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9-1-1 Testing FAQ

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What are the pay and benefits for a Tempe police dispatcher?

Police dispatcher starting pay is $23.27/hour ($48,410 annually). The department offers a comprehensive benefits package to include:

  • 112 to 216 Paid Vacation Hours (11 to 21.6 Paid Vacation Days per Year *Based on a 10-hour work day). Length of service determines how many hours you earn a month.
  • 96 Paid Sick Leave Hours (9.6 Paid Sick Leave Days per Year *Based on a 10-hour work day)
  • 12 Paid Holidays per Year
  • Overtime Pay
  • Shift Differential Pay
  • Bilingual Pay (must complete competency exam)
  • Health, Dental, Life, Vision Insurance Coverage Plans
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Wellness Program
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (Health and Dependent Care)
  • Employee Training and Development Opportunities
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Arizona State Retirement System 
  • Industrial Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Defined Contribution Plans (457 & 401k) 
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Auto and Home Insurance Discounts
  • Employer Funded Health Spending Account

    Preparation & Minimum Qualifications 

    How do I become a dispatcher and what are the minimum qualifications?

    Applicants must have: a high school diploma or GED equivalent; one (1) year of experience in public contact and clerical work along with the ability to type at a skilled rate of speed (40 net wpm). You should also review the Arizona POST and Tempe PD minimum qualifications.

    Candidates must have the minimum amount of work experience. Education will not substitute for the required work experience; however, related unpaid and/or volunteer work experience may be used as qualifying work experience.

    What can I do to prepare myself for the test and a career as a dispatcher?

    You must maintain high moral character, ethics, honesty and integrity. There are no preferred degree programs or job history. Diverse education, military and work backgrounds are welcome. 

    How long does the testing process take and how does the dispatcher testing process work?

    Applicants that meet minimum qualifications are invited to test. The hiring process takes approximately 20 weeks to complete. Testing Process 

    When is the next dispatcher testing process?

    Tempe PD conducts several testing processes during the year. Refer to the Testing Schedule for application and testing dates.

    Dispatcher at a Console

    If I have tested before do I need to complete the entire process again?

    Candidates who are no longer on the eligibility list and are eligible to reapply must complete all phases of the testing process, even if you have participated in the past.

    Can I sit with a dispatcher for a shift before I apply?

    Tempe PD does not have a ride-along program for the general public. Candidates who progress in the testing process will be scheduled for a ride-along as part of the process.


    How many dispatchers will be hired?

    The number of applicants hired is determined by a variety of factors including the number of dispatcher vacancies. This number varies from year to year based on attrition within our organization but we usually hire 5-10 dispatchers each year.

    What paperwork/documentation is required to test?

    Applicants arriving at the test are required to have a completed and notarized Civilian Background Questionnaire; copies of a high school diploma, transcripts or GED equivalent; a birth certificate, naturalization documentation or US passport; and a valid state or federal government-issued driver license or identification card are required. If you are unable to obtain copies of your high school diploma, transcripts or GED equivalent or your birth certificate by the testing date, please contact a member of the recruitment team at for further information.

    Can out-of-state residents participate in the dispatcher testing process?

    Out-of-state applicants participate in the same test as in-state residents and are required to be in Tempe to test. The department will make efforts to limit travel for out-of-state candidates who progress further in the process.

    I am in the testing process. Why haven't I heard from Tempe PD?

    Applicants that are invited to the Orientation and Multiple Choice Aptitude Assessment will be notified at each phase in the process if they are selected to move forward in the process or not. Applicants are notified via email so be sure to check your spam folder.

    What type of training should I expect if I am hired?

    Dispatcher training consists of three phases: Call-Taking, Information Channel, and Dispatching. Each phase consists of classroom instruction, hands-on (on-the-job) instruction with a Communications Training Officer (CTO) and a solo-phase once proficiency has been demonstrated. Completion of training in all three phases takes approximately one year.

    Other Information