Those people who thrive in crisis situations and love a big challenge would do well to consider a career in Emergency Management. These programs are also known as Crisis Management programs and teach students how to collaborate with other emergency personnel, communities and organizations to design and manage procedures to respond to emergency and disaster conditions. Online degrees are available at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels and prepare students to deal with both man-made and natural disasters. Risk assessment, mitigation and recovery are also taught in these programs.
Emergency Management Bachelor’s Degree
Students seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management can choose a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. Some schools offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Crisis and Disaster Management where students learn about disaster prevention, public safety, emergency preparedness, counter-terrorism, disaster response and recovery. Students receive training in harsh environmental and infrastructural conditions to simulate real disasters and prepare them for field work. Risks and vulnerabilities are analyzed and resource distribution along with health services are assessed to help disaster victims. Students also learn about prior world disasters and how they were managed.
Characteristics developed by students include leadership, communication and critical thinking. They learn crisis management in chemical, biological, technological and other disasters and how to work with various emergency personnel. These programs often collaborate with such agencies as:
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Homeland Security
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Students in online programs often have opportunities to have internships with local, state and federal agencies to gain crucial work experience. A high school diploma or GED is required for admission.
Emergency Management Bachelor’s Degree Course Topics
Students enroll in business, economics, psychology and political science courses in addition to a core curriculum. Accounting, management and statistics courses may also be required. Some common topics discussed in the core curriculum are:
- Weapons of mass destruction
- Disaster management technology
- Community disaster recovery
Students need a computer with internet access and e-mail to complete assignments and interact with professors and fellow students.
Emergency Management Bachelor’s Degree Careers
Some popular careers for graduates include:
- Public safety officer
- Emergency planner
- Hazardous materials manager
Emergency Management Master’s Degree
A Master of Science in Emergency Management provides advanced training for those already employed in this field as well as those without previous experience. The degree can be earned in two years of full-time study with students and teachers interacting through message boards and e-mail. Individual and group projects can be assigned and while there is much flexibility in online studies all assignments do have specific deadlines. Students are expected to have a computer with high-speed internet and the latest web browser in addition to any specific software required for the courses.
Emergency Management Master’s Degree Courses
Courses in this program focus on policies, legal issues and the three “r’s” of rules, regulations and recovery. A practicum, thesis or project is required before graduation. Some courses students take include:
- Principles of Emergency Management
- Sociology of Disaster
- Emergency Preparedness
These focus on planning and preparation, disaster research and ways to deal with hazardous materials such as nuclear and radiological waste.
Emergency Management Master’s Degree Careers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports much faster than average job growth for emergency management specialists through 2018. Annual salaries average almost $57,000 but vary depending upon industries. Oil and gas emergency specialists average $100,000 annually while emergency and disaster specialists in community relief services earn $45,000 per year.