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Careers in Emergency Management

Emergency Management Career Paths

A career in emergency management is both rewarding and competitive. We have compiled a list of common emergency management career paths for your consideration. You will find information about the scope of work for each human rights career, the required qualifications and the average salary of each job profile. Additionally, we have added free online courses to each career path for you to dig deeper into a subject, explore your interests and get inspired. If you have finished reading on this page, consider exploring emergency management scholarships, paid internships, and our magazine.

 

Emergency Manager Positions

Description: Emergency Managers are the lead person of a team whose responsibility is to prepare, prevent, respond and recover from disasters and other emergencies. The Emergency Manager in many organizations is responsible for the implementation of the disaster services program, leads and manages a team, participates with other managers to keep the Disaster Management Cycle moving forward, and engage the local community for preparation, response and recovery management as well as management of government partnerships with assigned territory. They often need to liaison with other staff in the organization such as logistics coordinators, communications officers, human resources and more. Please keep in mind, if an organization is large enough (or based on an insecure location) they break down the different steps in the disaster cycle into their position (emergency preparedness, emergency responder, emergency recovery).

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in a related field such as disaster management, emergency response, national security, public health and others that relate is required. There is an increasing trend to hold a master’s degree. Experience in similar fields is a must, meaning they are looking for a person that performs well under pressure and can demonstrate this during the interview. They need to have strong; management and leadership skills, communication skills, organization skills, and prioritizing skills. Generally speaking, Emergency Managers need to be good with engaging a community as most of the job is in the preparing and preventing stages in which the community must be engaged for these steps to work properly.

Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an Emergency Manager position is $71,778. Salaries listed range from $54,000 to $118,000.

  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses:
  • FEMA Independent Study Online Courses
  • Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change
  • Management & Leadership
  • Program & Project Management
  • Volunteer Capacity Building and Engagement

 

Security Manager Positions

  • Description: A security manager is a person that is responsible for ensuring the company is doing its due diligence for the employees to keep them safe and secure while working for the organization. The main responsibilities for a security manager are; to keep employees compliant with safety and security protocol, monitor threats the organization is exposed to and identify ways to mitigate or decrease the likelihood of that threat occurring, liaising with needed persons to keep the flow of information moving and advise the director of the program on security-related matters. A security manager position is one of the most common, however, there can be security analysts (focused on monitoring threats), security associates/officers (focused on supporting the security manager) and security directors (focuses on the organization and long-term goals while having several security managers to supervise).
  • Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in security management, depending on the level of the position, most security managers need 3-5 years of experience in security management, emergency management or humanitarian aid. An Individual seeking for this field must have a strong understanding of the security framework and implementation of security management. Additional skills required are; attention to detail, proactive management style, organization, communication and you must perform well under pressure.
  • Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Security Manager position is $88,881. Salaries listed range from $52,000 to $132,000.
  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses: Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Safety and security
  • Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change
  • Management & Leadership
  • Program & Project Management

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency—FEMA (and similar) Positions

  • Description: FEMA is the emergency management agency of the US government; each country will have a similar functioning agency within their respective governments. Overall FEMA is the coordinating force during a domestic natural disaster with a mission to protect citizens before, during and after a disaster. As a team member of FEMA, you would be acting on behalf of the US government liaising with local, regional and national emergency responders to coordinate quick and effective efforts. Within each government’s respective agency, the jobs are diverse and range from first responding positions to headquarter positions to communications, human resources and more. It is encouraged to refer to your government’s agency for more details and types of jobs.
  • Qualifications: Unlike some job posts, for FEMA and alike agencies minimum requires are exactly that, minimum requires not guidelines of what you should have. You must meet all the requirements and then some. This could be for;
  • Level of education;
  • work experience in a similar field;
  • Proven ability/experience to work under pressure;
  • English requirements;
  • Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for FEMA (entry to mid-level position) is $77,855. Salaries listed range from $70,000 to $85,000.
  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses:
  • FEMA Independent Study Online Courses
  • Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change
  • Management & Leadership
  • Program & Project Management
  • Volunteer Capacity Building and Engagement

