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Emergency Management
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Emergency Management and Disaster Relief

  • Disaster mitigation planning
  • Procedure/Policy development
  • Emergency preparation
  • Preparedness training
  • Response
  • Mitigation and recovery


  • Crisis management
  • Evaluation/Assessment
  • Emergency field coordination
  • Inspection
  • Building and facility inspection


  • Fundraising/Grant writing
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Homeland security
  • Consultation
  • Teaching



  • Local and state government:
    • Law enforcement
  • Federal government:
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • Military
    • Peace Corps

  • Healthcare organizations:
    • Hospitals
  • Public health organizations
  • Port authorities and airports
  • Community relief organizations:
    • American Red Cross
    • International Red Cross
    • CARE

  • Educational institutions:
    • Universities and colleges
  • International organizations:
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • World Bank
    • Private businesses


  • There is not one clear path for working in emergency management. A wide variety of programs exist, including undergraduate and graduate degree options. It is important to research programs fully to find the best fit.
  • Typically, a bachelors degree is required to secure an entry-level position. Consider majors in public administration, environmental science, political science, sociology, and business if not enrolled in an emergency management program.
  • Certificate programs are also available to students who seek a shorter program focused on career development or knowledge of a specific discipline. Many certificate programs are available online to specialize in bioterrorism preparedness, disaster preparedness, or homeland security.
  • The field of emergency management and disaster relief overlap with varied career areas such as law enforcement, nursing, and social work. Consider related occupations and explore all your options.
  • Emergency management is a competitive field and related work experience is essential. Consider obtaining EMT training and certification or work in a healthcare related field.
  • Volunteer with your local emergency management or disaster relief organization. Seek training with your local American Red Cross (ARC) chapter.
  • Gain experience through internships.
  • Develop strong communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Learn to handle stress.
  • Keep up to date with current issues of concern for emergency management professionals.
  • Join a professional association such as the National Emergency Management Association or the International Association of Emergency Managers.
  • Be proactive when job searching. Emergency management positions can be difficult to find and are not always called emergency management.
  • Many employers, especially in the public sector, require certification in the National Incident Management System. Courses to get certified can be taken online.
  • Learn about government application processes. Contact your campus career center for assistance.
  • Emergency management can be good preparation for graduate study in public administration, international affairs, management, and homeland security.