Dispatcher Pay Spreadsheet

F

Flying Saluki

Guest
The regional airlines beat everyone's butt including pilots a starting A@P is in the same boat with about the same starting pay as a starting dispatcher and a starting A@P has generally gone to school for 18 months vs a dispatchers 5 to 6 weeks and spent far more money. But at the major level dispatchers run away with the pay far more than us A@P's not to mention CASS which we don't have. Kind of incredible that the starting pay hasn't really changed in all these years. My point being you guys still have the best return on investment in all of aviation unless you decide to stay at the regional level which a friend of mine has done and she is still a broke dispatcher.
Most dispatchers don’t “decide to stay at the regional level.” They get stuck there because the majors don’t hire that many people, and a good percentage of the ones they do hire come from internal sources. There just aren’t that many jobs available.

I can’t speak to the mechanic profession, except to say that if things are as you say they are, why would you, or anyone, accept that?
 

DogwoodLynx

Well-Known Member
Most dispatchers don’t “decide to stay at the regional level.” They get stuck there because the majors don’t hire that many people, and a good percentage of the ones they do hire come from internal sources. There just aren’t that many jobs available.

I can’t speak to the mechanic profession, except to say that if things are as you say they are, why would you, or anyone, accept that?
Plenty of A&P jobs out there. I know 2 people that just got hired at AA with less than 3 years experience between the both of them. Its the regionals that can't hang on to A&Ps because of crap wages.
 

FXMXC

Well-Known Member
Most dispatchers don’t “decide to stay at the regional level.” They get stuck there because the majors don’t hire that many people, and a good percentage of the ones they do hire come from internal sources. There just aren’t that many jobs available.

I can’t speak to the mechanic profession, except to say that if things are as you say they are, why would you, or anyone, accept that?
A@P's accept that for the same reasons dispatchers do I guess they do it thinking they will progress to a better paying job at the majors. You are right though DX jobs there are not many of them it is a lot of people for very few jobs. I know at FX we hire mostly internal too for DX jobs so I see your point. But in my friends case she doesn't want to commute even though she did in the past. So she accepts staying in STL at Trans States. But at the regional level you're not going to make much
 

FXMXC

Well-Known Member
Plenty of A&P jobs out there. I know 2 people that just got hired at AA with less than 3 years experience between the both of them. Its the regionals that can't hang on to A&Ps because of crap wages.
Exactly and AA always sucked at paying mechanics thanks to the TWU but the regionals are worse I suppose. Me personally as an A@P I wouldn't take a job at AA even if I was homeless. Mechanics have a horrible deal there IMHO. But their Dispatchers do well from what I hear.
 

Sandydfw

Well-Known Member
Someone on here stated it best. Getting a job at the majors is like winning the dispatch lotto. There are some really good dispatchers who never make it out of the regionals. Some by choice, some not by choice.
 
F

Flying Saluki

Guest
There's a saying; "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Some guys are prepared, but never get the opportunity. Others get opportunities, but are not prepared. Fortunately, you have (some) control over both variables.

Some will say it's all about timing, but I call Bravo Sierra on that. It's not like you have control over the timing. I'm thinking of some of my pilot college classmates. Got out of college just when the industry entered a downturn, and so spent 3 or 4 years flight instructing before things opened up again and they could take the next step. Then, just as they were getting to the point where they were competitive for jobs at the majors; 9/11, and hiring shuts down again for 5 or 6 years, Now they're in your late 30's or early 40's, and it's getting harder and harder to make that switch. You've got a family, Because of the concession, the money's not there (at least not as a NB FO back in the mid-2000's), and there's a decent chance you'll never upgrade or, if you do, you'll spend the rest of your career with a lousy schedule and QOL.

There comes a point in your life and career where the returns just aren't there to make the switch worthwhile.
 

Flagship_dxer

Legacy Airline Dispatcher
There's a saying; "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Some guys are prepared, but never get the opportunity. Others get opportunities, but are not prepared. Fortunately, you have (some) control over both variables.

Some will say it's all about timing, but I call Bravo Sierra on that. It's not like you have control over the timing. I'm thinking of some of my pilot college classmates. Got out of college just when the industry entered a downturn, and so spent 3 or 4 years flight instructing before things opened up again and they could take the next step. Then, just as they were getting to the point where they were competitive for jobs at the majors; 9/11, and hiring shuts down again for 5 or 6 years, Now they're in your late 30's or early 40's, and it's getting harder and harder to make that switch. You've got a family, Because of the concession, the money's not there (at least not as a NB FO back in the mid-2000's), and there's a decent chance you'll never upgrade or, if you do, you'll spend the rest of your career with a lousy schedule and QOL.

