I Am An aircraft dispatcher. This is a 6 figure career that doesn't require a college degree. There was so much interest last year that I decided to do it again. AMA!
I have received hundreds of DMs over the last year with questions and folks telling me they got their dispatch license or that they started a job as a dispatcher. It was a lot of fun sharing my career with everyone and knowing that a good handful of people found a new career direction because of this is incredible!
As an aircraft dispatcher we work behind the scenes at an airline's headquarters to plan and monitor flights across the world. A flight cannot legally operate without an aircraft dispatcher overseeing the flight from the planning stage all the way to completion. Starting salary at mainline airlines is around ~$85k topping out around ~$170k. Health and retirement benefits at the majors are fantastic across the board. You can fly cockpit in addition to free standby flying for you and your immediate family. You are very likely to work less than 40 hour weeks on average, schedule flexibility is great, low stress job 95% of the time.
So with a great list of pros you may expect the cons to be rough, but it isn't too bad. You need to get a license which can be difficult for some both financially as well as the time cost. You will need around 6 weeks and ~$6,000 in order to get your license. The license allows you to work at a smaller regional airline where you will be for at least a year (you need experience before you can apply to mainline). The regional benefits and pay are not great (~$20/hr). You will still only work ~40 hour weeks but you will work harder than at a major. You still get flight benefits so it isn't all bad. My regional days were harder, but honestly not that bad especially because I knew it was only a temporary stepping stone. After about a year of experience you can start applying at the mainlines. This is the hardest part of the process. It isn't a well known career, but applications are still quite competitive. Many get in on their first try but others take a few rejections before they get through. If you keep applying and networking you will make it. The ones that don't make it are the ones who give up on applying.
- at least 23 years old to begin working (can get the license at any age and no upper age limit)
- high school graduate (or equivalent)
- ability to communicate well in English
- FAA Flight Dispatcher License
- be willing to relocate to a city with an airline's headquarters is located (commuting is also an option)
This a great and rewarding career for anyone whether they are interested in aviation or simply drawn by the career benefits. I really enjoyed hearing from so many people this last year so please ask me anything!
List of all US dispatcher certification courses:
I am always on here so if I get any new questions I’ll answer them regardless of how old this post is. If you have more questions or want elaboration or whatever comment or DM me and I’m happy to help! If you stumble upon this months from now please feel free to message me!