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What is a Dispatcher?

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Dispatcher

  • Confer with customers or supervising personnel to address questions, problems, or requests for service or equipment.
  • Oversee all communications within specifically assigned territories.
  • Schedule or dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles to appropriate locations, according to customer requests, specifications, or needs, using radios or telephones.
  • Determine types or amounts of equipment, vehicles, materials, or personnel required, according to work orders or specifications.
  • Order supplies or equipment and issue them to personnel.
  • Record and maintain files or records of customer requests, work or services performed, charges, expenses, inventory, or other dispatch information.

Qualities of a Dispatcher

These are the skills Dispatchers say are the most useful in their careers:

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

  • Alarm Operator
  • Motor Coach Supervisor
  • Train Dispatcher
  • Water Service Dispatcher
  • Security Dispatcher

Job 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 18,000 job openings in this field each 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.

Dispatcher Average Salary

The salary for Dispatchers ranges between about $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 different U.S. states?

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?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dispatchers may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

How do I Become a Dispatcher?

What kind of Dispatcher requirements are there?

Dispatcher Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Dispatcher Work Experience

Where do Dispatchers Work?

Dispatcher Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Dispatcher Industries

Career changers with experience as a Dispatcher sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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