Choose the Best School for Your Aircraft Dispatching Career
There are a number of reasons that make Sheffield School of Aeronautics the most qualified aircraft dispatcher training school in the world.
We have been in the business of training aircraft dispatchers for approximately 73 years. That makes us the most experienced and highly reputed aircraft dispatcher school in the world. In fact, we’ve not only been training dispatchers longer than any other school in the world, we’ve been doing it longer than most other schools combined. We take our job seriously; there are no moonlighters or absentee-owners at this school. Beware of ads claiming, “Aviation experience for — years.” Schools should specify the actual number of years they’ve provided 198-hour (or more) Aircraft Dispatcher Training courses, not 2-day test prep courses, not correspondence courses, not flight training, and not 5-10 day accelerated courses. All the aforementioned may have some merit, but not in the same context as full FAA-approved certification courses. Check a school’s history. Has there ever been a name change in the school’s “selective” history? Why? Any incidents? Any investigations? Any violations?
Our school has only continued to expand and grow throughout the years. In recent years, we have added courses, increased our airline specific training, and plan to expand in the future. While others are still seeking FAA approval, have closed down their schools, or are relegated to renting out conference rooms for class, Sheffield continues to grow, assist its graduates, and positively affect the careers of new students from around the world.
We Employ Only Full-Time Aviation Instructors
Our 7+ decades of experience in the field of training has taught us a few things, too. The most important lesson we’ve learned is that students are more likely to achieve success in a training environment run by full-time, dedicated training professionals, rather than frequently changing part-time instructors with jobs and priorities elsewhere. Over the last 2 decades, we have tried every instructional approach possible to maximize effectiveness. We deduced through our own observations that the best instructor is an intelligent and quick-thinking individual. If an instructor has airline experience; wonderful. If they can’t get the point across to the students in a professional manner; they can apply to other schools, but will not remain at ours. We have assisted airlines in rewriting their own operations manuals as well as assisted them with technical questions. We have, along with our graduates, noticed an incredible amount of misinformation that has infiltrated the industry. This is the information that is typically debated throughout dispatch offices in this country. We find it so fulfilling when our graduates report back to us about how well-prepared they are for airline training. Why do we have some graduates from other schools request to sit through International flight planning, ETOPS, EWINS, or simply get refresher training? Why don’t they return to their own schools?
From our own observations on practical exams, as well as graduate and airline feedback, we’ve confirmed over the years that our professional instructors consistently produce the most knowledgeable graduates. The hiring airlines continue to confirm what we know as a fact. Some of our favorite quotes from some of our past interviewers (after “quizzing” our students) are:
- “I wish I attended your school.”
- “We never received this amount of detail.”
- “Everyone is well-prepared.”
- “Extremely thorough knowledge.”
- “It is refreshing to find a school that makes our job (airline initial training) so easy.”
- “I’m glad I attended your school.”
What is sometimes more astonishing is the fact that many interviews are held during the first half of the course, prior to a students’ full exposure to dispatch scenarios. This is a testimony of the real-life scenarios that are instructed at our school instead of the theory-only basics you may receive at a substandard school.
Currently, ALL our instructors are full-time employees of Sheffield School. If a student needs help after class, they will receive it from either the instructor or the President – our instructors won’t leave for work in the early afternoon only to leave you alone or in a “study group.” Our profession requires us to educate and train motivated individuals using the most up-to-date information and technology available. We don’t moonlight as educators and instructors. We also don’t sit by and watch advancements pass us by; our course is in a constant state of flux. Our school doesn’t rest in a protective bubble from the outside world; we dispatch ourselves to major airlines as well as regional airlines to develop and present an overall comprehensive, wide variety of dispatch techniques. We do not teach with a “blinders-on” approach. No matter what airline hires you (large or small), you will be prepared for that company’s initial training. Your Sheffield Diploma guarantees it!
“After graduating from Sheffield…I have found that I have greater knowledge than many people who have been in the business for years.”
Jim Johnson, Graduate (Currently, at Southwest Airlines)
We are the Industry-Recognized World Leader in the Field of Aircraft Dispatcher Training
We have provided contract training for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Australia, and dozens more.
Our training product has been refined for 73 years, it works, and it produces consistent superior results.
