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 are closer to $26,000. 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 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 their courses and the ADX Exams, they are licensed to work as an aircraft dispatcher.

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.

ADF Representation

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.

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    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
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    “I entered my profession, with more knowledge and information than dispatchers who have been practicing their craft for more than ten years. Not only has Sheffield provided a top notch education, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to succeed.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
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    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “While touring my company’s dispatch department before I had my license our OCC manager pointed out that 7 of the 10 dispatchers on shift had come from Sheffield. The overall consensus was that Sheffield grads were able to hit the ground running as they were better prepared.” K.O. Sidebar K.O.
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