Perhaps you have recently graduated from one of our Top 25  Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Emergency Management. You may even have chosen one of the several concentrations in this field. However, it does not matter when you graduated or from which university/college. Further learning will benefit your employment status in today’s competitive job market. Your degree is just the start of the educational process that should continue throughout your career. By doing so, you will boost your resume, demonstrate initiative, become more knowledgeable, and increase your value as a professional in EM.


One place to start your education is through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Within FEMA is the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) that offers a host of independent study programs. EMI offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the public. These are free to those who qualify. It serves as both an alternative means to deliver valuable training to the professional and volunteer emergency management community, and an opportunity to improve public awareness and promote disaster preparedness nationally. The Independent Study Program offers approximately 200 training courses via their training website. You will require a FEMA Student Identification (SID) number that is a unique number generated and assigned to anyone who needs or is required to take training provided by a FEMA organization. Furthermore, high school students can take these courses, giving you a taste of the profession.

Working individuals who do not have the years of experience to qualify for the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) can apply for the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM). The former requires three years of EM experience, plus 200 training hours. In order to earn the AEM certification individuals must:

  • Have 100 hours of emergency management training
  • Write a comprehensive essay on one’s emergency management experience, skills and abilities
  • Pass a 100-question multiple choice exam

Certifications are an important part of career and professional advancement in emergency management. Many job announcements will ask for some form of certification, so it is  better to earn one as soon as you meet the qualifications. Additionally, they are an excellent way to enhance your resume.

College Certificates

At the university level, continuing education is available for those working in emergency management. Auburn University is one  school that has a selection of certificate courses. They offers these at scheduled times throughout the year. Cost is $400 for each course plus the expense of the textbooks. For the year 2018, Auburn has six Specified Core courses online that last four weeks each. An example is the course on Roles in Local Government Emergency Management Operations. This course focuses on providing information about local government planning, infrastructure protection, private sector collaboration and liaison with state resources regarding local and regional disasters or terrorist attacks. The school also offers a selection of five elective schedules that run four weeks each.

Another option at the college level is Florida State University’s online undergraduate certificate. Their Emergency Management and Homeland Security certificate introduce students to the fundamental concepts, theories, principles, and practices of emergency management.  You examine functional demands that emergency managers should be aware of in crafting emergency management programs. Students investigate how public policy choices impact emergency planning and the consequences of a disaster event. This four-course twelve-credits program is available to non-degree students.

Other DegreeQuery Articles regarding this profession:

Top 10 Jobs with a Degree in Emergency Management

Should I be Certified with an Emergency Management Degree? 

Best Job Prospects with an Emergency Management Degree

Top 35 Online Graduate Certificates in Emergency Management