Sheffield School’s Curriculum is Overseen by a Program Advisory Board
The following aviation industry representatives serve as advisers with regard to course content and curriculum. This process ensures that Sheffield graduates continue to meet or exceed the expectations of those who would hire them. The Advisory Board members are:
- Mike Senior
- President – Cyintech Information Solutions
- Manager – Flight Air Operations Delta Airlines
- Captain: B-767, B-757, B-727, DC-9, MD-80, DC-8
- Gene Cameron
- Manager – International Air Traffic Systems – Pacific and Asia – United Airlines
- Pat Palaveda
- (Fmr) Manager – Air Traffic Services, Delta Air Lines
- Dave Soaper
- COO – Southern Air Inc.; (Fmr) Director of System Control, Comair Airlines
- Richard Gromel
- Manager (Retired) of System Operational Control, American Airlines
- Lee Wilson
- Flight Control Manager – Virgin America
- (Fmr) Manager – Dispatch Horizon Air
- Leon Jansen
- FAA Designated Examiner, Eastern Airlines dispatcher – 40 years, Decorated Military Veteran
- Frank Shea
- Republic Airlines – Director of Safety
- Fmr Vice-President – Operational Reliability, World Airways
- Fmr Director of Flight Operations and Chief Dispatcher – Delta Air Lines
Sheffield School Was the First Aircraft Dispatch Training Facility to Offer ETOPS Training
This course has been in great demand for the last few years. Our students are exposed to basics as well as advanced practical concepts and applied situations that cannot be thoroughly inserted into our 5-week course without sacrificing sections of our classic course. We refuse to compromise our integrity and skim over material. This course is no 5-hour quickie overview; we’ll end when the class is comfortable with and capable of producing and analyzing a multitude of practical flight plans with hypothetical scenarios discussed. Like the AIFP, you also get a live instructor; not CBT “on-your-own” training.
Sheffield School was the FIRST Aircraft Dispatch Training Facility to offer Advanced International Flight Planning training
This course was not rushed into existence as an afterthought. It took Eric Morris approximately 5 years to outline what would benefit the student most in a 2-3-day period. For Sheffield to insert these advanced techniques and concepts along with an ETOPS course together in a compressed 4-6-hour overview course would be an injustice to our students, and a compromise to our integrity and reputation. You get what you pay for.
Sheffield School Has Placed More Graduates in Rewarding Careers with Airlines Than Any Other School in the World
In fact, we are confident that we have placed more graduates in the industry than all the other schools combined. This ever-growing list of graduate success stories should validate that claim!
Many times, our graduates are hired without a formal interview. Airlines realize which school produces graduates who have earned their license through hard work. They also know which schools hand out licenses to unqualified students, which schools guarantee licenses to students who have previously failed Aircraft Dispatcher courses, and which schools’ graduates are so unprepared that they cannot pass airline initial training.
It seems that the diploma from Sheffield is enough for most airlines. From two of our respected graduates:
- “I had over 12 interviews and job offers around the country and every interview I went on I was told that they called because they saw I was trained at Sheffield. Sheffield is a very respected name in this business.”
- “I’ve been amazed by how many of these companies have said that they will only hire Sheffield graduates. Your reputation and training is second to none! Thank You!”
- Hi Eric,
… you helped me refresh my dispatcher memory back in March of this year when I had an interview with United Parcel Service…I begin on Sept the 5th in Louisville, Ky. I wanted to send you an email and thank you again for all the information that you supplied me with prior to my interview…I appreciate everything you did. Thanks for all your help!!
Sheffield School Has Taught Hundreds of FAA and ICAO-Sponsored Students and Continues to Do So
This is a fact; however, the FAA (as a whole) is not in a position to favor one school over another. In fact, it is against FAA policy. Various schools may provide training for FAA factions or individuals. Be wary of claims that only one school controls FAA training. We’ve even refused the FAA training that one school claims to have been awarded. Sheffield has, in the past, refused training if we felt that (minimal length) accelerated courses would be an inappropriate route to a license.
Sheffield School was the first aviation school to be approved by the FAA for Aircraft Dispatcher Training. We actually pre-date the FAA.
