Jetpilot From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 32 Posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1685 times:
Are there any flight dispatchers here? My wife is interested in a new career and I would like to get a little information to provide her.
What is the minimum and maximum salaries?
Quality of life?
How is the job stress level?
After you get your FAA FD license how easy is it to get employment?
How is the job market?
What would be the typical first job?
Goldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5418 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1646 times:
1) Depending on where you work, the starting could be as low as $26,000, and the topout upwards of $100,000+. But these are both based on different carriers, and different seniority scales. For an entry-level dispatcher, either a small cargo carrier, regional, or charter airline is the best bet for experience.
2) QOL is dependant on pay and cost of living. You'd have to compare scales and housing costs at the places where she'd want to work.
3) Depending on the operation, it could range from peice-of-cake, to blow-your-brains-out. At many small carriers, you end up doing dispatching, coordination, and crew support. At big operations, the dispatcher does either dispatching or coordinating, but not both at the same time. At the big operations you only have to concentrate on what's on your plate, maximizing safety and minimizing mistakes.
4) Most regionals will hire you right out of school. Many small cargo carriers will as well.
5) Don't look at the majors. It's pretty rare that they hire someone straight out of school.
6) See number 1 and 4.
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OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1626 times:
Quoting Jetpilot (Thread starter):
1-What is the minimum and maximum salaries?
2-Quality of life?
3-How is the job stress level?
4-After you get your FAA FD license how easy is it to get employment?
5-How is the job market?
6-What would be the typical first job?
Goldenshield pretty much nailed it, but I think there are a few other things to consider.
2- To expand on what Goldenshield said, a major part of QOL is the balance between the airline and the city their dispatch office is in. (Airlines usually have a single, centralized dispatch office, co-located with the airline's HQ). You may like the airline, but hate the city. Conversely, you may hate the airline, but love the city. I've known a couple of dispatchers that have commuted to solve the "balance" between the two factors, but that brings in other factors such as the hassle of commuting, effect on family life, distances involved, if the work schedule is conducive to commuting, etc. If the eventual goal is to work for a major, one can go through the same exercise and also crank-in what experience requirements they may have, and then acquire them at a smaller outfit first. Also, there will be shiftwork involved, and the newbies will see their share of graveyards and oddball work rotations compared with the M-F 9-5 world.
3- You've probably heard the old expression of "hours of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror" and the stress level within an office can be similar. Good VMC weather and no aircraft outof service, and then something breaks down and/or somebody's weather craters, and it's a rapid spool-up to deal with it. The level of automation available at the airline is a big factor here, as well as the duties at the particular airline. Overall, I don't think the stress is too bad, and is quite manageable, especially once a little experience in "forecasting" is acquired on the job. As an example, if ceilings are coming down at LAX, and they hit 1000-3 or lower, I start adding takeof alternates to all my departures. There's certainly no absolute "need" to at that point (since LAX isn't below 1/2SM), but should LAX suddenly drop to 1/4SM, I have then avoided the need to scramble to add takeoff alternates to multiple flights.
4-6 were pretty well covered by Goldenshield. The only thing I'd add, or reiterate, is to check the requirements of the big carrier (if you want to eventually work for one, based on the big airline and it's dispatch office location), and obtain that experience at a smaller carrier.
JETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 32 Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1570 times:
My wife is an FO on the A300 at a 121 cargo airline. We decided it's time to have kids so she want's to put her flying career on hold and raise the kids. She would like to work as a dispatcher for the next 4 or 5 years. Will her line experience enable her to find a job at a major right out of school? Let's say Delta?
Crjfixer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 172 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1563 times:
Honestly probably not. Her best chance would be with the airline she currently works for or a regional. But as far as major airlines go there are probably dispatchers all over the country with dispatch experience just banging on the doors to get in.
Our dispatchers for example throw boxes at Fed-Ex after they get off and it still takes the approx 2-3 years of doing both to get on at fed and dont even try to get a job off the street.
JETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 32 Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1492 times:
Thanks for the information. We commute to our domicile so working for our company as a dispatcher is not an option. I wish it was. It looks like we will be moving which I'm not happy about. I built a new house 7 years ago and love it. Oh well.
A320ajm From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 498 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1362 times:
There was a really good article about flight dispatches in Airliner World. (UK Airline Magazine). I can't find the article online but if you can get a back dated copy, then it is worth the read.
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