There comes a point in your life and career where the returns just aren't there to make the switch worthwhile.
Timing is a big part of how I was hired by a major. When I was hired, it was during a bankruptcy contract at the start of a merger. While there were a decent number of people applying, it was certainly not as competitive as it is today. I definitely wouldn't have gone from license class to major in three years. I can't say if I would have gotten on at all and certainly not with the advantageous seniority position.

Now, there are thousands of people applying. Everyone has family and friends they want to have hired that either can't get hired or have dififculty getting hired because of the shear volume of people applying who have similar situations and qualifications. You really have to do a lot more now to stand out than in the past when dispatch was a much less well known profession.

The merger contracts have been huge game changers. I think going forward you will see a lot more people getting into dispatch that may not have the passion for the job as those in the past had because they are in the career for the money and benefits.
 

4EngineETOPS

Well-Known Member
Timing is a big part of how I was hired by a major. When I was hired, it was during a bankruptcy contract at the start of a merger. While there were a decent number of people applying, it was certainly not as competitive as it is today. I definitely wouldn't have gone from license class to major in three years. I can't say if I would have gotten on at all and certainly not with the advantageous seniority position.

Now, there are thousands of people applying. Everyone has family and friends they want to have hired that either can't get hired or have dififculty getting hired because of the shear volume of people applying who have similar situations and qualifications. You really have to do a lot more now to stand out than in the past when dispatch was a much less well known profession.

The merger contracts have been huge game changers. I think going forward you will see a lot more people getting into dispatch that may not have the passion for the job as those in the past had because they are in the career for the money and benefits.
Anything you think current non-major dispatchers should be doing to improve major chances?
 

pljenkins

Resident Knucklehead
Back when I was a kid and I had an issue with anyone telling me what was good for me or not I held my ground on, of all things, homework. Wouldn't do it. And the more you told me to, the less likely I was to comply. As a father now, I can understand how frustrating that is because God has seen fit to carbon copy my butt and make him MY son. Karma is a b!tch. Anyway, my father finally got so frustrated with me that he effectively "gave up" on me (he didn't, but the impression he did motivated me). He said, "the world owes you precisely d!ck, and it has zero issues leaving you behind for those that actually take care of business. Besides, the world needs ditch diggers." Sage advice, especially considering the man spent his adult life in the pilot seat, including 32 years at United. I think I can understand now where his philosophy comes from because the more aviation changes, the more it stays the same. Airline workers (well, pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, and flight attendants) live and die by reputation. According to the FAA, in 2016 there were an estimated 158,000 active ATP rated pilots out there, 279,500 mechanics, 212,600 flight attendants, and a mere 19,800 dispatchers. To say that the dispatch profession is a small world is grossly understated, so it's real easy to gain a reputation that follows you as your career progresses, be it good or bad. Statistically speaking, in a 40 year career you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you've worked with or encountered before in the course of your profession. These people have stories. These stories are sometimes regaled to other dispatchers, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends.... You get the point. One day you walk into the recruiting office of a major airline only to find that the friggin RECRUITER knows of you!

Why am I bloviating about this? Because the sooner you realize, young dispatcher, that your reputation IS your resume, the better your opportunity to better that reputation and by extension better your ability to move freely among your vocation. My path to the majors was circuitous, and even included stints doing work not related to airplanes. I see you guys at their first regional gig and I remember what it was like. It was worse really, because I got in right after 9/11. Prior to that, you literally COULD put in your 2 years at a regional and have a reasonable chance of getting a call-up to the majors. That chit ended after 9/11. The concept of the "involuntary regional career" was inconceivable up until then, but I resolved to make the best of every opportunity I got, work hard, keep a good attitude, shake hands with people, and it worked out. Complaining about how no one is giving you a shot is a great way to ensure you'll never get a shot. I've seen enough in this industry to know that there are a enough dispatchers out there that bitch and moan about how they can't catch a break to make it relatively easy for those that bust their asses and network to get a shot.

This ain't high school. There are kids that are left behind here. You can complain about the heat, the rain, that your legs hurt, that you're thirsty, that it's still miles to the finish line, or you can keep marching. We honestly do not care which one you choose, but you better believe we will remember the ones that kept their mouths shut and their legs moving.
 