“Sheffield School has an outstanding reputation with the public and with this agency. I appreciate having your experience as a resource…”
K.T. FAA Aviation Inspector December 4, 2001
Sheffield School Offers Free Refresher Training for Our Graduates, as Well as Free Technical Support
For how long? As long as you’d like – forever is an appropriate word since this school has no plans to discontinue training. This has been offered by us longer than most dispatch schools have been in business.
Be wary of schools with no printed documentation, no published tuition fees, or unclear enrollment/refund/payment policies. Beware of claims of ‘Tuition free lifetime refresher training’ yet being charged a $500 registration fee “only.” Then it is not free. Sheffield has had graduates use online refresher training coupled with in-classroom refresher training multiple times, including before successful airline interviews. We would never charge our grads $500, $1000 or any amount for reviews!
We also love to take any technical questions (on “gray” areas) that may arise at work. We’ve fielded calls from the smallest of companies to largest air carriers. Remember – you’ll find us at Sheffield School and nowhere else.
Sheffield School Has Trained (retrained*) Many Graduates of Other Schools
Sheffield School continues to receive requests for recurrent/refresher training from graduates of other schools. This speaks for itself.
Sheffield School is the First School to Be Awarded U.S. Air Force Training to Be Given Onsite (Scott AFB)
We have also trained students from the Pacific Air Forces, and are currently (April-2018) in discussion with the U.S. Army.
A school can only remain in business and maintain their stellar reputation by being trustworthy and providing quality service. We provide our students with an outstanding education. They are not spoon-fed questions and answers for 5 weeks to simply memorize 2 standardized tests. We charge anywhere from $3,600 – $5,200 for the student to receive an education. In the process, they develop the skills to not only pass the standardized tests, but ALSO the Sheffield tests. These tests develop problem-solving skills and speedy decision making. When you enter Airline initial training, you will be prepared. What good is an unearned Aircraft Dispatcher Certificate that was promised to you or guaranteed to you, if you have been under-prepared and may fail within the airline?
Prior to and following graduation, we’ll support you in your job search and technical support when you have a problem. You can’t receive this continued “lifetime” support from a school that has had FAA violations, investigations, suspensions, or shutdowns. Some schools will not be around long – certainly not 73 years or more.
Sheffield School Doesn’t Cancel Classes
“Can you please guarantee to me that you will not cancel my class due to low enrollment?” is a question we receive often. Although some schools have a minimum student enrollment requirement of as many as 12 students, Sheffield School does not penalize our prospective students and customers in this manner. Other schools won’t even tell you that they have a minimum enrollment requirement until they simply cancel. This occurred once within 5 days of the class start date at another school and affected a number of international students who already had their student visas! Sheffield School does not typically have a low enrollment, but even if we enrolled only one student, we would run the class – once again, having full-time instructors has its benefits, and nobody gets hurt or “ripped off.”
Commitment to the Airline Industry
We have made a promise to the airline industry. That promise is to produce the most qualified, and prepared graduates that enter the job market. We do not believe in handing under-qualified students to the airlines. We guarantee that those students passing our course have earned their certificate. Many airlines have seen the light and have complained vigorously about uneducated graduates who must be “reprogrammed” because of inadequate education.
No school can match the quality and quantity of our student/graduate and airline testimonials. You may notice other schools’ web sites with ZERO testimonials or very few testimonials, most, or all of which are UNDATED. Interestingly enough, these schools dated them in the past, then removed them to disguise their lack of consistent and recent praise. Visit our Testimonials page for a huge variety of testimonials including students who DID NOT attend Sheffield, but wish they had!
We don’t teach out of a garage. We don’t instruct out of a hotel room or rent a small conference room. We provide pictures, including 3-D tours of our facilities. Nothing is hidden from view. You’re welcome to tour our facilities if you’d like.
South Florida weather cannot be beat, especially during the winter months. Sometimes we’re asked which time of year is best to attend Sheffield. Our answer is any time is best if you want a comprehensive education, but this link might steer a few of you towards us during the South Florida ‘winter months.’
