Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Online [2020 Guide]

An accelerated emergency management degree can empower you to be the one who helps communities when there is a serious problem. Wouldn’t that feel amazing?

Instead of helplessly watching a crisis unfold you could be at the front of the crew that is helping and restoring order. Heroes come in all descriptions, but heroes are the ones who step up when a disaster hits.

mydegreeguide emergency management degree online

Emergency Management Degrees offered online

Being trained to respond to emergencies also allows you to enter a career with growing job opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Emergency management positions are experiencing a steady growth of 8 % over the next 8 years. The necessity of having trained workers prepared and ready to respond to emergencies is driving this employment trend.

You could be working in local or state government positions. Or in a hospital, for a non-profit organization or even for private companies.

Being prepared is important to all types and levels of organizations. And they are willing to pay good money for this! The average wage of an emergency management director is $70,500 a year.

What you need to start this valuable career is a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. Depending on the industry you work in and your years of experience you could be looking at a 6-figure income.

That’s the catch, right?

You do need at least a bachelor’s degree before you start in this career. And you know that getting a degree could take you 4 years and cost you six figures.

Take a deep breath. This is NOT an emergency! Being prepared can prevent a crisis. If you know what to expect, you can save thousands of dollars and avoid the loss of hours of human effort.

This works for your degree. You don’t need to quit your day job, give up on seeing your family and resign yourself to a lifetime of paying off student loans.

Here’s how you can prepare and be able to get your degree in 18-24 months and for less than $50,000. For reals.

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs Overview

An accelerated emergency management degree can teach you the skills you will need to respond quickly and efficiently to local, national and organizational emergencies.

You can finish your degree being ready to:

  • Plan
  • Prepare
  • Respond
  • Recover

You will understand how to apply these principles to large scale natural or man-made disasters. As well as how to work together with other agencies and jurisdictions to get the job done.

Check out this class list:

  • Emergency Management Strategies and Communications: National Incident Management System
  • Political and Legal Foundations in Emergency Services
  • Preparedness Planning and Risk Mitigation
  • Disaster, Response and Recovery
  • Airport Security
  • Police and Society
  • Terrorism
  • Disasters and Vulnerable Populations
  • Strategy and Tactics in Fire and Emergency Services
  • Contemporary Issues in Tribal Management and Emergency Services

Don’t you feel like you could handle a crisis once you’ve taken these classes? Most of your emergency management career will NOT involve dealing with actual emergencies but preparing you to know what to do is the foundation to your degree.

Careers with an Accelerated Emergency Management Degree

Where your degree will take you is completely up to you! More and more organizations are seeing the need for emergency management at all levels. You could be applying for careers in emergency response and preparation at places like:

  • The local government
  • State government
  • Hospitals
  • Colleges, Universities and Schools
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution companies
  • Community Food, Housing and Relief Services
  • Private Companies
  • Scientific Research centers

If there is a possibility of a sector being affected by an emergency, there could be a job for you in that field. By the way, unfortunately, EVERY sector can be affected by emergencies.

The range of salaries is just as wide as the opportunities.


Annual Salary

Emergency Management Directors


Emergency Preparedness Specialist


Emergency Management Coordinator


Emergency Management Specialist


Hospital Emergency Preparedness Administrator


Public Information Officer


Public Health Specialist


Homeland Security Officer


Federal Executive Emergency Director


Electric Power Emergency Director


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

This is not a narrow career path that will trap you in a single sector. The opportunities are as wide as the chance to make a difference in protecting innocent lives. You are preventing emergencies, planning for them and responding to them.

This job can be stressful and challenging: you won’t always feel like a hero. But you will know that you are helping people and making bad situations better.

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions

To advance in your career up to the higher-level positions you need to match your degree with years of experience. If you want to start building those years of experience you will want to start your career now.

There is no reason to wait until September to start your degree. Many North American universities have advertised class start dates each month.

Once you start your degree you are on the path to building your career. The first step is the hardest to take, so just get it done!

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes

There are many different emergency response plans and systems but all of them share the common factor of needing to have a fast response.

The quicker an emergency is responded to the less likely it is to escalate. Same with your classes. The quicker you can complete your classes the more money you save and the faster you will be done.

Accelerated online classes and self-paced online classes are both amazing ways to complete your classes faster than the usual.

An accelerated class gives you a set start date, assignment due dates and a class end day. But you get to complete the classes TWICE as fast. Nice, yes?

Self-paced classes remove the structure of assignment due dates and end dates. You have one semester where you can complete as many classes as you want, as fast as you want and in the order you want.

Accelerated Online Emergency Management Classes

An innocent bystander who is thinking of taking university classes will assume that you sign up for a class and must go to class 2-3 times a week for the next 16 weeks to earn 3 credits.

But consider this your crash course in degree preparedness. You can take accelerated 8-week online classes. Each class covers all the same material as in a traditional classroom setting but you complete the material wherever you have internet access. At home. At a coffee shop. On your lunch break at work. At 2 am when you had too many cups of coffee after supper and can’t sleep.

