Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Online [2021 Guide]

An accelerated emergency management degree can empower you to be the one who helps communities when there is a serious problem. 

An accelerated emergency management degree online can help empower you to be the one who helps communities when there is a serious problem. Instead of watching a crisis unfold, you may be on the front lines helping.

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree

Being trained to respond to emergencies may also allow 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 6% over the next decade.

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The average salary for emergency management degree holders is between $42,230 and $142,870, depending on your industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Types of Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs

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

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

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

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

Likewise, some schools even offer accelerated programs for an online masters in emergency management, if you want to take the extra above a bachelors degree.

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs Overview

Accelerated Emergency Management Degree Programs Overview

An accelerated emergency management degree may 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 may 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.

Your list of classes could include:

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

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

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:

  • Colleges or Schools
  • Community Food, Housing, and Relief Services
  • Hospitals
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Companies
  • Local or State Governments
  • Private Companies
  • Scientific Research Centers

If there is a possibility of a sector being affected by an emergency, there might be a job for you in that field, and the range of salaries is just as wide as the opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the emergency management field include:

Careers Annual Median Salary
General and Operations Manager $103,650
Campus Security and Safety Director $88,370
Emergency Management System Director in Hospitals $87,920
Management Analyst $87,660
Fire Lieutenant $78,870
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist $76,340
Emergency Management Director $76,250
Environmental Analyst $73,230
Local Public Safety Director $70,130
Emergency Management Specialist $45,670

This is not a narrow career path that will trap you in a single sector. The opportunities are as wide as the emergencies that could arise.

The Benefit of Taking Accelerated Online Classes for Your Emergency Management Degree

You can start 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 may be the hardest to take, so just get it done!

You finish faster! If you sign up for traditional on-campus classes, you’ll have to go to class 2-3 times a week for the next 16 weeks to earn 3 credits. Instead, you may take accelerated 8-week online classes. Each class covers all the same material as in a traditional classroom setting but you complete the material much faster.

You study when and where you want!  At home. At a coffee shop. On your lunch break at work. At 2 am when you can’t sleep. You’re not tied to being in class at a certain time, and you have no commute.

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3 Ways to Accelerate Your Emergency Management Degree Even More

I need a degree fast. If this is a recurring thought when searching for a degree program, then a fast track program might be a good fit for you. For a normal degree, you are looking at 120-182 credits to earn your degree. That’s 4-6 years studying for what you want to do NOW. Luckily, you can use these 3 tips to shave years off your degree completion plan.

1. Test Out of College Classes (Earn Up to 1 Year)

Instead of attending a class for 16 weeks, you may just take an exam. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows you to take an exam for many of your introductory level classes. You only pay $89 to take the exam. It’s 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 might be granted 3 credits for that course. You may 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 may earn a full year of college credit.

2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience (Earn Up to 1 Semester)

Do you have any work experience? Maybe you lived in a foreign country or undertook some kind of training program. You may be eligible for college credit. 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 may be provided based on the training you did in the military.

At most universities, you can complete an Experiential Learning Portfolio for your advisor for review. This process may earn you up to 15 credit hours.

3. Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Course Load

Most students will assume that it takes 12 months to earn 30 credits if you take 15 credits in the fall and spring semesters. Most universities, however, will allow you to take 18 credits each semester. AND there is also a full semester in the summer.

Taking 18 credits for 3 semesters may result in you earning 54 credits in 12 months. Testing out of classes and working hard for 2 years might result in having enough credit for a full bachelor’s degree in half the time.

Bonus: Transferring Your Existing College Credits

Did you start college before but didn’t finish? Credit from an accredited university or college may save you from having to take another class now. If you were able to earn at least a C in the class, then that credit might fill a spot in your current degree.

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

How to Lower Tuition Costs

screenshot of FAFSA website

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

Credit by Exam and Credit for Prior Learning are options available in every state and may be applied to any college or university that you attend. Earning the credit but not taking the classes may cut down on your expenses in a major way. After that, you can look to financial aid.

When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll see the grants and loans you qualify for from the federal government. After that, you can look into:

  • State funding
  • University scholarships
  • Private organization scholarships
  • Employer assistance programs

Take the time to look into financial aid. I may be worth the money you’ll save.

Emergency Management Degree Accreditation

logos of National accreditation boards for a degree in emergency management

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

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 for a degree in emergency management include:

There are also six regional accreditors that can validate colleges and universities as whole.

Questions Related to Earning an Emergency Management Degree

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

What Degree Do You Need for Emergency Management?

There are a few different degrees you may get. Some of the most popular are Criminal Justice with an Emergency Management concentration, Fire and Emergency Management, and Homeland Security.

How Much Do Emergency Managers Make?

An emergency manager may earn $42,230 to $76,250 a year, with the potential to earn as high as $142,870, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How Do I Become an Emergency Management Specialist?

The steps to become an emergency management specialist are:

  1. Earn your bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  2. Accumulate work experience.
  3. Apply to be a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) or Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) from The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

Note that some states and communities do not require all of these steps.

Prepare Thyself!

firefighters responding to an emergency

Where are you going to be the next time an emergency happens?

A degree in emergency management may make a difference in thousands of peoples’ lives. You may prepare and educate people on how to respond. You may 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 might be done in 2.5 years and for a fraction of the tuition price tag.

Apply to your choice of schools now!

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Joy Cromwelle
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.