Why Does the Aircraft Dispatcher Salary Start So Low?
According to Glassdoor and Indeed, the average aircraft dispatcher salary is $32,000. However, the Airline Dispatcher Federation suggests the average aircraft dispatcher salary is closer to $40,000. As you evaluate these numbers, it’s important to keep in mind that these are calculated as the average for a flight dispatcher salary. Entry-level aircraft dispatcher salaries at regional airlines in the U.S. may sometimes dip towards the low $30s, yet experienced, senior aircraft dispatchers can earn $100,000 or more working at major airlines.
It’s common those just completing courses at dispatching schools to ask why the starting flight dispatcher salary is so low compared to the salaries of career, experienced dispatchers.
Dispatcher Training vs. Experience
Working as an aircraft dispatcher is occasionally difficult and high stress. There are far fewer experienced aircraft dispatchers than there are recent graduates form dispatching schools. Long term, career dispatchers are in much higher demand than entry-level dispatchers, so airlines are willing to pay for someone who has more experience.
The gap between an entry-level and career aircraft dispatcher salary is great because the demand for experienced dispatchers is higher than the demand for entry-level dispatchers, naturally.
However, demand for entry-level recruits in the aviation industry has been increasing throughout recent years. Aviation industry experts and insiders foresee airlines offering a higher starting salary for aircraft dispatcher to convince younger potentials to consider aircraft dispatcher careers in the years to come.
Lower Barrier of Entry
The less time spent in dispatching schools and high job availability affect the starting salaries of aircraft dispatchers. Aircraft dispatcher school is very much like trade school in that applicants are trained for a specific job. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for aircraft dispatcher school. The longest course offered at Sheffield is five weeks long. After a Sheffield graduate passes the ADX Exam (usually mid-way into the 5-week class), and successfully completes the overall course, and then finally passes the FAA practical (certification) exam, then they are FAA-certified to work as an aircraft dispatcher. International students attaining the FAA certificate are often able to use their certificate to reduce their own country’s supplemental training requirements, since the FAA certification is the respected standard in the industry.
Sheffield has a job posting board for graduates that is frequently updated by hiring managers in the aviation industry. For the most part, finding and landing your first job as an aircraft dispatcher is not difficult, especially when attending a reputable school that has been in business for decades.
Representation is also a key benefit that dispatchers enjoy. Aircraft dispatchers are represented by the Airline Dispatchers Federation, or the ADF. The ADF is an organization that represents the interests of airline dispatchers and provides insights into a flight dispatcher salary. You can read more information here.
Moving Up in Your Career
As an aircraft dispatcher, you have the great potential to expand and grow in your career. Once a dispatcher has a handful of experience the offers for a higher salary and better benefits come pouring in. Alongside the greater opportunities as you move up, working for a better airline also means travel perks for the dispatcher, as well as family members.
Better offers come along with the more experience you gain, as with most professions. This allows applicants the opportunity to negotiate a greater flight dispatcher salary.