911 Operator Job Description Example, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | November 23, 2023
911 Operator Job Description
911 Operators help in ensuring emergency cases are attended to promptly by the police.

This post provides detailed information on the 911 operator job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to perform to be hired for the 911 operator role.

What Does a 911 Operator Do?

911 operators are public safety telecommunicators who work at emergency response centers to relay reports of public distress to appropriate law enforcement agency.

The 911 operator job description involves operating radios and taking phone calls to gather and forward information of ongoing crime, disturbances, or other emergency to the police.

911 operators otherwise known as 911 dispatchers play a vital role in sending patrol officers to locations where their services are required.

They receive and listen to stress calls to obtain information useful in facilitating police intervention.

They also keep calm and maintain a professional front when interacting with callers irrespective of the severity of a situation.

911 operators as part of their duties monitor and record the location of on-duty police officers to allow for easy and effective dispatch.

They utilize and operate computer-aided dispatch programs to assign case numbers and keep track of calls.

They also evaluate crisis situations to determine number of police ambulance or fire units required.

Usually, 911 operators request callers to provide their name, address and details of a situation.

They input and retrieve information from teletype networks regarding wanted persons, stolen property, and stolen vehicles.

They also monitor alarm registers and scan maps to determine if an emergency unit is available for dispatch.

In fulfilling their work description, 911 operators maintain accurate record of emergency call information.

They conduct customer assessment to identify customer satisfaction level and determine the need for improvement in quality standards.

They also maintain an up-to-date knowledge of broadcasting, transmission, and operation of telecommunication systems.

In performing their duties, 911 operators carry out studies to update their knowledge of relevant language and its structure.

They utilize administrative and clerical systems to process and manage files/records.

They also conduct research to stay abreast with new legislations, legal codes, and law.

911 operators are responsible for prioritizing multiple incoming calls to ensure more severe cases are handled promptly.

The 911 operator job requires at least a high school diploma and relevant certifications to access.

The major qualities you need to succeed on the job include communication, decision-making, and IT skills.

911 Operator Job Description Example/Template

911 operators perform various functions to enhance public safety.

The job description example below shows the major tasks, duties, and responsibilities usually assigned to individuals who work in this position:

  • Advise callers on how to handle an emergency situation while waiting for the police to arrive
  • Simultaneously handle multiple communication channels such as radio, telephone, and online messaging
  • Maintain a calm disposition while proffering safety recommendations to terrified callers
  • Utilize administrative tools such as word processors to prepare a variety of case records
  • Collaborate with supervisors, subordinates, co-workers, and appropriate emergency services to address the needs of callers
  • Monitor alarm systems to respond to calls pertaining to theft, intrusion or armed robbery
  • Employ their logical skills in evaluating alternative solutions to determine most suitable approach to a problem
  • Interact with callers to obtain relevant information regarding their location, identity and emergency situation
  • Maintain accurate record of emergency calls, messages and dispatch details
  • Utilize computer database and network to input and retrieve information regarding stolen vehicles, wanted or missing persons
  • Monitor the location and availability of patrol units so as to dispatch appropriate teams during emergency
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of radio transmission, broadcasting, control and operation of telecommunication systems
  • Read and interpret maps so as to provide callers with clear directions
  • Maintain knowledge of the structure and grammatical content of appropriate language.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for 911 Operator Job

To find qualified candidates with the right skills and qualities for the 911 operator job, the following are common requirements applicants are expected to satisfy:

  • Education and Training: To become a 911 operator, you require a high school diploma and certification from a professional association. Some states require 911 operators to pass emergency medical response tests. Having a college degree in crisis intervention, stress management or radio broadcasting is also relevant for the 911 operator position
  • Communication Skills: 911 operators are skilled in clearly communicating the location and details of an emergency situation to police officers
  • Decision Making Skill: They are adept at proffering effective recommendations to distressed callers to ensure their safety while waiting for the arrival of the cavalry
  • IT Skills: They are proficient in handling a range of equipment and systems among which include computers, transmitters, and receivers
  • Pre-employment tests: This position usually requires candidates to take a test to be hired. Find out the assessment tests you will need to take and how to pass them easily.


This post provides a sample 911 operator job description that can serve as a template in making one for hiring for the position and assigning responsibilities to newly hired operators.

Job seekers interested in this position will also find this post helpful in learning about what 911 operators do, and so be able to make informed decision on getting into the career.