Four Things That Will Set You Up to Become an Aircraft Dispatcher
If you have dreamed of being in the operational control center, or a technical non-flying career within an airline all your life, then an aircraft dispatcher might be just the job for you. Dispatchers are responsible for many, things when it comes to individual flights, and are often considered some of the most important people in the industry. A flight dispatcher has to plan the entire flight, help a pilot navigate through rough areas, calculate fuel amounts, and recommend landing and takeoff weights. The dispatcher works very closely with the captain and other operational personnel at the airline. The following are four things that you can do to get yourself set up to get a job as an aircraft dispatcher.
- Receive a High School Diploma – A diploma is not only a prerequisite for aircraft dispatcher training, but it shows a person’s commitment to follow through with something. Before you can go to aircraft dispatcher training, you will need either a high school diploma or a GED, or the international equivalent. Dispatchers have a minimum age requirement of twenty-three years of age, but individuals can be in training before that, which is why it is essential to get a general education beforehand.
- Get a Related Job or speak with dispatchers – Although not required, it may help some future dispatchers to have some experience in the flight world before they can become an aircraft dispatcher. There are some entry-level jobs that someone may be able to get while they wait to finish training or to turn the appropriate age. Jobs may include being a ramp controller, assistant, or more. Even shadowing a dispatcher or speaking with experienced dispatchers can prove beneficial.
- Learn All You Can – Whether you haven’t been accepted to aircraft dispatcher training yet, or even if you have, there are extra things you can do to learn more about the job. Make meetings with dispatchers who already have the job and discuss with them the things they did to become successful. Read a book or do some research online to learn more about aviation terms and other technical knowledge. Contact your school to provide some helpful references, articles, or technical handouts to get a head start on your training.
- Attend Aircraft Dispatcher Training – In order to get the job, you will need to successfully complete a dispatcher training course and then pass the FAA certification test (practical examination). The course will teach you all the basics of the job. By learning all you can beforehand, the course should be easier for you to get through. Things you will learn and practice include regulations, weather, ATC, navigation, decision-making, and flight planning, and other subject matter that are specific to the job.
When your course is passed, you will need to pass the certification test before you can apply for a job. You have to be 23 years old when you take the test, and it must be completed within 90 days of your completion of the dispatcher training. Most certification exams occur within a few days following course graduation. Once you have passed the test, you will be many steps closer to becoming a dispatcher, and can begin to apply and interview for jobs.
If becoming an aircraft dispatcher has always sounded exciting to you, there are some things you can do beforehand to get yourself ready for the job. Whether you are still in high school, or graduated years ago, it’s never too late to get started with preparations for the future. Sheffield School has had students successfully graduate from 21 to over 60 years of age!