DogwoodLynx

Well-Known Member
Back when I was a kid and I had an issue with anyone telling me what was good for me or not I held my ground on, of all things, homework. Wouldn't do it. And the more you told me to, the less likely I was to comply. As a father now, I can understand how frustrating that is because God has seen fit to carbon copy my butt and make him MY son. Karma is a b!tch. Anyway, my father finally got so frustrated with me that he effectively "gave up" on me (he didn't, but the impression he did motivated me). He said, "the world owes you precisely d!ck, and it has zero issues leaving you behind for those that actually take care of business. Besides, the world needs ditch diggers." Sage advice, especially considering the man spent his adult life in the pilot seat, including 32 years at United. I think I can understand now where his philosophy comes from because the more aviation changes, the more it stays the same. Airline workers (well, pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, and flight attendants) live and die by reputation. According to the FAA, in 2016 there were an estimated 158,000 active ATP rated pilots out there, 279,500 mechanics, 212,600 flight attendants, and a mere 19,800 dispatchers. To say that the dispatch profession is a small world is grossly understated, so it's real easy to gain a reputation that follows you as your career progresses, be it good or bad. Statistically speaking, in a 40 year career you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you've worked with or encountered before in the course of your profession. These people have stories. These stories are sometimes regaled to other dispatchers, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends.... You get the point. One day you walk into the recruiting office of a major airline only to find that the friggin RECRUITER knows of you!

Why am I bloviating about this? Because the sooner you realize, young dispatcher, that your reputation IS your resume, the better your opportunity to better that reputation and by extension better your ability to move freely among your vocation. My path to the majors was circuitous, and even included stints doing work not related to airplanes. I see you guys at their first regional gig and I remember what it was like. It was worse really, because I got in right after 9/11. Prior to that, you literally COULD put in your 2 years at a regional and have a reasonable chance of getting a call-up to the majors. That chit ended after 9/11. The concept of the "involuntary regional career" was inconceivable up until then, but I resolved to make the best of every opportunity I got, work hard, keep a good attitude, shake hands with people, and it worked out. Complaining about how no one is giving you a shot is a great way to ensure you'll never get a shot. I've seen enough in this industry to know that there are a enough dispatchers out there that bitch and moan about how they can't catch a break to make it relatively easy for those that bust their asses and network to get a shot.

This ain't high school. There are kids that are left behind here. You can complain about the heat, the rain, that your legs hurt, that you're thirsty, that it's still miles to the finish line, or you can keep marching. We honestly do not care which one you choose, but you better believe we will remember the ones that kept their mouths shut and their legs moving.
This is really good advice. Thank you!
 

Rewind

Well-Known Member
Back when I was a kid and I had an issue with anyone telling me what was good for me or not I held my ground on, of all things, homework. Wouldn't do it. And the more you told me to, the less likely I was to comply. As a father now, I can understand how frustrating that is because God has seen fit to carbon copy my butt and make him MY son. Karma is a b!tch. Anyway, my father finally got so frustrated with me that he effectively "gave up" on me (he didn't, but the impression he did motivated me). He said, "the world owes you precisely d!ck, and it has zero issues leaving you behind for those that actually take care of business. Besides, the world needs ditch diggers." Sage advice, especially considering the man spent his adult life in the pilot seat, including 32 years at United. I think I can understand now where his philosophy comes from because the more aviation changes, the more it stays the same. Airline workers (well, pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, and flight attendants) live and die by reputation. According to the FAA, in 2016 there were an estimated 158,000 active ATP rated pilots out there, 279,500 mechanics, 212,600 flight attendants, and a mere 19,800 dispatchers. To say that the dispatch profession is a small world is grossly understated, so it's real easy to gain a reputation that follows you as your career progresses, be it good or bad. Statistically speaking, in a 40 year career you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you've worked with or encountered before in the course of your profession. These people have stories. These stories are sometimes regaled to other dispatchers, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends.... You get the point. One day you walk into the recruiting office of a major airline only to find that the friggin RECRUITER knows of you!

Why am I bloviating about this? Because the sooner you realize, young dispatcher, that your reputation IS your resume, the better your opportunity to better that reputation and by extension better your ability to move freely among your vocation. My path to the majors was circuitous, and even included stints doing work not related to airplanes. I see you guys at their first regional gig and I remember what it was like. It was worse really, because I got in right after 9/11. Prior to that, you literally COULD put in your 2 years at a regional and have a reasonable chance of getting a call-up to the majors. That chit ended after 9/11. The concept of the "involuntary regional career" was inconceivable up until then, but I resolved to make the best of every opportunity I got, work hard, keep a good attitude, shake hands with people, and it worked out. Complaining about how no one is giving you a shot is a great way to ensure you'll never get a shot. I've seen enough in this industry to know that there are a enough dispatchers out there that bitch and moan about how they can't catch a break to make it relatively easy for those that bust their asses and network to get a shot.

This ain't high school. There are kids that are left behind here. You can complain about the heat, the rain, that your legs hurt, that you're thirsty, that it's still miles to the finish line, or you can keep marching. We honestly do not care which one you choose, but you better believe we will remember the ones that kept their mouths shut and their legs moving.
A+ man. I don't normally read responses this long but you nailed it.
 

nyk

Well-Known Member
I know a guy who put in 15 years at regional before getting call up. I also know someone that put in less than a year and got the call up. It's a matter of luck and preparation. Plain and simple.
 
