New Dispatcher FAQ

Shock-Diamonds

Well-Known Member
I was a Flight attendant at F9. I have some flight time too, not really applicable to DX. It did help a bit as far as reading METARS/TAFS as well as the weight and balance topics that we covered in class. I really appreciate your input! Really can’t thank yall enough. I have such a passion for aviation and I’m eager to learn more and begin a great career as a dispatcher.
Some flight time and even being an FA can be helpful for dispatching, even if it's just understanding the importance of alerting crews about turbulence, and will at least look good on a resume that you have experience in the field. Being an FA, I'm guessing you have friends in the industry and that is the easiest way to help get a job.

As far as being a dispatcher, it is a great career and most days it is pretty relaxed and enjoyable, especially if you have a love for aviation, but there are certainly stressful days. Another great thing DX is that if you love aviation and traveling you will be surrounded by like minded people and it's easy to make a lot of friends. There are downsides though. Relocating is almost a certainty (multiple times) as you get your first job and progress through your career, so choice of where you can live will always be limited. Also, you will not make great money for a while. For me though, I wouldn't want to do anything else, and could not imagine working 5 day weeks and not having flight benefits again. ;)
 

tc92

New Member
Thanks for all the great info in this thread!

I'm considering going into this field, but have some questions:

1) I've always struggled with my sleep, I have delayed sleep phase disorder so I have a hard time falling asleep before 8 am most days. I get enough sleep, I just can't sleep during what society deems "normal hours." Assuming I got hired as a flight dispatcher, would it be easy to get night shifts as new dispatcher? Or will they just assign whatever shifts are available?

2) What does the on-the-job training look like once you get hired by an airline? I realize this would probably be different from airline to airline, but what can I expect in general?

3) Is a college degree required to get into this field?

4) Is speaking several languages beneficial in getting hired or does that not really matter assuming I'd work for a US based airline. I speak 4 languages.

Thanks for your input.
 

IJD

Well-Known Member
1.) Depends on the airline. Where I work midnights go to more senior people. When you first get hired you will most likely be reserve and work what open shifts they have available. Once you get a little seniority you will hold a line.

2.) We did about 3 weeks on the floor, first few days observing, and the rest of the time making the releases with the person training you double checking it, correcting any mistakes, and then sending the release. Had a few things to go over each day, making sure you were ready for the comp check.

3.) Nope, but it doesn't hurt.

4.) Doesn't seem to matter if you speak another language. English is pretty much spoken everywhere. But at the same time it doesn't hurt and may help you a handful of times, and depends on what languages you speak.
Thanks for all the great info in this thread!

I'm considering going into this field, but have some questions:

1) I've always struggled with my sleep, I have delayed sleep phase disorder so I have a hard time falling asleep before 8 am most days. I get enough sleep, I just can't sleep during what society deems "normal hours." Assuming I got hired as a flight dispatcher, would it be easy to get night shifts as new dispatcher? Or will they just assign whatever shifts are available?

2) What does the on-the-job training look like once you get hired by an airline? I realize this would probably be different from airline to airline, but what can I expect in general?

3) Is a college degree required to get into this field?

4) Is speaking several languages beneficial in getting hired or does that not really matter assuming I'd work for a US based airline. I speak 4 languages.

Thanks for your input.
 

mmosko76

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the great info in this thread!

I'm considering going into this field, but have some questions:

1) I've always struggled with my sleep, I have delayed sleep phase disorder so I have a hard time falling asleep before 8 am most days. I get enough sleep, I just can't sleep during what society deems "normal hours." Assuming I got hired as a flight dispatcher, would it be easy to get night shifts as new dispatcher? Or will they just assign whatever shifts are available?

Most new dispatchers get put on relief/PTO relief.. this means that your schedule will reflect the demand for a specific month (i.e PTO, annual vacation, training, recurrent, etc). Therefore your shifts will change constantly and no week will be the same (mornings to evenings to overnights). Every airline is different but that's the gist.

2) What does the on-the-job training look like once you get hired by an airline? I realize this would probably be different from airline to airline, but what can I expect in general?

I can only speak for my current airline as it is my first and only DX job- but typically training consists of several weeks of classroom training followed by several weeks/months/even years of OJT where you'll be working on the floor with a certified ATS OJT instructor shadowing you. After that you will be assigned a competency check in which you will be shadowed by an ATS while you work a live desk and asked oral questions either before, during, or after the shift.

3) Is a college degree required to get into this field?

Most airlines prefer a Bachelors or higher but more than likely it isn't required. With that said, it will definitely help you stand out against of external candidates, but this is one of those professions that actual job experience matters more than a degree.

4) Is speaking several languages beneficial in getting hired or does that not really matter assuming I'd work for a US based airline. I speak 4 languages.

Same point as above. It will definitely help you stand out against other external (maybe internal) candidates. On the technical side, speaking 4 languages can be extremely beneficial if you're working an international desk (i.e South, Latin America). Most of the non-english speaking stations speak very broken english at best.

Hope this helps.
 

tc92

New Member
1.) Depends on the airline. Where I work midnights go to more senior people. When you first get hired you will most likely be reserve and work what open shifts they have available. Once you get a little seniority you will hold a line.

2.) We did about 3 weeks on the floor, first few days observing, and the rest of the time making the releases with the person training you double checking it, correcting any mistakes, and then sending the release. Had a few things to go over each day, making sure you were ready for the comp check.

3.) Nope, but it doesn't hurt.

4.) Doesn't seem to matter if you speak another language. English is pretty much spoken everywhere. But at the same time it doesn't hurt and may help you a handful of times, and depends on what languages you speak.
@IJD @mmosko76
Thanks to both of you for your replies, very helpful. Based on your responses to my first question, I'm not sure it would make much sense trying to pursue a career in flight dispatch at the moment... think I need to try and find a solution for my sleep disorder first. Thanks again.
 
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