The Turks and Caicos Islands experience natural disasters, such as hurricanes, yearly. With global warming and climate change, we don’t know what sorts of natural disasters the TCI may face in the future. If you’re interested in a career that could lead you to help TCI put safety measures in place for these disasters, or helping TCI through the recovery process, read on for how you can learn more about studying areas of Crisis and Disaster Management in the U.S.
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Jump to:2-Year Degree 4-Year Degree Beyond a 4-Year Degree
There are many careers in Disaster Relief that only require a high school diploma, on-the-job training, or completion of a certificate program, but these will be discussed in the Technical Routes section. You can get an Associate degree in Public Safety, but most of these programs focus on criminal justice professions such as corrections officers. Therefore, we’ll jump right into 4-Year Degree.
The disaster management field opens up more when you have a 4-year degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you can explore more specializations and select which avenue you’d like to pursue further if you intend to go on to graduate school. Careers requiring bachelor’s degrees include public relations specialists, atmospheric scientists (including meteorologists), training and development managers, compensation and benefits managers, and emergency management directors. Many of these careers require you to study business administration or human resources.
Becoming a public relations specialist would require you to have experience in public speaking, so studying programs such as English, communications or, journalism would help you create a portfolio of your work to showcase your skills. If you’re interested in becoming an atmospheric scientist such as a meteorologist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or another earth science-related field like physics, chemistry, or geology.
Emergency management directors work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, private companies, and the public to create emergency plans that don’t cause major disruptions to everyday life. It requires knowledge of working with businesses and the community, business, so studying a program like public health or emergency management with working experiences in business administration would help you build valuable skills for this job.
Beyond a 4-Year Degree
Many careers in disaster management only require a bachelor’s degree or less. Some careers that may require a graduate or professional degree are atmospheric scientists and training and development manager. One would need a master’s degree or Ph. D. in an earth science-related field to advance their career as an atmospheric scientist, which includes courses in oceanography, geophysics, computer programming, and advanced courses in mathematics. Courses in a master’s degree program to advance your career as a training and development manager would include human resources management or business administration.
Jump to:Apprenticeships & Internships Vocational Training
Apprenticeships & Internships
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training and education while you work and can look like working or volunteering with little experience but being trained to improve your skills. Not only are you learning the necessary job skills, but also the demands, hours, ways to interact with the public, procedures, and problems that usually arise on the job. It is an all-encompassing experience. You can find Apprenticeship and internship opportunities in disaster management through internet searches or networking.
If there is a business or person whose work interests you, ask them for the opportunity to intern or shadow them to learn more about the field and career. This is a great way to show your interest in the field and secure future opportunities to gain experience.
Organizations you can look to for apprenticeships or internships:
– TCI Department of Environmental & Coastal Resources
– TCI Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies
Similar to apprenticeships, vocational training provides hands-on learning experiences, but mostly through coursework. It is primarily schooling with an aspect of hands-on learning to teach the necessary skills and later put them into action in a classroom setting. You can find vocational programs at technical colleges. Basic disaster management programs accessed through vocational training include EMTs and paramedics; firefighters; hazardous materials removal workers; insurance brokers; and police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers.
- Insurance brokers must have a license in the state they work in after completing specific courses and passing a state exam.
- Certifications for dispatchers vary by state, but a common one is the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification which certifies dispatchers to give medical advice over the phone.
- Hazardous materials removal workers might need to have a license or permit depending on the hazardous waste they remove. If you transport hazardous material, you might need a state or federal permit.
- All EMTs need to a certified education program and pass the national exam. All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed although requirements vary by state.
You can review the Minnesota State CAREERwise website to explore careers similar to crisis and disaster management in the Government, Public Administration & Law, Public Safety, and Security career clusters. Here are more resources to learn more about careers in agriculture:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Atmospheric Scientist | Similar Occupations | Emergency Management Director | Similar Occupations
- U.S. National Weather Service
- U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Internships | FEMA Corps
- Red Cross: Disaster Relief Action Team | Disaster Preparedness Volunteer | Volunteer Opportunities
- United Nations
- Free Coursera courses: How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics (University of Virginia), The Effects of Fires on People, Property and the Environment (University of Maryland, College Park), Stayin’ Alive! First aid in Emergency (E-Learning Developmemt Fund)
Check with your institution of interest to find out more about their admissions application, program requirements, and the best way to map out your future for studying crisis and disaster management.