|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.
1- For pay rates at various airline dispatch offices, see: http://dsnow.homeip.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=WillDispatchForFood
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.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.