First, welcome. Just reading about your relationship with aviation in general it sounds like you are a fit already but if you can work your way into touring an soc/occ/whatevercc they want to call it, I would recommend you do that. Beyond that there are some things that you have to be okay with, especially early on. The pay probably won't be more than 40k at first (though the benefits are there and the flight benefits are awesome). You likely have to work weekends and holidays. You may have hours that you don't like at first and it is not uncommon for new dispatchers to have 3 am starts or maybe even overnights. If you love aviation the way you say you do, though, I sincerely doubt that'll matter. The pay does improve with time and so do your shifts. I have a very favorable one to me 8 months in to my time at my airline and actually enjoy my weekend shifts.Hi, I'm new here. I'm in my late-20s/early-30s strongly considering a career change. I got a bachelor's degree in a business-related major but graduated during the worst of the recession and couldn't find work. But I'd always had good grades and test scores growing up and had a lot of family pressure to go into something prestigious. So, at the inexperienced age of 22, law school sounded like a good idea because I was very good at the LSAT, despite not being much into reading and writing, and I figured law school would just magically adjust my skills and interests into a steady job with a good salary. Long story short, that didn't happen. I graduated from a good school but near the bottom of my class, and passed the bar on the first try, but my heart was never in it. Accordingly, I've only been able to work at short-term, low-paying jobs. I wind up making about $40K with no benefits and I have no passion for it.
But I always have been very interested in transportation, especially commercial aviation, although I have never worked in the field. I spend a lot of my free time reading aviation news, playing around with flight trackers, plane spotting when I'm near the airport, etc. Since in the past I have found trouble with not being passionate about my line of work, I'm strongly considering changing careers and going into aviation for a living. I might have even considered becoming a pilot, but at this point I have so many student loans that I think I'd rather avoid adding the cost of pilot training to that pile. But the more I read about dispatch, the more interesting it seems to me.
My first question is, before even dealing with finding a dx school (there is one in my area that sounds cool), how I can I do more research to see if this would be a good path for me? Probably my biggest mistake going into law school was not researching the field first and it turned into a very expensive mistake, and I don't want to repeat the same mistake. I've heard of people networking their way into shadowing at SOCs, for example.
My second question is, would my career change background make it difficult for me to find work? I've noticed that at least one other poster on this forum has taken the lawyer-dispatch path (although it sounds like that person was much more successful in the law field than I ever was). I think some employers might be concerned about what might appear to be a big pay cut, but as I mentioned above, 40K with no benefits isn't very different from a 35K start at a regional with benefits.
Any advice at this early stage is appreciated. In any event dx school is probably at least a year away for me or so if I decide to do it.
Finding work? I got lucky and got a job my first airline I applied to and on the first interview. Some take months, some take years. It really varies. Again, your enthusiasm for the field that you have expressed gives you a bit of a leg up because they do want people who "want to be there." As to your previous work background, I've worked with dispatchers who come from varying fields before dispatch. I know ex pilots who dispatch, people who's only previous qualification was that they worked at a Starbucks, former high ranking managers with Wal Mart, and pretty much anywhere in between. If you can interview well and show you want to be there, know your stuff and have your certificate, someone will hire you.
Your username gives me some conjecture as to which school you're thinking of. If it is the one I am thinking of, I'l say that I went there and I thought it was a good school with good instructors.
Hope that helps. I personally really enjoy the field.