A growing demand for emergency management directors and specialists exists throughout a broad spectrum of employment, particularly within the petroleum industry. These top-notch readiness experts are also being recruited by medical hospitals and local government. With annual wages exceeding $100,000, the greater Los Angeles region is one of the highest-paying districts in the nation, confirms the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Los Angeles is prone to 13 of 16 natural and man-made disasters," said Elsa Lee, president and CEO at Advantage SCI, an organization that helps public and private entities prepare for catastrophes. "Thus, LA will always have a need for robust skills and capabilities in emergency management."
For more than two decades, Lee served as a counterintelligence agent for the U.S. Army. She said to expect emergency management to become a specialized employment option by the year 2024.
"Emergency management personnel will take on stronger roles as independent contractors," said Lee, who teaches a certificate course in homeland security and emergency management at UCLA Extension. "Certifications and credentials, combined with experience, will become more important and recognized than they are today."
What key qualities must emergency overseers maintain?
"Due to high stress and unpredictability, emergency management professionals must possess proficiency, effective interpersonal communication skills and level headedness. They must take risk in the face of uncertainty, remain calm and instill confidence in those being rescued."
How is Advantage SCI readying workers for a sound vocation?
"Our employees are professionals in military, combat and diplomatic settings. The frequency of performing in various situations prepares them to be the ones who will be sought out as experts by other organizations."
What is the best way to plan for a role in emergency management?
"Outside of having a clean criminal record, one must be familiar with the Incident Command System, take courses in emergency management and volunteer in emergency management activities to gain field experience."
What is your advice to job seekers?
"Hone your skills and get a mentor to help you navigate this environment. It is learned performance that will continue to evolve as a major necessity."
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.
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