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What Does it Take to Be a Dispatcher?

Position Description Schedule and dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers, or for normal installation, service, or emergency repairs rendered outside the place of business. Duties may include using radio, telephone, or computer to transmit assignments and compiling statistics and reports on work progress.

What Do Dispatchers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Schedule or dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles to appropriate locations, according to customer requests, specifications, or needs, using radios or telephones.
  • Relay work orders, messages, or information to or from work crews, supervisors, or field inspectors, using telephones or two-way radios.
  • Receive or prepare work orders.
  • Oversee all communications within specifically assigned territories.
  • Monitor personnel or equipment locations and utilization to coordinate service and schedules.
  • Ensure timely and efficient movement of trains, according to train orders and schedules.

Dispatcher Needed Skills

When polled, Dispatchers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Other Dispatcher Job Titles

  • Relay Dispatcher
  • Gas Load Dispatcher
  • Oil Well Services Dispatcher
  • Repair Service Dispatcher
  • Work Order Sorting Clerk

Is There Going to be Demand for Dispatchers?

There were about 201,700 jobs for Dispatcher in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Dispatcher. There will be an estimated 18,000 positions for Dispatcher per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Dispatchers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Dispatcher are Utah, North Dakota, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in District of Columbia, Maine, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Dispatchers Salary

Dispatchers make between $24,560 and $65,660 a year.

Salary Ranges for Dispatchers

Dispatchers who work in Nebraska, North Dakota, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Dispatchers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $38,980
Alaska $52,950
Arizona $38,970
Arkansas $36,490
California $45,370
Colorado $43,980
Connecticut $47,820
Delaware $45,760
District of Columbia $50,380
Florida $35,930
Georgia $39,250
Hawaii $43,080
Idaho $37,220
Illinois $46,270
Indiana $43,920
Iowa $44,660
Kansas $41,240
Kentucky $38,470
Louisiana $38,780
Maine $40,860
Maryland $41,790
Massachusetts $46,020
Michigan $40,870
Minnesota $45,520
Mississippi $40,370
Missouri $44,150
Montana $39,170
Nebraska $58,030
Nevada $39,200
New Hampshire $43,720
New Jersey $43,720
New Mexico $43,720
New York $48,570
North Carolina $39,920
North Dakota $57,140
Ohio $42,150
Oklahoma $39,320
Oregon $44,510
Pennsylvania $41,630
Rhode Island $44,120
South Carolina $43,010
South Dakota $34,190
Tennessee $38,690
Texas $41,440
Utah $44,320
Vermont $42,820
Virginia $41,140
Washington $50,760
West Virginia $41,050
Wisconsin $43,130
Wyoming $43,320

What Tools do Dispatchers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dispatchers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Scheduling software
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Kronos Workforce Timekeeper
  • Computer aided dispatch software
  • ESRI ArcIMS

Becoming a Dispatcher

What education or degrees do I need to become a Dispatcher?

Dispatcher Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Dispatcher Work Experience

Where Dispatchers Work

Dispatcher Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Dispatchers work:

Dispatcher Industries

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References:

Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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