Career Designations in Emergency Management
Emergency management is a profession with a diverse skill set. The variety of positions in the field and their functions vary according to whether they are in the public or private sector, what level of government they work for, and where they are located geographically. Once completing these programs successfully, list the designation on your resume and LinkedIn profile for hiring managers and recruiters to notice your level of expertise.
The following list outlines some of the most common career designations in emergency management so that you can gain a better understanding of how to prepare yourself for your future career.
Accredited Emergency Manager (AEM)
Accredited Emergency Manager (AEM) is a professional designation that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required to manage an emergency management program. AEM certification is based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) standards.
Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
The Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification is the most widely recognized certification for emergency managers. It represents a combination of education, experience and professional training that has been determined by a broad-based panel of experts to be necessary to perform the job effectively.
The CEM designation can be earned by meeting specific prerequisites, including an accredited degree in emergency management or related discipline, such as business administration or public health; at least five years of full-time experience managing all phases of an incident regardless of size; participation in at least 10 hours of continuing education annually; and passing one comprehensive exam covering all key areas of emergency management practice.
Certified Emergency Disaster Professional (CEDP)
The Certified Emergency Disaster Professional (CEDP) designation is an advanced professional credential designed for those who have been working in the emergency management field for a minimum of five years. CEDPs are eligible to hold a position in which they are primarily responsible for planning, implementing, managing and evaluating emergency management programs on a day-to-day basis as well as providing direction on issues regarding policy development, legislation and regulations affecting the profession. They can also assist in creating or reviewing policies, procedures and plans related to emergency management at all levels of government.
The requirements for earning this credential include possessing either an associate’s degree or 60 semester units from an accredited college/university; submitting verification documentation indicating completion of coursework related to disaster studies; passing two exams that assess knowledge of principles associated with managing disasters; completing continuing education credits every three years after receiving initial certification
Certified Emergency Management Specialist (CEMS)
If you are interested in pursuing the Certified Emergency Management Specialist (CEMS) certification, you can do so by submitting an application and paying a fee. There are three options for obtaining CEMS certification:
- A single-option, three-year certification that allows individuals to work in any type of emergency management position
- A two-option, three-year certification that allows individuals or organizations to choose between working as an emergency manager or as an instructor who provides education on emergency management topics
- A one-option, five year certification for instructors who provide education on emergency management topics
Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP)
The Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP) certification is not required to be an emergency manager, but it does help enhance your career by providing a formal recognition of your knowledge and skills. This certification requires you to pass a test that tests for your knowledge in the following areas:
- Disaster preparedness and response
- Terrorism prevention and response
- Crisis communications planning and management
- Emergency medical services planning
Certified Public Safety Executive (CPE)
The Certified Public Safety Executive (CPE) program is a designation awarded by the APCO International. This program was designed to develop public safety leaders who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience through the application of a body of knowledge, skills and abilities. It can be completed in a two 12 week online courses and one 10 day capstone course.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), also known as a Community Emergency Response Team, is an organization that helps prepare communities for disasters. The CERT program provides training in disaster preparedness and response and verifies the skills of those who complete the training.
Once you finish your training you will receive a certificate recognizing your completion of the course, which is good for three years from date issued; however it is not required by any state or federal programs so having this certification will not guarantee employment opportunities within your field if there aren’t any available at that time; however it may help when applying elsewhere later on down the road.
Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program (EPCP)
The Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program (EPCP) is a 4-credit, graduate-level certificate program that can be completed in as little as six months. The EPCP provides the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency events.
Program participants have included:
- first responders (police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians)
- public health workers who work with community preparedness programs
- social service providers working on disaster response teams
The curriculum consists of modules covering important topics such as incident command system structure; basic search and rescue techniques; disaster mental health management; hazard identification and risk assessment methods; pandemic planning procedures; and much more. Upon successful completion of this coursework students will earn their certificate which they may then use to qualify themselves for employment or promotion within their current roles at their organization’s designated position level
Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL)
There are many career designations to choose from when you begin your journey towards becoming a leader in the public safety field. One of the most well-known is the Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) certification, offered by the National Fire Academy (APCO). The RPL certification is a designed to provide professional development opportunities for those who want to learn more about leadership skills and gain experience while working toward their goals.
The field of emergency management is growing at a rapid pace. The public is becoming more aware of the importance of having skilled individuals in charge during times of crisis. This means that there are a lot more job opportunities than there used to be, which makes it an ideal time for someone who’s interested in this career path.
If you need any assistance with navigating your career, contact us for a customized approach to your needs.