Emergency Preparedness Specialist

A career as an emergency preparedness specialist, or emergency management specialist, allows a person to use creative thinking and an attention to detail to create plans and procedures geared towards helping a population to save themselves from harm should an emergency occur. This public health career offers a high salary, room for growth, many career setting opportunities, and an unrivaled ability to help populations and improve the lives of other people.

Public health careers are flourishing in an age where many other careers are falling behind, and this creates an ideal environment for today’s aspiring professional. These careers offer medical training and experience to those who would prefer not to work in a strictly clinical setting, and those that work in these careers find that they provide a myriad of personal rewards.

What Is An Emergency Preparedness Specialist?

An emergency preparedness specialist is tasked with a very important job in terms of public health, as these are the professionals who come up with plans and protocols should a public health emergency occur. In the instance of a disaster, outbreak, or accident, a preparedness specialist considers all factors and crafts or develops emergency plans that help all individuals to get out of harm’s way safely, and these disaster response plans are very important to maintaining a positive level of public health.

On any given day, an emergency preparedness specialist in the public health field may be found:

  •   Working on various emergency plans that may involve natural disasters, disease outbreaks, accidents, or environmental hazards
  •   Training other emergency professionals as well as public health professionals in their roles of the emergency plan
  •   Researching new solutions or technology that may be available to improve an emergency or disaster plan
  •   Overseeing quality control within emergency preparedness drills
  •   Hosting emergency preparedness drills within a public health establishment or team to ensure that all employees and co-workers know and can follow the plan safely.
  •   Coordinating emergency personnel
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In instances of health or safety emergencies, it is always best to have a plan in place to minimize any potential risks, and it is the job of an emergency preparedness specialist to carefully craft these plans in order to maintain a healthy public. The plans created by these professionals will involve public health personnel workers, emergency responders, and members of a population, and they will consider all factors when developing plans for safety.

Education And Training

The typical educational requirement for an emergency preparedness specialist is a bachelor’s degree, however a professional may decide to pursue a number of different certifications in the field in order to gain an employment advantage. A bachelor’s degree emergency management or another related field is ideal, and this will involve the taking of a 4 year undergraduate course in order to complete a full-time program.

Certification in emergency preparedness management as well as the National Incident Management System is often preferred by employers hiring new emergency preparedness specialists, and these certifications may be earned through the completion of a program. Each certification program will last around 1 year on average, and upon the completion and passing of a final exam, a person can then become a certified specialist in emergency preparedness. While being certified is not always required, many employers will place a level of preference on certified individuals, which is why it is important for professionals in this field to always consider certification.

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Emergency preparedness specialists can be employed by the private, public, or government sectors and work in the field of public health, and the demand for qualified professionals in this field is expected to rise by around 22% by the year 2018. This steep rise in need allows for those looking to embark on this career to feel confident about their chances to find rewarding employment, as 2,800 new jobs are expected to open in this booming field.

The mean annual salary for an emergency preparedness specialist is around $56,900, however those holding advanced positions within a team, those working in certain settings, and those with years of experience may expect to make more. The top 10% of emergency preparedness specialists make around $90,340, allowing them a comfortable living working an important career with room for growth. 

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