Airplane Dispatchers

Airplane dispatchers plan and direct commercial air flights according to government and airline company regulations. They read radio reports from airplane pilots during flights and study weather reports to determine any necessary change in flight direction or altitude. They send instructions by radio to the pilots in the case of heavy storms, fog, mechanical difficulties, or other emergencies. Airline dispatchers are sometimes called flight superintendents. The Airline Dispatchers Federation has approximately 1,500 members.

Quick Facts
Duties Plan and direct commercial air flights according to government and airline company regulations
Alternate Title(s) Flight Superintendents
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas—especially in Chicago, New York, Dallas, and other airline hubs
Education and Training
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Associate's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Speech
Experience 15 to 20 years of experience in a variety of aviation-related areas, including supervisory positions
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Organizational
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Helpful
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements Must be 23 years old; vision must be correctable to 20/20
Career Ladder
  • Chief Flight Dispatcher or Flight Dispatch Manager
  • Airplane Dispatcher
  • Assistant Dispatcher
  • Dispatch Clerk

Related Industries

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