According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Dakota has the third highest concentration of emergency management specialists in the nation, only behind Mississippi and South Dakota. The mean annual wage for emergency management specialists in North Dakota in May 2009 was $44,090. Bismarck ranked third during the same time for the highest number of workers in emergency management.
North Dakota is a state of extremes. This upper-Midwestern state experiences harsh winters, with subfreezing temperatures and wind chills, substantial snow, and blizzard conditions, as well as unpredictable summer weather that often brings droughts, flooding, and tornadoes. Recent disaster declarations in North Dakota speak to these weather extremes, with major flooding occurring in May 2011 and April 2013 and a severe winter storm occurring in April 2011.
Emergency Management Degree Options
With the high number of emergency management specialists working out of North Dakota, many of the larger colleges and universities support emergency management programs, including:
- Bachelor of arts in emergency management, with a multidisciplinary minor
- Master’s degree in Emergency Management
- Ph.D. in Emergency Management
Common core courses in emergency management in North Dakota emergency management programs include:
- Emergencies, Disasters and Catastrophes
- Disaster Response
- Disaster Recovery
- Disaster Mitigation
- Spatial Analysis in Emergency Management
- Socio-Behavioral Foundations of Emergency Management
Most emergency management programs culminate in an internship.
Emergency Management Certification
The North Dakota Emergency Management Association (NDEMA) provides professional certification to emergency management professionals in North Dakota through three levels of certification: Level I, Level II, and Level III (Full Certification).
Level I certification requires at least one year of professional experience working for an emergency management agency and study in the following courses:
- Decision Making and Problem Solving
- Developing and Managing Volunteers
- Effective Communication
- Emergency Planning
- Exercise Design
- Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
- Introduction to Incident Command System
- Leadership & Influence
- National Incident Management System (NIMS), an Introduction
- National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction
Level II certification requires at least 3 years of professional experience working for an emergency management agency, 40 contact hours in relation to emergency management or homeland security, and study in the following courses:
- Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning
- Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
- Introduction to Exercises
Level II certification requires at least 5 years of employment with an emergency management agency, participation in a full-scale exercise, attendance at 2 NDEMA conferences in the last 3 years, and study in the following courses:
- An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
- An Introduction to Hazardous Materials
- Introduction to Continuity of Operations (COOP)
- Introduction to Mitigation
North Dakota Emergency Management Careers: Emergency Management State and Private Organizations
North Dakota Department of Emergency Services
The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) provides around-the-clock emergency communications and resource coordination with more than 50 lead and support agencies, private enterprises, and volunteer organizations. The NDDES administered federal disaster recovery programs and the Homeland Security Grant program.
There are a number of private companies in North Dakota that provide both engineering and consulting services:
Wenck Associates, which has offices in Fargo, Mandan, and Minot, North Dakota, provides engineering, environmental and natural resource solutions. They also provide emergency preparedness and response services.
Western Plains Consulting, Inc.
Western Plains Consulting, Inc. is a full-service consulting firm in Bismarck, North Dakota, which provides environmental and natural resources consulting services. Western Plains Consulting is now recognized as a leader in environmental assessments and spill response.