Career Options in Disaster Management

For as long as disasters have been plaguing man-kind, humans have found ways to manage their consequences. While we might not have called them Disaster and Emergency Management professionals, the occupation has been around for longer than most realize. The events of September 11, 2001 were a turning point as the nation began to recognize the need for emergency preparedness.

Since then, demand for Emergency Management professionals has increased tenfold as we continue to face events such as Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These disasters only made clearer the importance of emergency management personnel in preventing the loss of life and property. 2020 alone saw $95 billion in total damages for 22 weather and climate disasters most of which were in the Southeastern United States (NOAA). This doesn’t even include the damages caused by man-made disasters, such as terrorism, biological/chemical events, and industrial accidents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in emergency and other relief services increased 152% between 1990 and 2017, and continues on an upward trajectory. The field is currently facing a wave of turnover as older professionals retire and recent graduates seek jobs, so now is the perfect time to begin a career in disaster management.

Explore expected pay, industry trends, and potential titles and employers below.

Expected Pay & Industry Trends

Expected Pay

These figures are meant to serve as examples only. Salary is subject to change depending on location, experience, and education level.

Industry Trends

This is not an exhaustive list but goes to show the multidisciplinary nature of the disaster management field.

  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Science
  • Geographic Information Science, Geography
  • Information Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Infectious Disease
  • Domestic and International Terrorism
  • Public Policy and Legislation
  • Global Population Growth, Vulnerable Populations
  • Mental Health/Psychological First Aid
  • Crisis Communications
  • Risk Management
  • Military, Armed Forces, Homeland Security
  • International Conflict Mitigation/Aid
  • Hazardous Materials Operations


Potential Job Titles and Employers

Below is a list of potential job titles/positions and employers in the Disaster Management field. This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what alumni have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a Disaster and Emergency Management degree than others. An asterisk (*) indicates that an alumnus of one of our academic programs holds that title or has been employed by that organization.

Potential Job Titles
Potential Employers

  • Airport Manager, Emergency Management*
  • Anti-Terrorism Emergency Manager
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Business Continuity Planner
  • Business Risk Manager
  • Campus Emergency Manager
  • Campus Security and Safety Manager
  • Command and Control Specialist
  • Consultant
  • Crime Reduction Manager
  • Crisis Communication Specialist
  • Disaster Mitigation Planner
  • Disaster Recovery Coordinator/Manager
  • Disaster Risk Specialist
  • District Lead Coordinator*
  • Emergency Field Coordinator
  • Emergency Management Specialist*
  • Emergency Management Task Force Leader- Field Operations*
  • Emergency Medicine Resident Physician*
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator/Manager
  • Emergency Public Health Manager
  • Emergency Services Manager
  • Emergency Social Services Manager
  • Emergency Telecommunications Manager
  • Energy Security and Emergency Response Consultant*
  • Environmental Emergencies Specialist
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Event Safety and Emergency Manager
  • Hospital Emergency Manager
  • Humanitarian Assistance Professional
  • Industrial Emergency Manager
  • International Aid Director
  • IT Disaster Recovery Analyst*
  • Civil Affairs Officer*
  • Law Enforcement Professional
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Disaster Relief Coordinator
  • Oil and Gas Emergency Manager
  • Operations and Training Coordinator
  • Planning and Exercise Manager*
  • Procedure/Policy Developer
  • Program Specialist IV- Adolescent Immunization Coordinator*
  • Project Coordinator*
  • Project Manager*
  • Public Health Analyst*
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public Policy Analyst/Advisor
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Safety Consultant
  • Registered Nurse*
  • Response Director
  • Risk Manager
  • Regional Trauma Advisory Committee Coordinator*
  • Safety Analyst/Safety Specialist/Safety Officer*
  • Senior Consultant*
  • Senior Research Specialist/Research Scientist*
  • Social Program Director
  • Systems Analyst
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Trauma Centre Supervisor
  • Veterinary Officer*
  • Vice President, Cyber Security*



  • Accenture Federal Services*
  • American Red Cross
  • Ascension Seton (Medxcel Facilities Management)*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*
  • Charles River Laboratories*
  • CNA Corporation*
  • Defense Health Agency/US Army*
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Public Health
  • Emergency Department, Emory Healthcare*
  • Emory University and Healthcare*
  • FEMA* and State EMAs
  • GA DPH*
  • GEMA/HS*
  • Georgia Trauma Commission*
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport*
  • Mercy Health Center*
  • Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response at Emory University*
  • Piedmont Macon*
  • Premier Inc.*
  • Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance
  • Texas Dept of State Health Services*
  • UGA IDM*
  • United Nations
  • University of Georgia College of Public Health*
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Army*
  • US Department of State
  • US Public Health Service
  • World Health Organization
  • WSP USA*
  • American Foreign Policy Council*
  • Emory University Rollins School of Public Health*
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.*


















Do you have questions about a career in disaster management?

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