How to become an Emergency Services Operator

Emergency Services Operators are the people responsible for answering calls made to Triple Zero (000). They need to direct people in an emergency to the services they need, and make decisions about dispatching personnel and resources to the scene of an emergency or crime.

If you can keep cool under pressure, are empathetic and understanding, and want a dynamic job that’s different each day, this could be the perfect role for you.


About you:


  • Level-headed
  • Excellent communicator
  • Calm and well spoken
  • Mentally resilient
  • Can work long hours
  • Multitasking pro
  • Great coordinator
  • Decisive and quick-thinking


The job:


  • Answering calls to Triple Zero
  • Listening to callers and determining an appropriate course of action
  • Keeping callers calm in a stressful situation
  • Taking important details from callers and entering them into the system
  • Giving directions for first aid or personal safety
  • Dispatching emergency services workers to a scene
  • Staying on the line with a caller until the situation is resolved
  • Keeping thorough records of calls and events


Lifestyle Impact: High


  • Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 44% of Emergency Services Operators work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is average (source:
  • Emergency Service Operators’ salary (median) $65,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Stable (source:
  • Emergency services are always operating, so you will need to be available to work at any time, including late nights, early mornings, and holidays.
  • Expect shift work with long hours (up to 12 hours per shift).
  • You will be dealing with stressful and confronting situations while needing to remain calm, so a high level of resilience is necessary.


Emergency Services Operators are most in demand in these locations:


Most large Emergency Communications Centres are located in capital cities and larger urban areas, but there are also smaller centres across the country. Emergency Services Operators typically work in the Public Administration and Safety, and Health Care and Social Assistance industries.


How to become an Emergency Services Operator


You generally don’t need to have any qualifications to start working, but you will receive training while on the job.


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


Step 2 – Find a role or centre to apply to and submit an application.


Step 3 – Undergo role suitability testing, which can include interviews, police checks, and psychometric testing.


Step 4 – Start with your on-the-job training, which usually involves VET qualifications.


Step 5 – With lots of experience and knowledge, consider roles in leadership and management.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Emergency Services Operator



Admin Officer


Call Centre Operator

Police Officer

Community Liaison

Station Manager


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Emergency Services Operators do?


Emergency Services Operators are responsible for answering calls made to Triple Zero, then subsequently gathering information and dispatching resources as necessary.


Which industries employ Emergency Services Operators?


Emergency Services Operators are mostly employed in the Public Administration and Safety, and Health Care and Social Assistance industries.


What options are there for career progression?


You will start out as a trainee in a communications centre, before gaining qualifications and experience. You can then look into further training in leadership and management roles, or move into other roles in emergency services.


Do I need to go to university to become an Emergency Services Operator?


No, but there are other qualifications you’ll need to obtain.


Where do Emergency Services Operators work?


You will be working indoors in a communications centre, spending most of your time at a desk and on the phone.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become an Emergency Services Operator?


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

  1. Start building on vital communication skills, practice fast typing and multitasking, and make sure you will be able to handle the pressure of the job before you commit.
  2. Find work experience or volunteer opportunities with your local emergency services – this will help you see if you can handle the pressure of the job and whether it’s a fit for you, as well as make important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to an Emergency Services Operator to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries, or even shows such as the TV series Ambulance Australia.

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