Most ambulance dispatchers have a high school diploma or GED. Additional requirements vary. Many jurisdictions require dispatchers to become certified. However, some employers may not specify any educational requirements. Others prefer to hire dispatchers who have a related two- or four-year degree in a subject such as criminal justice, computer science, or communications.

Most ambulance dispatcher jobs require an applicant to complete an interview as well as to pass a written exam and a typing test. In addition, applicants may need to pass a background check, lie detector and/or drug tests, as well as tests for hearing and vision.

Training is usually conducted in both a classroom setting and on the job, and is often followed by a probationary period of about one year. However, this may vary by agency, as there is no national standard of how training is conducted or the length of probation.

Training covers a wide variety of topics, such as local geography, agency protocols, and standard procedures. Ambulance dispatchers are also taught how to use specialized equipment, such as two-way radio and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software. They receive training to prepare for specific types of incidents, such as a child abduction or a suicidal caller. Some dispatchers receive emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) training, which enables them to give medical assistance over the phone.

Ambulance dispatchers can become senior dispatchers or supervisors before going on to administrative positions, in which they may focus on a specific area, such as training or policy and procedures. Additional education and related work experience may be helpful in advancing to management level positions. Technology skills also may be helpful in becoming a supervisor.

What are Ambulance Dispatchers like?


Based on our pool of users, ambulance dispatchers tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Ambulance Dispatchers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 350 Sokanu users

Are Ambulance Dispatchers happy?


Ambulance dispatchers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 26th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Ambulance Dispatcher Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Ambulance Dispatchers

The most common degree held by ambulance dispatchers is Criminal Justice. 6% of ambulance dispatchers had a degree in criminal justice before becoming ambulance dispatchers. That is over 5 times the average across all careers. Psychology graduates are the second most common among ambulance dispatchers, representing 3% of ambulance dispatchers in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.4 times the average.

Ambulance Dispatcher Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Ambulance Dispatcher, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of ambulance dispatchers % of population Multiple
Criminal Justice 6.3% 1.4% 4.6×
Psychology 2.8% 6.8% 0.4×
Criminology 2.0% 0.4% 4.7×
Liberal Arts 1.7% 1.9% 0.9×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 1.7% 1.6% 1.1×
Sociology 1.7% 2.1% 0.8×
Biology 1.4% 3.5% 0.4×
Political Science 1.4% 2.9% 0.5×
Communications 1.1% 3.3% 0.3×
Computer Science 1.1% 2.8% 0.4×
English Literature 1.1% 4.9% 0.2×
Anthropology And Archeology 1.1% 1.2% 0.9×
Public Administration 1.1% 0.4% 2.6×

Ambulance Dispatcher Education Levels

75% of ambulance dispatchers have a high school diploma. 25% of ambulance dispatchers have an associate's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 75%
Associate's degree 25%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become an Ambulance Dispatcher

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