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to be a dispatcher? how? pay? etc?


Seeing the light
Nov 27, 2001
Total Time
what do you have to do to be a dispatcher for a 121 operation? what's the pay like at a regional/major? benefits? hours? overall job?



El Capitan
Nov 25, 2001
Total Time

As far as becoming a Dispatcher, there are several Dispatcher schools in which you can train to receive your Dispatcher license. A few of the more populare schools are Sheffield in Ft. Lauderdale and a school in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area called the Airline Dispatcher Training Center, or something like that. Their courses can be as quick as 6 weeks. Attaining the license includes taking the Dispatcher version of the ATP written, basically its the same test as the regular ATP written, but there are some added questions in the "Dispatcher" section of the book pertaining more to Dispatchers.

As far as finding a job as a Dispatcher, its somewhat similar to finding a job as a pilot. You start your way at a regional, then after several years at a Regional, you can move your way up to a National or Major airline. Starting pay at Regionals is anywhere between $18,000-24,000/yr, topping out around +$30,000. Pay at Majors starts out $25-30,000 and can top out around +80,000 with +10yrs of experience.

Overall the job is fun and very challenging. It can be high stress at times. The hours vary, depending on the kind of airline/company you dispatch for. Most Dispatchers work 10hr shifts or something along those lines.

Let me know if you have any other questions. HOpe this helps.


desk driver
Feb 20, 2002
Total Time
Take a look at Airline Dispatchers Federation for a lot of good info about and for dispatchers.

I and some of my co-dispatchers went to dispatch school at Airline Flight Dispatcher Training Center in Dallas. A lot of my co-dispatchers did their initial training at Sheffield School of Aeronautics in Florida. And some went to other schools. But those seem to be the largest drawers - or maybe just the ones with the most advertising. Also if you are from Utah check out SheffieldWest which is associated with SkyWest Airlines.

I can't say that one school is better than another because any and all have to meet and will teach for the minimum FAA requirements for an Aircraft Dispatcher. The difference you will find is in the instructors that are currently teaching, and each student's ability to learn and be trained. Even once you finish the six weeks to get your dispatch cert, you will still have lots of learning to do before you are placed on your own. And I've even learned more since that point and expect to continue to learn more through out my career as a dispatcher.

Have fun - Be safe!