How to Become an Aircraft Dispatcher: From Start to Finish

If you need a little inspiration and more details about what exactly an aircraft dispatcher does, read Sheffield’s article “Unsung Heroes of the Sky – Aircraft Dispatching and Who to Thank for a Safe Flight”; it’s a great place to start. This guide is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about aircraft dispatching, no matter how much or how little you already know about the crucial career for airlines.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics breaks the process down into eight sections to cover the entire process from start (what to consider before taking the aircraft dispatcher course) to finish (finding a job and recommendations).

Is a Career in Aircraft Dispatching Right for Me?

We have compiled a list of personality traits that good aircraft dispatchers have:

    • Effective Communication Skills


    • Decisiveness


    • Thoughtful Consideration


  • Meticulous Personality

Are you in it for the long haul? Though many Sheffield graduates thrive in the industry and choose to pursue a full-time career as an aircraft dispatcher, there are no rules that say once you complete the aircraft dispatcher training, you cannot change positions or career paths. One of the benefits of working in the aviation industry is the loyalty, community, and opportunity to move into another position if you choose to later on.

Basic Requirements to Attend Aircraft Dispatcher School 

Before you begin your aircraft dispatcher training, you must meet these basic requirements:

  1. Proficiency and fluency in English (required for all aircraft dispatchers).
  2. International students are required to complete the Flight Operations Management level one course, or take a bypass exam.
  3. Applicants under the age of 21 are not eligible for the aircraft dispatcher course.
  4. Minimum high school education or international equivalent.

What is not required to begin your aircraft dispatcher training: 

  1. No higher education degree required.
  2. No experience or background in aviation required.

You can read more aircraft dispatcher course requirements here.

What You Will Need Before Aircraft Dispatcher Course

We tell all prospective students to refrain from studying anything before the aircraft dispatcher training begins. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Students need to have the right instruction and guidance when learning the material. Sheffield School of Aeronautics is the most reputable and highly regarded aircraft dispatching school; we will train you, you don’t have to do any learning before you arrive.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics’ aircraft dispatcher courses are varied. The full course is 5 weeks long, then 3 weeks, then 2 weeks, followed by the shortest duration, the online aircraft dispatch course with 1 week residency. For a full aircraft dispatch course description, visit the Sheffield website.

Classroom vs. Online Aircraft Dispatcher Course

Aircraft dispatcher training is intensive and requires diligence. We recommend the 5-week, in classroom course to everyone, but there are exceptions.

If you have taken the course before, qualify for accelerated instruction; or, if you are having difficulty spending 5 weeks at our school, then the shorter options and online classes are another option. Speak with a Sheffield instructor to discuss your options.

If you want to guarantee your success in the online aircraft dispatcher course, follow these tips:

    • Communicate with instructors effectively and often.


    • Create and stick to a learning schedule.


    • Stay organized and create a workspace.


  • Ask for help if you need it (that includes support from friends and family).

Accredited and Approved Aircraft Dispatcher Schools

Do not enroll aircraft dispatcher schools that have 100% pass rate; you will not get very far after “graduation” because you won’t be prepared for your job.

Sheffield has developed a reputation as the best aircraft dispatcher school because we believe in teaching the best. Our direct partnerships with airlines like Southwest and Delta are a testament to our commitment to the standards of the industry.

Sheffield graduates get jobs and move up faster because our aircraft dispatcher training prepares them for all of the challenges they will face in their careers. Our graduates graduate because they studied and deserved it, students who do not work hard to earn the certification and pass the exams, will not graduate and would not be successful in the field.

The FAA Aircraft Dispatcher (ADX) Exam 

The ADX Exam is administered at FAA approved locations. Sheffield is an approved location, and we administer tests to our graduates on the school grounds.

Students must score 70% or better on an 80-question, multiple choice exam. Students who fail are given the opportunity to retake the test after a 30-day waiting period.

The ADX exam is not easy, and it is recommended that you study as much as possible during the course. Sheffield instructors recommend partnering with other classmates and forming study groups to remain focused and assist one another.

Finding an Aircraft Dispatcher Job

All Sheffield School of Aeronautics graduates are given access to an exclusive job posting board on the Sheffield website. Our school has built strong relationships in the aviation community and with major airlines, which is good news for our graduates. Graduates have access to this aircraft dispatcher job board for life.

Graduating from Sheffield puts students in a great position to be hired. If you want to learn more about the aircraft dispatcher job market and an aircraft dispatcher’s salary, visit our website.

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  • Testimonials

    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    “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
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “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.
    “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
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “After receiving my certificate, I joined a class of 4 experienced dispatchers for Part 121 initial training. Without experience, my preparation at Sheffield enabled me to become active at the same time after the initial training.” PR PR
    “These men represented the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity. The education I received from these gentleman has afforded me to be gainfully employed while having the opportunity to use the education received, all over this country, and more than a few others.” WG sidebar wg
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “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 – Student Testimonial
    “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
    “This school came highly recommended by multiple past students and EVEN OTHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. Reputation is fantastic from multiple companies that I have worked for.” A. – September 2020
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
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