The extra bonus of an accelerated online class is you can take another class as soon as you finish the first, so you end up with 6 credits in 8 weeks. Twice as fast as attending class.

Types of Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs

Emergencies can come in all varieties or situations. The types of degrees in emergency management are just as varied. You could choose a focus on administration, homeland security, criminal justice or natural disasters.

Each of these degrees prepares you for a different aspect of crisis response.

  • Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor’s in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Whatever path you choose you could be looking for a career that helps thousands of people enjoy a safer life.

In addition to Emergency Management, there are a number of other accelerated online degree programs in related fields.

3 Ways to Accelerate Your Emergency Management Degree Even More

Does the thought of attending classes for 4 years feel like a catastrophe? It kind of is. You are looking at 120-182 credits to earn your degree and that is a chunk of time you don’t have! 4-6 years of paying for tuition AND your regular living expenses without a job is a bit appalling.

You can use these 3 tips to prepare yourself to save years off your degree completion plan.

1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)

Did you know that one of the best responses to emergencies is to use the knowledge you already have? This strategy takes advantage of the fact that you could already know more than you think.

Instead of attending a class for 16 weeks and finding out that you didn’t learn anything, you can instead start by just taking the exam.

The College Level Examination Program allows you to register to take the exam for many of your introductory level classes. You only pay $87, the exam is 90 multiple choice questions and takes 90 minutes to complete.

If you know your material and can pass the exam with 50% of the questions right then you are granted 3 credits for that course. You never have to take the class!

Most universities will allow you to take up to 30 credits by exam using this process. If you took 10 exams you would only in a class for 900 minutes to earn a full year of credit.

2. Get college credit for your life and work experience

Another trick is to use what you have already done to earn your credit. You could be eligible for college credit if you have finished a certification or training program.

An emergency management degree is especially suited for awarding college credit for military experience.

The US military works alongside the American Council of Education to make sure that your military service is recognized. College credit will be provided based on the training you did in the military.

Other than military experience you can also use your past employment for credit. At Colorado Tech University you can complete an Experiential Learning Portfolio that is submitted to your advisor for review.

This process can earn you up to 15 credit hours.

3. Stay continuously enrolled with max course load

Once you have used the first 2 steps to prepare yourself to lighten your course load, you now must hit the road running.

Don’t respond to your course load at civilian speed, instead treat it as an emergency and go as fast as you can.

Most students will assume that it takes 12 months to earn 30 credits if you take 15 credits in the fall and winter semesters.

Fortunately for you, you will know differently. You are allowed through most universities to take 18 credits each semester. AND there is also a full semester in the summer.

Taking 18 credits for 3 semesters will result in you earning 54 credits in 12 months. Working hard for 2 years can result in having enough credit for a full bachelor’s degree in half the time.

Transferring Your Existing College Credits

Just a friendly reminder: check if you have already earned any college credit before you start signing up for classes. Yes, ANY college credit you have already earned could save you time and money right now.

Credit from an accredited university or college will save you from having to take another class now. That is a super way to save your time. If you were able to earn at least a C in the class, then that credit can fill a spot in your current degree.

Even if the class has nothing to do with your emergency management degree, use it anyways as an elective!

Lower Tuition Costs

Once you know the secret to how to save time when getting your degree, you ALSO know the secret to saving money.

Tuition costs are outrageous! For a 120-credit degree from the University of Florida, you will end up paying $114, 632. The one way to make that cheaper would be to attend an in-state college, for example, if you are from Nebraska you could get a degree for $28,440.

But if you don’t have a program offered in state you are not out of luck.

Credit by Exam and Credit for Prior Learning are options available in every state and can be applied to any college or university that you attend.

Wouldn’t you like to get your degree from whatever school you choose but for a ¼ of the price?

Cost Of Emergency Management Degree

Ways To Earn Credit Number Of Credits Total Cost
Attend University of Florida 120 $114,632
Attend University of Nebraska 120

Resident: $28,440

Non-Resident $89,700

Attend Colorado Tech University 182 $59,180
College Level Examination Program


Credit for Prior Learning


Remaining classes at Colorado Tech University








Total Credits








Total Tuition


 Are you prepared now to save your self thousands of dollars?

Emergency Management Degree Accreditation

Accreditation is a process that your school must go through to prove that their emergency management degree meets either regional or national accreditation.

This is good for you! All the work your school goes through to be accredited means that your degree will be seen as valid by future employers and grad schools.

National accreditation boards include:

National accreditation is nice to have but not necessary, regional accreditation is enough to ensure your degree is valid.


Where are you going to be the next time an emergency happens? Are you going to be wringing your hands and saying what an awful state the world is in or are you going to be one of the people at the front who are saving the day?

A degree in emergency management CAN make a difference in thousands of peoples’ lives. You can prepare and educate people on how to respond. You could be the one who has a plan and knows how to execute it.

Getting started in this rewarding career does not need to take you 6 years. You could be done in 2.5 years and for a ¼ of the tuition price tag.

If you could make the next disaster less catastrophic, wouldn’t you want to start now?

This article is brought to you by
Joy Mays
Joy Mays
Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen
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