coordinate response teams. They function in a customer service arena, taking calls from clients and other stakeholders to find the information and resources they need.

Emergency Management Specialist

Annual Median Salary: $57,486

Typically working under emergency management directors, these specialists coordinate responses to emergencies, develop training materials, teach classes, and keep their teams updated on ongoing response and recovery by providing status reports.

Disaster Recovery Coordinator

Annual Median Salary: $75,245

Disaster recovery coordinators may work for a private company or government agency. Responsibilities revolve around testing and creating contingency plans, managing budgets, monitoring compliance with emergency management regulations, and implementing training plans.