Top 5 Impactful Careers to Consider in Critical Incident Management

Check out these five rewarding career tracks in the critical incident management field and how a Saint Leo University criminal justice degree can put you on the path to attaining one of these roles.

Tags: Career Advancement Career Advice Career Exploration Career Planning College of Education and Social Services Criminal Justice Criminal Justice Careers Criminal Justice Degrees Critical Incident Management Featured Graduate Degree Programs
4 March 2022 - By Saint Leo University
A photo showing a sign that says 'Emergency Management Director,' an example of a critical incident management career role; Saint Leo University's graduate criminal justice degree program can help grads attain this position

Unfortunately, critical incidents occur regularly. Entire towns are hit by floods, tornadoes, and fires. A fully-loaded aircraft goes down or someone gets cornered by police and decides to barricade themselves and take a hostage.

In cases such as these, someone needs to take charge. This is the role of critical incident management. And within critical incident management, there are a number of career options. Here are the top five to consider.

1. Emergency Management Director or Coordinator

Individuals in this type of role are responsible for creating response plans for certain geographical areas or groups should a critical incident occur. They’re also the ones in charge in the event of a major incident, making sure the necessary processes are followed.

Emergency management directors typically work for a governmental agency, whether on a local or state level. Though, you can also find these positions in private companies, hospitals, and institutions of higher learning.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median pay for emergency management directors is $76,250 per year and jobs in this role are expected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030.

2. FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group

Another governmental career path in critical incident management involves providing services on a higher level. The FBI has a Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) which not only responds to major incidents in the U.S. but also worldwide.

CIRG team members stand ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Should an incident occur, they may be called in to negotiate the crisis, disseminate strategic information, provide ground and air surveillance, or handle incident response logistics.

Choose this critical incident career path and your home base might be in Quantico, VA, Washington DC, or wherever else the FBI decides would provide a distinct advantage.

3. Business Continuity Manager

Private companies rely on critical incident management experts as well. Someone in this position is often called a business continuity manager, but they can also hold titles such as risk manager or major incident manager.

In this position, you would be tasked with developing and testing a company’s response to critical incidents it is most likely to encounter. This includes natural disasters that might occur in that area, as well as man-made disasters related to criminal actions, both in-person (i.e. a mass shooting incident) and virtually (i.e. someone hacking into the company’s computer system).

Common expectations of someone in this position include conducting a risk assessment, deciding best practices to protect and restore computer-based information, and planning drills for company employees. Should an incident arise, you would also be responsible for overseeing the response.

4. Disaster Recovery Specialist

Another option is to serve in a critical incident management role for nonprofit organizations. Many disaster relief agencies utilize disaster recovery specialists to help provide support during major events that impact large areas, such as a town ravaged by a hurricane or a community hit by an out-of-control wildfire.

As a disaster recovery specialist, you would be called upon to plan responses to all types of events. You would also direct the response should the event become a reality, ensuring that all areas of need are covered and that your team is safe in the process.

5. Director of Environmental Health and Emergency Management

Colleges and universities are additional communities that benefit from critical incident management. When providing this type of service for higher institutions of learning, you would be responsible for creating plans and developing responses if an incident were to arise on campus or even virtually.

Directors of environmental health and emergency management working for universities work to create a safe learning environment, also deciding how the school will respond to critical incidents. This response might include notifying students of the incident by text, sounding an outdoor warning siren, and compiling a team to respond to the event in person.

Start Your Critical Incident Management Career Today

If critical incident management sounds like the right career path for you, Saint Leo University offers a Master of Science in criminal justice with a specialization in critical incident management.

This online, 36-credit hour emergency and disaster management degree program includes core courses in ethical and legal issues in criminal justice, public policy making, and leadership applications in criminal justice. It also includes courses covering terrorism, risk identification, and the psychology of critical incidents.

Students taking Saint Leo’s critical incident management curriculum also get to select two elective courses. This allows you to gain knowledge, skills, and insight into the topics that interest you most. Options include Hostage Negotiations, Correctional Leadership, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Advance Forensic Science, Crime Scene Investigation and Management, and Fundamentals of Civil Litigation.

To learn more about this program or start the admissions process, contact Saint Leo today at (877) 622-2009 or