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Dispatcher training

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Well-known member
Jun 5, 2003
Wondering if any Dispatchers out there could direct me to a good training program. I am a furloughed airline pilot and am considering a little bit of a new direction. I figure as a dispatcher at least my airline expeirence is worth something. I am considering an accelerated course of some type and was wondering if that is a good or bad idea.? I am currently in the Seattle area but am willing to travel to a good school. New to this idea and any insight or advice on the process is very appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Honestly find something else to do. I have 10 years experience as dispatcher and been unemployed for 4 months with no luck in finding a Dispatching job. Right now there is some hiring but for every job there is about 200 resumes are sent in.

But with that said take a accelerated class. Im assuming you have your ATP if that is the case you can get your license in 2-4 months iirc.
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Not to put too much water on your thoughts.. but it is not a really good idea, unless you just want to add a license in the wallet..

As Squirrel29 stated, and I have to concur from recent experience, there is a HUGH contingent of very experienced dispatchers out of work right now.. I have a large list of names and contacts throughout the industry that I remain in contact with, the usual employment web sites, free and pay for.. And it all but dead..

As an example, SkyWest had 4 dispatch openings last month.. Everyone went crazy.. they got 200 "well qualified" applicants.. and ended up hiring from within.. (Which is ok by the way?) Republic had opening between 4 and 7 dispatchers this month for the F9 division, I'm told from one that is there, that over 300 apps came in, over 30 were flown in for interviews and only 4 were hired from the street, the rest came from within... Colgan/ Pinnacle.. They hired a few with 100's of applications, then some jumped from one to another internally..

In the end less than 25 "off the street new hires" for what was the best hiring we have seen in years...
So you must ask yourself these questions. Can you compete with those odds.. Can you wait for that first job? Are you willing to spend the money for school just to run into this traffic jam? Are you ok with making $14 and hour of you are lucky for the first few years..? Are you ok with being the junior man that get jerked around different shifts at the whim of the seniority list? Are you ok with being the red-headed step child when it come to jump-seating if you have to commute??

If you can answer yes to all of that.. Then go for it.. Many good accelerated courses out there..

I would highly recommend that you look in another part of the field if you must stay in aviation.. I say this to any of the kids that have been sold a bill of goods by the schools... they always make it sound like there are 100's of openings just waiting to be filled, making $100,000 and year.. it's total BS sale pitch stuff..

Good luck in this quest..
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Experienced DX school

Higher Power Aviation (DFW) runs a DX school and has an experienced program. With your airline experience you would be able to take the 80 hour course. You would have your ticket about 2 weeks after starting.


I went to AGS (Airline Ground Schools) in Florence, KY (close to CVG). If you already have a pilots license you can take their accelerated course that's only 1 week long. The classes are taught in a hotel conference room, so you can book a room in the hotel where the classes are being held.
Whats the avg starting salary for a dispatcher?

..and avg income after 5 yrs or so with the same company?
I would say between 29-32K to start with most regionals. If you were to get on with NetJets or ExecJet Management, then mid to upper 30s to start. From my research most majors will start in the low to mid 40k range.....salaray at major airlines seem to progress much higher each year than what a regional salary will.

You’re not going to be with Major in 5 years... it's a rarity... 5th year pay at a regional may get you in the $35 to 38 range with some pushing 40K..

The majors want lots of experience and can and will get it from the high number of applications they get when they do hire, usually 8 to 10 years of solid international and domestic work before they even look at you..

I would suspect that there will be a fairly large number of “major’s" retirements in the next 5 to 10 years, this will make more room in the regional and LCC sectors as those with the experience make the jump, however many will stay put as they have the best bidding schedules, their pay is now at a good level and many won't want to start over in senority and uproot a family..

Remember about 8 years ago there were about 2500 "active" dispatchers, I understand that that number today is down to about 1600.. this is ALL U.S. based part 121 airlines... this makes us a very small group indeed.. by the way, that also means that there are maybe a 1000 experienced dispatchers out there plus all the new students the schools crank out every year with no experience..

Personally, I think its a flooded field, based on the low demand...

But what is a Major anymore.. The old definition based on financial strength does not really apply, let’s just say it the companies that pay the highest wages... however with bigger companies comes bigger politics and more BS.. It’s all relative..

Persistence, keeping up with your networking, and gaining experience will put one in the best position to grab one of these jobs when they come open.. but it's the right place, right time, right experience and who you know...
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You guys keep talking about inexperience. If this guy has 6000 hours of flight time he can easily breeze thru an accelerated course, and have more weight on his application due to not being green like most DX school graduates. It's a tough market out there right now, but I say if you need a job and don't mind earning another ticket, go for it and give it your best shot. A lot of DXers out of work sometimes just don't fit the cultural part of an airline, it doesn't have as much to do with how well they can do the job.
I hear ya, and I think we all agree he can get the license quickly and without too much expense. As for the experience, can go both ways. Some are leery of hiring super experienced pilots and investing in their training only to have them bolt if hiring picks up in that area. Many pilots HATE dispatching - they'd rather be flying. Yes, the market is very saturated, yet lots of new licensees are getting jobs. It is a combination of culture, hiring chemistry, and if they think one will be worth the investment.

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