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Mainline_or_bust

Airplanes fly on PFM, Change my mind
Back when I was a kid and I had an issue with anyone telling me what was good for me or not I held my ground on, of all things, homework. Wouldn't do it. And the more you told me to, the less likely I was to comply. As a father now, I can understand how frustrating that is because God has seen fit to carbon copy my butt and make him MY son. Karma is a b!tch. Anyway, my father finally got so frustrated with me that he effectively "gave up" on me (he didn't, but the impression he did motivated me). He said, "the world owes you precisely d!ck, and it has zero issues leaving you behind for those that actually take care of business. Besides, the world needs ditch diggers." Sage advice, especially considering the man spent his adult life in the pilot seat, including 32 years at United. I think I can understand now where his philosophy comes from because the more aviation changes, the more it stays the same. Airline workers (well, pilots, dispatchers, mechanics, and flight attendants) live and die by reputation. According to the FAA, in 2016 there were an estimated 158,000 active ATP rated pilots out there, 279,500 mechanics, 212,600 flight attendants, and a mere 19,800 dispatchers. To say that the dispatch profession is a small world is grossly understated, so it's real easy to gain a reputation that follows you as your career progresses, be it good or bad. Statistically speaking, in a 40 year career you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you've worked with or encountered before in the course of your profession. These people have stories. These stories are sometimes regaled to other dispatchers, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends.... You get the point. One day you walk into the recruiting office of a major airline only to find that the friggin RECRUITER knows of you!

Why am I bloviating about this? Because the sooner you realize, young dispatcher, that your reputation IS your resume, the better your opportunity to better that reputation and by extension better your ability to move freely among your vocation. My path to the majors was circuitous, and even included stints doing work not related to airplanes. I see you guys at their first regional gig and I remember what it was like. It was worse really, because I got in right after 9/11. Prior to that, you literally COULD put in your 2 years at a regional and have a reasonable chance of getting a call-up to the majors. That chit ended after 9/11. The concept of the "involuntary regional career" was inconceivable up until then, but I resolved to make the best of every opportunity I got, work hard, keep a good attitude, shake hands with people, and it worked out. Complaining about how no one is giving you a shot is a great way to ensure you'll never get a shot. I've seen enough in this industry to know that there are a enough dispatchers out there that bitch and moan about how they can't catch a break to make it relatively easy for those that bust their asses and network to get a shot.

This ain't high school. There are kids that are left behind here. You can complain about the heat, the rain, that your legs hurt, that you're thirsty, that it's still miles to the finish line, or you can keep marching. We honestly do not care which one you choose, but you better believe we will remember the ones that kept their mouths shut and their legs moving.
You hit the nail on the head. Only thing I could add is advice that I got and it worked to get me where I am. Be willing to move to those middle carriers after putting time in at a regional, Frontier, Sun Country, Spirit etc. and I say that for two reasons mainly. 1) experience there is going to look better and help you get hired at a major. 2) If you never got any further and settled in at a carrier wouldn’t it be better to be at F9 in Denver making 108k than at Regional X making 45-50k?

You can legitimately live a good life in the middle ground doing what you love, dispatching. Plus the middle is gaining wage increases above inflation so QoL is only going to improve.
 

DxDD

Well-Known Member
You hit the nail on the head. Only thing I could add is advice that I got and it worked to get me where I am. Be willing to move to those middle carriers after putting time in at a regional, Frontier, Sun Country, Spirit etc. and I say that for two reasons mainly. 1) experience there is going to look better and help you get hired at a major. 2) If you never got any further and settled in at a carrier wouldn’t it be better to be at F9 in Denver making 108k than at Regional X making 45-50k?

You can legitimately live a good life in the middle ground doing what you love, dispatching. Plus the middle is gaining wage increases above inflation so QoL is only going to improve.
Absolutely. When I was at the regional I used to say that all the time... Go to mid level airline, even if your starting pay is the same after a few years you will make much more, you'll get great experience and if you never get to the major you will still top-out at twice the money you will top-out with at regional
I think too many people get wrapped up in the whole seniority thing which is just ridiculous to me ( don't wanna get into all that right now ) and some are too scared of new software and bad rumors about those companies.
 

Mainline_or_bust

Airplanes fly on PFM, Change my mind
Absolutely. When I was at the regional I used to say that all the time... Go to mid level airline, even if your starting pay is the same after a few years you will make much more, you'll get great experience and if you never get to the major you will still top-out at twice the money you will top-out with at regional
I think too many people get wrapped up in the whole seniority thing which is just ridiculous to me ( don't wanna get into all that right now ) and some are too scared of new software and bad rumors about those companies.
Embrace the Drama I say! Company Drama makes you ornery, and ornery people always live to be old ornery people. I can’t wait to be that 80+ old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn and complain about how they have no respect for their elders.
 
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