Tips for Obtaining an Airline Dispatcher Certification

In order to become an airline dispatcher, there are several things you need to do, including securing a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The first step in that process is to qualify for taking the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher test. In order to do so, here are some good guidelines you can follow.

Know the Requirements

According to the FAA, the general requirements you need to have in order to take the aircraft dispatcher test are knowledge, skill and experience. Candidates must also be able to read, speak and understand English. The FAA goes on to say that while dispatchers are not expected to be able to fly an airplane, they should have the same knowledge as a pilot.

Understand the Test

The test for airline dispatcher contains 80 questions, and candidates will have as long as three hours in order to take the exam. The questions are all multiple-choice that only require a single response. Further, the questions are all independent of each other, so you do not have to worry that making a mistake on one will have a negative effect on others. In order to pass the test, you will need to have a score of at least 70 percent. To give yourself a good chance at doing so, you should enroll in a training school.

Choose a Program

There are several institutions that offer certification-based programs that, upon graduation, enable you to take the test. Look for a school that:

  • Has a reputation for preparing people for a career in the industry
  • Provides real-world training that involves hands-on simulations
  • Offers a chance to network with other graduates already employed in the industry

You can also evaluate an institution based on its leadership and instructors. Look for a school whose staff has extensive experience in the industry, either as dispatchers, air traffic controllers, pilots or other related positions.

The Right Course

In addition to selecting a reputable school, you need to make sure that the course offering aligns with your lifestyle or current schedule. In-classroom learning may be beneficial, but not all students will be able to make the time commitment. If your schedule demands flexibility, opt for a blended learning course, which features online study as well as some in-classroom sessions. This type of learning demands significant discipline, but it opens the door for students who are also working or have other commitments while trying to earn their certification.

Take Advantage of Opportunities

The goal of obtaining an aircraft dispatcher certification is nearly always to secure employment. A good way to further your marketability and perhaps even make more connections is to take advantage of any extra programs your school may offer. For example, some institutions may provide an international flight-planning course, available to students who graduate from the initial program. A class like this would be necessary if you want to work on an international desk, but it also demonstrates your interest in learning more.

A career in the airline industry is exciting and full of responsibility. If you are interested in becoming certified by the FAA, you should have an understanding of what to expect and know where to go to get the right training. Follow these tips for a head start on obtaining your certification.

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    “My experience at Sheffield and my exposure to other aircraft dispatchers that did not go to Sheffield has resulted in an awareness of the superior depth and quality of the training provided by the Sheffield instructors.” CD Sidebar CD
    “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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