 

Information management Positions

  • Description: Supports the emergency response team with rapid information that has been analyzed and vetted for accuracy and reliability. The information that is needed can vary depending on what is needed. You could be providing information on the disaster itself, actors present in the location, or history of similar situations. You will also promote the qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and interpretation to present the information in a thorough and timely manner.
  • Qualifications: The majority of information management positions require an advanced degree. Analytical thinker with strong skills in data collection and analytics. Keen interests for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and inter-agency coordination are a plus for many positions.
  • Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an information management position (midlevel) is $65,176. Salaries listed range from $41,000 to $84,000.
  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses:
  • Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Management & Leadership
  • Information technology & telecommunications
  • Communication
  • Monitoring & evaluation

 

Field-based positions

  • Description: Field-based positions refer to longer-term positions that are based on the location of the emergency/crisis. Most positions are 12-36 months at a time with the possibility of extension. Within the field-based positions, you have different sectors; Food Security, non-food items, mental health, medical, education, livelihoods, logistics, safety and security, agriculture, and many more. Some organizations will also have operation positions in the field if the field office is large enough such as communication, human resources, operations, accounting/finance. Depending on the sector, the field position can differ, however, the overarching themes of the positions are; program management, monitoring and evaluation, people management, and knowledge of your sector.
  • Qualifications: You will need a bachelor’s degree related to your sector of choose (for medical that could be a public health degree or a registered nurse). It is ideal to have 2-3 years of experience in related fields or headquarter positions to apply for program manager positions. The ability to demonstrate working under pressure is very important in these positions as this will be your constant work environment. Knowledge of the culture/location the position is in along with languages is a bonus.
  • Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a field-based position (program manager) is $2,000 per month. Salaries listed range from $2,000 to $4,000. Please note the majority of field positions cover all accommodation, food, and transportation.
  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses:
  • FEMA Independent Study Online Courses
  • Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Management & Leadership
  • Personnel Security
  • Sector-specific topics (food security)
  • Monitoring & evaluation

 

 

Roster Positions

  • Description: Similar to field-based positions roster positions can be diverse and depend on the sector of work you are in. The main differences between the two are that roster positions are typically shorter, require a higher level of experience and once you are placed on that particular roster you do not have to apply for any future positions. Meaning you are always listed as a candidate and when your skillset and experience match with a position needed, the organization contacts you with an offer. Regardless if you accept or decline your name stays on the roster for future offers. This is ideal for people who do consult work. The overarching themes for field-based positions also apply for roster positions.
  • Qualifications: You will need a master’s degree related to your sector of choose (for education that could be a degree in education). It is ideal to have 5-8 years of experience in related fields or headquarter positions. The ability to demonstrate working under pressure is very important in these positions as that will be your constant work environment. Knowledge of the culture/location the position is in along with languages is a bonus.
  • Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a roster position is $3,500 per month. Salaries listed range from $3,000 to $6,000. Please note the majority of field positions cover all accommodation, food, and transportation.
  • Related articles:
  • Recommended courses:
  • FEMA Independent Study Online Courses
  • Disasterready.org has online courses stretching across various fields and topics. Many are pulled from UNHCR, Save The Children, The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and more.
  • Management & Leadership
  • Personnel Security
  • Sector-specific topics (food security)
  • Monitoring & evaluation

 

 

Organizations information was pulled from

Danish Refugee Council

FEMA

Norwegian Refugee Council

International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

AmeriCares

Medair

USAID

DIFID

Reliefweb

UN and UN agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, etc)

IOM

 

Additional fee-based courses

RedR training

HEAT Training

Reliefweb training

InterAction

About Global Peace Careers

Global Peace Careers is a website dedicated to career related information in the sectors humanitarian aid and action, international development, peace and conflict studies, negotiation, conflict resolution, diplomacy and international law. On our website we collect and distribute information about entry level jobs, paid internships, affordable master degrees, free online courses and other opportunities.

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