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How to become a Disaster Management Officer

Disaster Management Officers are responsible for planning and preparing communities for disasters and emergencies. They generally work with councils and government bodies to develop and implement plans and strategies to deal with natural disasters, such as bushfires, floods, cyclones, or other large-scale emergencies.

If you are passionate about helping your community, want a role that can be varied, and are prepared to face tough situations, this role could be ideal for you.


About you:


  • Trustworthy and reliable
  • Great communicator
  • Fantastic team worker
  • Plenty of initiative
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Calm under pressure
  • Motivated and driven
  • Kind and empathetic


The job:


  • Creating disaster management plans, focusing on both precautions and response to disaster
  • Engaging with community to determine their needs
  • Overseeing the implementation of plans in a disaster
  • Liaising with government bodies and stakeholders
  • Advising on policy decisions and matters
  • Arranging public awareness activities
  • Creating educational activities for schools
  • Managing budgets and applying for funding


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Low – around 14% of Disaster Management Officers work part-time (source: gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Disaster Management Officers’ salary (median) $113,000* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Moderate (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Depending on where you work, there will be times of the year that are busier than others (during bushfire or cyclone season, for example).
  • You might need to deal with people in (or who have been in) stressful situations, so being calm and empathetic is a must.


Disaster Management Officers are most in demand in these locations:


Disaster Management Officers are generally employed by local councils, meaning they are needed all across the country. Disaster Management Officers typically work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.


How to become a Disaster Management Officer


You will usually need a minimum Diploma-level qualification to work as a Disaster Management Officer.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Get work experience or volunteer with your local council – this can be a great way to start opening doors to a future job.


Step 3 – Obtain a relevant qualification in disaster or emergency management, project management, or even business administration.


Step 4 – Start in support and administrative roles within disaster management.


Step 5 – With lots of experience, work your way up into leadership and management roles.


Find out more here –










Similar Careers to Disaster Management Officer


Project Manager

Admin Officer

Environmental Officer



Community Worker


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Disaster Management Officers do?


Disaster Management Officers create action plans to deal with disasters and emergencies within a community. They also help with the response to disasters, and develop plans to try to prevent large scale damage and loss in the future.


Which industries employ Disaster Management Officers?


Disaster Management Officers are mostly employed in the Public Administration and Safety industry.


What options are there for career progression?


You will usually start out working as part of a team in an administrative capacity, before moving up to lead and manage teams of people (or even whole council departments). You might even like to move up into higher levels of government.


Do I need to go to university to become a Disaster Management Officer?


Yes, you will usually need a formal qualification in order to apply for most roles. This can range from Diploma to postgraduate level, depending on the complexity of the role and your previous work experience.


Where do Disaster Management Officers work?


Disaster Management Officers generally work within local councils, or sometimes other government agencies. Some private companies may also employ Disaster Management Officers, though this usually in an advisory or educational capacity.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Disaster Management Officer?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Disaster Management Officer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Contact your local council and try and organise a work experience or volunteering placement. Get to know how your local council works and the kinds of jobs and career pathways available to you.
  2. Start getting to know your community and the area you live in. Engage with community members and start building on your public speaking skills and confidence.
  3. Talk to a Disaster Management Officer to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about the role.

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