What is an emergency management degree? The 4 Stages

So, what is an emergency management degree? Many people all over the country and the world need people who know how to respond to and recover from both artificial and natural disasters. Professionals in this field are very good at figuring out and avoiding risks, especially those that could impact people and the environment.

An emergency management degree opens up a wide range of jobs in fast-growing fields. Emergency management professionals can work in government and state jobs and hospitals, research centers, and colleges and universities. They can work for nonprofit groups, private businesses, community groups, and many other things. Emergency management jobs are also a good choice for people who want to make a difference because many pay well.

A career in emergency management might be right for you. This guide will help you learn about job paths, degree types, and the skills you’ll learn while getting an emergency management degree.

Should I have a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management?

Most experts agree that climate change will result in longer and more severe droughts and increased storm and flooding intensity. As a result of these changes, natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more deadly, necessitating the need for people who can respond to them. O*NET Online lists emergency management directors as a high-growth vocation with a promising future.

A bachelor’s degree in emergency management involves four years of full-time study and requires 120-127 credits.

A bachelor’s degree in emergency management involves four years of full-time study and requires 120-127 credits. Accelerated online programs are an option for students who want to graduate sooner.

Many professions in emergency management necessitate experience for new graduates. Volunteering and internships are two ways for students to get experience while still in school. Earning certification as a certified emergency manager or associate emergency manager after gaining some work experience may also lead to greater job chances and professional progression.

Read Also: What Can I Do With A Business Management Degree?

The Four Stages of Emergency Management


Mitigation, or risk analysis and hazard identification, is the first stage in emergency management. The fundamental idea is to plan to reduce the impact of a disaster on human lives, money, and environmental resources. This preliminary assessment is frequently based on a localized, long-term knowledge of one’s locality. Leaders make judgments that have the best chance of generating a favorable outcome during this period.


During this stage, emergency management professionals prepare to cope with the previously recognized hazards but cannot effectively prevent or limit them.

Preparedness aids communities in preparing for negative consequences following a disaster or emergency. This stage of the process entails formulating emergency operations plans, public education, responder training, and agency and organization collaboration, among other things.


Only when a negative occurrence occurs does the response stage begin. In these situations, emergency management teams provide direct assistance to the agencies that require it, including the activation of emergency services and first responders. Emergency managers also provide crucial information to the public and keep elected authorities informed. They may also be in charge of setting up and running emergency shelters.


During the recovery stage, emergency management specialists assist in coordinating operations and do all possible to restore normalcy. Emergency management specialists focus on the significant but secondary concerns during this stage, as the immediate demands have been met during the reaction stage. This involves attempts to reconstruct devastated property, assist civilians in returning to work, and make infrastructure changes or repairs.

With an emergency management degree, where can you work?

With a degree in emergency management, you can work in jobs that help your fellow residents on a local, state, and national level. Some of the most common industries where emergency management specialists and qualified professionals in related fields might find work.

Local & State Governments

Local and state emergency management and planning are among the most important aspects of public safety operations. Professionals in these jobs are frequently required to combine governmental and private sector resources. Those with formal disaster management degrees and similar training can most effectively leverage the skills and resources available at the local and state levels. They also have the expertise to guarantee that local and state governments use their resources responsibly, particularly during disasters and crisis circumstances.


There are dozens of significant occupations in healthcare for emergency management degree holders, from emergency dispatchers and hospital emergency preparation administrators to emergency management specialists and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Various careers focus on preparedness, logistics, prevention, healthcare worker assistance, and more, even if students do not have specific training in the medical sector. Those with emergency management experience can assist healthcare services in running more effectively and ensuring that both patients and healthcare personnel receive what they require during times of crisis and tragedy.


Professionals with emergency management expertise can also work as trainers and teachers in educational settings. Furthermore, if you gain management or administrative position, one of your responsibilities will likely guarantee that a team of responders is up to speed on the most recent emergency management methods. Instructor positions at universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations, and government roles to deliver public education courses relevant to disaster preparedness are available to those with a strong interest in education and teaching.

Science & Technology

Students with training in emergency management and similar subjects can commonly find positions in the science and technology industry due to the increased use of technology in security and public safety activities in the United States. You might be able to find work in research and design jobs with organizations that produce disaster response equipment or technology, depending on your training and work experience. Technology-savvy workers are also needed by the US government, nonprofit groups, and other emergency responders to develop online training tools, upgrade security and disaster warning systems, and enhance communication tools for response and recovery teams.

Law & Policy

Emergency management professionals must typically follow local, state, and federal rules and regulations when planning for and responding to catastrophes and disasters. Emergency management professionals with a legal background may be able to help improve associated laws and policies so that response teams, elected authorities, and organizations can better serve the public and provide better protection. When it comes to catastrophic incidents, there are typically various legal issues to contend with, and emergency management professionals can tremendously benefit themselves and their employers by understanding the laws and policies that govern crisis response activities.

Administrative Support, Management, Human Resources

Professionals in emergency management can operate as management or administrative assistants, interacting directly with employees and coworkers. Workers in this field deliver staff services, arrange training programs, develop operational procedures, generate budgets, and other administrative duties. Those who work in human resources may be required to deploy to disaster sites, be on call for consultations, or physically report to an office to meet with employees or members of an organization. Professionals in this field who have received emergency management training must also be proactive, organized, and have outstanding people skills to perform in either supportive or managerial roles.


Several military divisions need emergency management professionals who are enlisted, active-duty personnel. You may assist the military in preparing for catastrophes and emergencies by designing thorough evacuation plans and warning systems tailored to military personnel in these positions. You’ll work directly with commanding military leaders to organize rapid response during catastrophe operations, enact wartime and contingency plans, and help enforce procedures that manage diverse assets, such as weapons systems, in the military. To operate in this field, you’ll likely need basic military training and specialized instruction in survival skills, military life and customs, and weaponry.

Where Can you enroll in Emergency Management Degree?

Students can enroll in emergency management programs, from certificates to bachelor’s degrees to master’s and doctoral degrees. These degrees may also include specializations in disaster assistance, fire science, child protection, homeland security, and public safety. Depending on the degree level, students can frequently pursue these programs at two-year and four-year colleges. Remember that degree programs without the term “emergency management” in their titles can include extensive emergency management instruction, so look into your alternatives carefully.


A degree in emergency management can prepare you for various professions where you oversee the preparedness for and response to national crises and global disasters, depending on your interests and professional goals. On the other hand, workers in emergency management have a good awareness of public policy, public safety, and communications, allowing them to pursue a wide range of public service careers. Emergency management directors, public health and safety directors, and consultants with diverse expertise are common professions for professionals with this training.

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