Online ADX Training
Do you really want to pay $500.00 to over $6,000.00 for FAA standardized Knowledge test preparation? You can purchase a book and CD for approximately $25-$50 to prepare yourself for passing the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Knowledge (ADX) test. Some schools prepare very well for the test. Extremely well. So well that you may spend at least half of your class time (and tuition) on something that you could have accomplished yourself. That leaves only a small portion of the course (what your tuition really goes for) to cover practical concepts. How much are we against this type of training? We’ve spent hundreds of hours coding and testing our series of Online FAA test preparation modules. Currently, we have a majority of the questions and diagrams from the government ADX test-prep book uploaded in a modular test format. It is password-protected, but it is FREE for everyone who enrolls in the course. Future students can now receive instruction and practice quizzes to review before they arrive for their 1st day of classes. We uploaded instructional modules in early October 2009 to assist our students even more. In October 2012, we developed our 1st ADX Test Prep app!
It’s a simple undisputed fact: we’ve been doing it longer, better, and with greater success than any other school in the world. We’ve trained more airline personnel than any other school. As a result, our graduates are unquestionably regarded as the most highly qualified, most highly trained, and most likely to succeed in the industry by the airlines that hire them. Just ask our Graduates, as well as the Airlines (who only prefer prepared graduates). View examples of students from around the world on our Class Photos page, or our social media sites for additional class photos
One relatively recent class (Jan-Feb 2017) had students from USA, Jamaica, Russia, Spain, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece, India, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Qatar, Italy.
We Use Real World Learning Tools
Some schools will only allow their students the opportunity to use government publications in their courses. These materials are inexpensive, but the airlines use many other publications with different formats. And they expect you to understand how to use them before you arrive on Day 1. It is also impossible to instruct and learn computer flight planning, weather retrieval, and the use of Aircraft Situation Display in a classroom without computers or tablets, or Internet access.
Run a Cost Comparison
See our Cost Comparison Chart
Note: some schools do not even reveal their fees, they’d rather ask you to “request a quote” = bad news.
Although Sheffield School has the longest history and most experience of any dispatcher school in the world, we provide a greater education, more physical and electronic materials that you can actually keep, and more services before AND after graduation, but we also typically match or beat others’ prices – typically, discounts are placed on our web site, or you can always email us and ask!
May 7, 2000
“After looking through all the aviation magazines, I contacted 5-6 schools. Some of the brochures looked as though they were running a school from their kitchen table. * What clinched my decision to settle on your school have been testimonial letters, job placement assistance, and reputation…I’m looking forward to the training.”
A.M. – a future student who made the correct choice.
*Some schools won’t even send materials out to you. You should always get a hard copy of all agreements.
At Sheffield, you won’t be asking for help locating a testing center, whether it is for the ADX test or for the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher practical exam. This arrived in our email in late July, 2018: “I’ve had a hard time finding a FAA testing center close to me hence why I am flying to FLL from New York.” Other questions arrive asking the common “can you give me a practical exam?” Why would anyone attend a school that cannot provide basic testing facilities and personnel for their students? Sheffield School of Aeronautics is BOTH an ADX testing center and we also employ our own DADEs (Designated Aircraft Dispatcher Examiners) for the final practical (certification) test. In fact, Sheffield’s examiners have administered more FAA AD exams (~6,500+) than any other school in the world.
Something to Think About
Any school can make any claim they want, including us. We recommend that you ask around and see which school name comes up the most for recommended training.
Q: Why is Sheffield School the only school that recommends that you contact the airline industry professionals for school selection advice?
A: We don’t fear the airline industry’s answer.
More to Think About
When a school claims to have active dispatchers teaching, ask them the following:
1. Why don’t you list them under “Staff?” Are they part-time or full-time?
2. Have your instructors ever been fired/terminated from employment for cause? (answer is ‘yes’ for some instructors as well as course operators.)
3. If they are listed, find out if you can speak to them about the curriculum.
4. Request written testimonials from graduates concerning their instructors.
5. Ask the instructors “How many hours per week they teach?”
6. Do they teach coming off a midnight shift or going onto a day or night shift. If not, “can you guarantee that I’ll have the same instructor for a majority of the course?”
7. Is part of your FAA-approved training curriculum conducted via computer? Why sell me on your instructors if THEY ARE NOT AROUND?
8. What is your instructor turnover per year?