I Am An aircraft dispatcher. Flights are ramping up and so is hiring. This is a 6 figure career that doesn’t require a college degree.
I appreciate all of the interest and questions, it was fun to share what I do with you. If you have any questions that were not answered here, feel free to DM me about it. If you stumble across this post in the future and have new questions you can still DM me.
If this career path truly interests you I would recommend reading everything in this thread and doing your own research so you know exactly what you are getting into.
If anyone ends up getting their license or getting on with a regional let me know!
I was inspired by the recent ATC post and the most recent AMA I can find about my career is over 3y old. I figured maybe some folks would be interested in what we do and how to get into this field.
We work behind the scenes with pilots and ATC to plan and monitor all flights. You need a license and the base salary for mainline airlines starts at ~$70k with top outs at ~$170k. All dispatchers are union so that has ups and downs but the benefits in my job are top notch. Free standby flying for you and your family(mom, dad, spouse, and kids(until 20 something), you can fly cockpit, schedule flexibility is awesome, low stress job 95% of the time.
- at least 23 years old (you can get your license earlier but 23 is required to begin work and it’s never too late to start!)
- high school graduate (or equivalent)
- ability to communicate well in English (requirement across all aviation careers)
- FAA Flight Dispatcher License (happy to elaborate on this if you want)
- be willing to relocate to a city where an airlines headquarters is located (not necessarily because commuting is an option in most places as well!)
This is a very interesting and rewarding career and I really enjoy what I do so I would love to answer your questions! If you are really interested I am happy to offer more info in comments or DMs.
1 - I can’t answer any questions about ATC because I am not an ATC. Please stop asking me about ATC; there is another thread with a guy who would love to tell you all about that lol.
2 - Banjoface gave his take on the dispatch industry and I appreciate the participation, but I don’t think that the information provided is representative of the modern aircraft dispatching climate. Things are very different than they used to be. I would ask that you read all the information provided and if you have further questions I am more than happy to offer first hand experience from myself and my coworkers on the dispatch experience from the bottom up! I know folks from ages 25 to 60 who have come from all backgrounds and they would all tell you exactly what I am telling you in this thread.
3 - A lot of you are questioning the legitimacy of this opportunity because it sounds too good to be true. The end career as a mainline dispatcher is everything that I have said that it is. It is a fantastic gem of a job that no one knows exists. But I wanted to take a second to highlight some negatives and the things that make this great thing seem a bit more realistic. Firstly as an airline job it is seniority based and when you are at the bottom you work midnights, weekends, and holidays. It takes time to get seniority at a major. But that is just with the mainline job before that you have school, regionals, and applying to get here. School is hard and although it is short it can be quite difficult to get through. A solid 1/3 of my class failed out (i did go to the hardest school by reputation though other schools can be more forgiving). It costs a pretty penny to get this license and all it buys you is the opportunity to get on at a regional. That part should not be hard but regionals work you pretty hard and it is not the greatest quality of life. It is not terrible but I would not want to make a career of it. Stick it out through the crap job for a couple years and go for the mainline. This is the big hurdle. It is very competitive. The interview process is daunting and getting rejected after an exam and 2 interviews can be pretty brutal after months of anticipation and wondering. I know multiple people that took 8 tries to get through. I also know many that got in on their first attempt. If you can throw down some cash, buckle down for class, cope with the crap regional gig, and kill it at the interview then you can achieve this career. It is not cake but it is doable and so worth it. Everything I have posted in this thread is true and can be backed up by my coworkers. So it isn’t all pretty but it is worth the effort put in. There are many people in this industry going for the mainline jobs. The reason it isn’t insanely crowded is because no one even knows that this job exists (proven by the countless questions about ATC in a thread that clearly states that is not what I do lol).