Dispathchers: How do you like your job?

Brasilia Pup

Space Shuttle Door Gunner
Apr 15, 2004
Total Time
I ask, because my wife is considering a career change.

We have been together for over 20 years and she has heard plenty of talk about the Part 91 and regional 121 world.

But, after 18 years as a school teacher, she's had her fill of B.S. (political red-tape and bureaucracy).

So, she's considering becoming an Airline Dispatcher. I told her that y'all are my "Right Hand Man". I have the utmost respect for what you do.

Can you tell me what your job is like?
How many hours do you work per shift?
How many days on/off you work?
Are your days ON back to back or spaced apart?
Do you bid for monthly schedules like pilots do?
What do you like most about your job?
What do you hate most about your job?
What your average salary is like?
And where should she seek training for an Airline Dispatcher certificate?

Thank you for taking your time to respond. I & she, greatly appreciate any insight you provide.


Active member
Jan 20, 2002
Total Time
In my opinion dispatching is the best ground based job in the airline industry. It can be a rewarding career however I think the longer you wait to get into the business the more apt I would suggest to stay away from it.

Everything is seniority based and if you already have kids do you really want to be working midnights and/or reserves for who knows how long? Its a killer for babysitting. In general life sucks in the beginning but it gets better the more people that get hired after you. Choose your first job wisely as that will dictate how long you stay at the bottom. Once you finally start to get a good schedule you might have the opportunity to move up to a major (if that's what you want) and then you start the whole process of being at the bottom again.

If you are in your 20's-30's I'd suggest the jump. If you are in your 40's and not trying to be an internal hire at a major then I'd probably look at something else.

As far as a regional schedule I think it is typically 4 on 3 off 10 hour shifts. Starting pay is around $12-$15 an hour but it could be more as I've been out of that loop for a while. Bidding schedules can be quarterly or yearly depending on the airline.

It doesn't matter where you get your certificate however I'd pick one that has been around for awhile so they don't take your money and run. In theory the closest school to your wife would work. Some schools have contacts at the regions which can be helpful but not necessary. A few of the big name schools are Sheffield, Jeppesen, FlightSafety and some school in Texas but I think they changed their name from when I looked at them years ago.

Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to send me a pm.


Well-known member
Mar 18, 2004
Total Time
120 hr
I would suggest talking to your dx manager about letting her visit the office and see how the job goes.
It can be the easiest job in the world as long as the weather is fine and you don't have any mx issues. But then you earn your money.