How to Become a 911 Operator

In the event of an emergency, there are a number of people working in your community to ensure that you receive the help you need. The first such person you may come in contact with, during an emergency, is a 911 operator. Being a 911 operator is a profession that is both financially and morally rewarding. Read the steps below and learn about how you can become a 911 operator.

  • Contact your local dispatch center and inquire about job openings. This number can be found through the local police station or sheriff's office. Never dial 911 to inquire about job openings [source: Moore].
  • Ask to speak to a dispatch supervisor or senior dispatcher. Find out if they're hiring, and if not, when the next recruitment period will begin. Find out what the requirements are to become a 911 operator, and if there are any classes that will better prepare you for the job. Finally, you might want to ask if it's possible for you to come and watch an operator at work.
  • Apply to be a 911 operator. Fill in and submit any necessary application forms and information.
  • Undergo aptitude testing. Different areas have different requirements and tests to evaluate your qualifications. The tests may check your typing skills, medical background, psychological stability, work habits or the ability to handle stress [source: Jobs in 911].
  • Attend training. If you pass all the necessary aptitude tests, you will be invited to begin training to be a 911 operator. 911 dispatch centers have their own training protocol. Complete all the training requirements and you'll be qualified to work as a 911 operator.

Remember, the hiring process for operators is a long one. It can take over a year from making the first phone call to sitting in front of the dispatch board [source: Jobs in 911]. Perseverance and patience will prove invaluable traits in your attempt to become a 911 operator.