Unfortunately, emergency situations, such as natural disasters, epidemics, floods, nuclear meltdowns, forest fires, industrial accidents and acts of terrorism, do occur from time to time.
Luckily, these devastating events are usually anticipated, and contingency plans are put in place to respond to these crises in an efficient and timely manner. Essentially, this is the role of an emergency planning/management officer.
These guys assess risk, implement safety plans, advise companies on business continuity measures, organise safety exercises, and train people who are likely to be part of emergency response operations. They also implement marketing campaigns to make sure that people are aware of the possible dangers and are ready for any eventuality.
In the event of crisis, emergency planning/management officers lead the response: coordinating emergency services, liaising with the army, managing support staff, organising emergency aid where necessary, and project managing recovery operations.
Finally, emergency planning/management officers are responsible for conducting research and developing policies in accordance with alterations in government legislation.
Salary & benefits
Emergency planning/management officers typically earn between £25,000 and £35,000 per annum. Some senior professionals in this area, however, can earn up to £72,000 and beyond.
Understandably, this is not your average nine-to-five office job. You may be required to work evenings and weekends on a frequent basis. Indeed, many emergency planning/management officers are often required to be ‘on-call’ during unsociable hours.
Travelling, both domestically and internationally, is a regular fixture for emergency planning/management officers.
The nature of the job means you may find yourself working in dangerous situations from time to time.
To enter this line of work, you will need an undergraduate degree in disaster management, emergency planning, natural hazard management, or another similar subject. A handful of universities offer courses in this niche area. Check out our Courses section for more details.
If you don’t have an applicable undergraduate degree, it would be advisable to complete a relevant postgraduate qualification.
Training & progression
The majority of your training will be done whilst on the job under the supervision of a senior emergency planning/management officer. You will also have the opportunity to attend in-house training sessions from time to time.
You may occasionally be required to attend training courses run by external organisations, such as the Emergency Planning Society, to keep up-to-date with the latest changes in emergency planning legislation.
Eventually, you may progress into a senior management position with added team leading responsibilities.
Alternatively, you might decide to move into a different area of work, such as risk management, international aid and development, environmental consultancy, or health and safety inspection.
You may even decide to move overseas in search of new challenges.
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