How to Become a 911 Dispatcher

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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher. We are all taught at a very early age to dial 911 in the event of an emergency. Most probably don't think about the dispatcher who answers the call. It takes someone who has a desire to help people, works well under stressful situations and doesn't mind working crazy shifts and all days of the week. If this sounds like it's for you, here's how to become a 911 dispatcher.

Earn a high school diploma or its equivalent, be at least 18 years of age and be a citizen of the United States. A background in customer service, law enforcement, medical services, safety and rescue positions or security is helpful.

Learn to type. 911 dispatchers must often get down as much information as possible in a very short period of time. Knowing how to type quickly and accurately is a vital component of being a 911 dispatcher.

Apply at 911 dispatch centers or local police departments who offer 911 services. Include an application, a completed self-assessment questionnaire and a resume. Bring a typing certificate with you on the day of your interview.

Pass a complete background check, including a criminal background check, personality profile, a polygraph test, a physical examination with drug test results and a psychological profile. In some cases, the organization also administers a voice stress test. Also, you must pass a panel interview.

Attend training sessions once hired. This is typically 6 months of training where you will learn procedures followed by the various agencies who respond to 911 calls: police departments, medical emergency personnel and fire departments.

Obtain CPR certification. You also must attend continuing education courses in this field once you become a 911 dispatcher.


Take typing or transcription courses to sharpen this skill. You need to pass a minimum requirement on the typing test to become a 911 dispatcher.

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