Dispatcher Job Prospects?

repoetic

New Member
Hey everyone!

I'm new to Jetcareers but have found this to be a very reliable source for information on pursuing a dispatching career. Right now I'm a freshman in college but I've always been drawn to the airline industry- I used to dream of being a pilot but right now I think it would be cool to do some of the "behind the scenes" work that dispatchers take part in. My question is, I've been following updates on this forum, and it seems like every time a position opens up at a major airline an insane amount of people apply for very, very few spots. If I took the time to study a related field in college, attend dispatching school and pass the FAA exam could I actually hope to get a position at a major at SOME point in my career? How often do people in this field never even make it a major? By major I mean American, United or Delta. Thank you so much for any information!
 

Brett Spurgeon

Well-Known Member
Hey everyone!

I'm new to Jetcareers but have found this to be a very reliable source for information on pursuing a dispatching career. Right now I'm a freshman in college but I've always been drawn to the airline industry- I used to dream of being a pilot but right now I think it would be cool to do some of the "behind the scenes" work that dispatchers take part in. My question is, I've been following updates on this forum, and it seems like every time a position opens up at a major airline an insane amount of people apply for very, very few spots. If I took the time to study a related field in college, attend dispatching school and pass the FAA exam could I actually hope to get a position at a major at SOME point in my career? How often do people in this field never even make it a major? By major I mean American, United or Delta. Thank you so much for any information!
If you limit yourself to American, United, or Delta, you may be missing out on carriers like UPS, FedEx, and Southwest who pay just as much.
 

Flagship_dxer

Legacy Airline Dispatcher
How often do people in this field never even make it a major?
Three words: Timing, life and personality. The people who dont ever make to a major typically dont because of bad timing, life events or lifestyle, or their personality. There can also be some combination of this. There are only a small number of dispatchers in the industry as a whole that have been at a regional for a long time who want to be at a major but cant get hired. Most dispatchers either make it to a major or drop out of the industry. This hasnt always been the case but all the majors have hired so much the past 5 years that if you had a lot of time at the regionals, there is a reason why you arent at a major. It can be a personal choice for a variety of reasons or it can be something with your personality or knowledge.
 

repoetic

New Member
Ok, thanks for the information! So how often does it happen that a dispatcher quits and gives up on making it to a major? Just to clarify, the consensus is that as long as one keeps working at a regional, then at some point they'll almost always get to a major?
 

LX Sport

Well-Known Member
Ok, thanks for the information! So how often does it happen that a dispatcher quits and gives up on making it to a major? Just to clarify, the consensus is that as long as one keeps working at a regional, then at some point they'll almost always get to a major?
At the rate the majors are hiring right now, yes, the consensus is that if you put your time in at a regional, and work hard and learn everything you can, that you'll get a shot at a major. Nothing is guaranteed, and there isnt a rule that if you put in X amount of time you will get to the majors, some people go right away, some people it takes many years. But right now is a great time to get in the industry.

And know that it cant be like this forever, eventually the hiring boom will start to dry up. Southwest has already said that they are done with big hirings and are down to just hiring a few people a year for attrition.

As for people quiting and giving up, Ive personally only seen one, but I think it had alot more to do with his personality and not getting along with any of his coworkers, to the point he eventually alienated himself. But the pool of regional employees trying to move up is pretty large, relatively speaking.
 

MT

Well-Known Member
Ok, thanks for the information! So how often does it happen that a dispatcher quits and gives up on making it to a major? Just to clarify, the consensus is that as long as one keeps working at a regional, then at some point they'll almost always get to a major?
People that got into dispatch 2011-2012 really hit the jackpot so to speak. Limited exposure to the regionals and were able to ride the mainline hiring wave. The average experience went down from 5 years to just about 2. The current boom is based off of expansion primarily, merger mania helped a little bit too. I do agree with LX Sport that this current push is likely coming to an end this year, however if my office is any indication of the rest of the major offices there is going to be another huge hiring boom around 2020.

As others have said, the path to a major varies by dispatcher. 99% of lifers at regionals are so by their own choice. .9% are the jerks that flagship describes. .1% are the the ones that there is simply no explanation for and I feel bad for them.
 

jaydog

Well-Known Member
Well I have been in the industry for 8 years now and I have not made it to the majors. I have put in application after application and I never get a call or an email to test. Not sure why. I have 4 years of regional experience with 4 years of domestic and international experience including ETOPS. But nope no responses. But oh well I will keep trying. However it does become discouraging when you know you have the qualifications but you are never called or invited to even test.

This is an answer to your question. Yes there are dispatchers that never make it to the majors and eventually stop trying. I haven't stopped trying but I am getting close.
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
jaydog said:
Well I have been in the industry for 8 years now and I have not made it to the majors. I have put in application after application and I never get a call or an email to test. Not sure why. I have 4 years of regional experience with 4 years of domestic and international experience including ETOPS. But nope no responses. But oh well I will keep trying. However it does become discouraging when you know you have the qualifications but you are never called or invited to even test. This is an answer to your question. Yes there are dispatchers that never make it to the majors and eventually stop trying. I haven't stopped trying but I am getting close.
Have you thought of trying something different? Revamping your resume? Most importantly, networking?
 

jaydog

Well-Known Member
womanpilot73,

I have tried everything or at least I think I have. My resume only contains dispatch jobs including my 2 years as a dispatch instructor. With the last United posting I sent my resume to a dispatcher there at United that I worked with and know very well and he even sent a letter of recommendation for me. Still nothing. So I am not sure what to do now. But I am beginning to be ok where I am at. I think that is because I am starting to see that maybe where I am at is where I am going to stay. I'm going to hit 40 this year and I am getting to that point that I don't want to have to start all over again (pay, seniority, etc).
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
jaydog said:
womanpilot73, I have tried everything or at least I think I have. My resume only contains dispatch jobs including my 2 years as a dispatch instructor. With the last United posting I sent my resume to a dispatcher there at United that I worked with and know very well and he even sent a letter of recommendation for me. Still nothing. So I am not sure what to do now. But I am beginning to be ok where I am at. I think that is because I am starting to see that maybe where I am at is where I am going to stay. I'm going to hit 40 this year and I am getting to that point that I don't want to have to start all over again (pay, seniority, etc).
Don't give up hope yet. There are members here that have been in your shoes and about to throw in the towel and then bam, got that major job. Try expanding your network contacts because internal rec's go a long way. Sorry this last one didn't work out. Also, not saying you need this, but maybe try working on interview skills? Practice with people who will be honest with you and help you improve. There are tons of YouTube videos out there that can help with that too. Hang in there...stay in the fight. :)
 

nyk

Well-Known Member
Well I have been in the industry for 8 years now and I have not made it to the majors. I have put in application after application and I never get a call or an email to test. Not sure why. I have 4 years of regional experience with 4 years of domestic and international experience including ETOPS. But nope no responses. But oh well I will keep trying. However it does become discouraging when you know you have the qualifications but you are never called or invited to even test.

This is an answer to your question. Yes there are dispatchers that never make it to the majors and eventually stop trying. I haven't stopped trying but I am getting close.
That's why these mega mergers are killing the industry. No real creditable competitors no more which is why ticket prices are higher. Mega mergers kill dispatcher dreams.
 

nyk

Well-Known Member
Well I have been in the industry for 8 years now and I have not made it to the majors. I have put in application after application and I never get a call or an email to test. Not sure why. I have 4 years of regional experience with 4 years of domestic and international experience including ETOPS. But nope no responses. But oh well I will keep trying. However it does become discouraging when you know you have the qualifications but you are never called or invited to even test. It's so disheartening to say these things about what I love to do but it's the truth. I feel so disappointed in were the industry has gone.

This is an answer to your question. Yes there are dispatchers that never make it to the majors and eventually stop trying. I haven't stopped trying but I am getting close.
Speaking on being discouraged. This profession can kill your sole. There have been numerous times I thought of quiting all together and go into another field. As dispatchers we don't have operational control no more, our managers micromanage what we do, there is little amount of room to grow just to name a few.
 
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Wolfman14

Well-Known Member
For example last week moderate freezing rain in Chicago no holdover times. Told supervisor flight not cancelled just delayed. So there is no operational control if we have to get permission to have a flight cancelled even if flight is illegal
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
Wolfman14 said:
So there is no operational control if we have to get permission to have a flight cancelled even if flight is illegal
If it's not legal, don't release it. That's your license on the line. Let the company decide to cx it altogether or not, but don't dispatch a flight if it's not legal.
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
Wolfman14 said:
Totally true but is annoying that people who make the call to cancel won't even when it's obvious
That's on them. All you can do is exercise operational control over your flights and refuse to release a flight that's not legal. That's assuming you are at a domestic/flag carrier. It's a different story at a supplemental operation.
 
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