In this post I’m going to talk about Flight Dispatcher salaries (sometimes also called Aircraft Dispatchers) and the renumeration they can expect in various countries around the globe. I’ll describe the salary range you can expect from junior to senior positions in the countries where jobs are plentiful. Then I’ll conclude this post with a few tips on how to get started on your career.
Aircraft or Flight Dispatchers are essential to the smooth running of any airport. Every commercial aircraft that takes off from an airport requires a team of people who ensure its departure is safe and on time. Flight Dispatchers are responsible for coordinating all the services and preparations required to ensure an aircraft leaves on schedule.
Flight Dispatchers start their shifts with checks on the status of the weather both current and forecast and for both the aircraft routes and destinations. For this reason, Flight Dispatchers need to be able to confidently interpret weather data, NOTAMs, and other forms of information relating to aircraft in flight. They arrange the cleaning of passenger aircraft and the loading of cargo aircraft. They arrange for the refuelling, routine maintenance checks, and any ad hoc servicing that may be required on the aircraft.
As with most jobs, pay and benefits are commensurate with experience and responsibilities, and Flight Dispatcher positions are no exception.
The following figures are averages collected in late 2018. They are base salaries so they don’t include any bonuses, overtime, or profit shares that may be offered. This is an important point to remember because such extras can make a significant difference to your take-home pay.
Flight Dispatcher Salaries Around The World
- Australia, the national average is AU$55,000 Australian Dollars.
- Canada, C$35,000 rising to C$57,000 Canadian Dollars.
- Dubai, AED14,000 rising to AED208,000 Arab Emirate Dirhams.
- Egypt, national average is 114,00 Egyptian Pounds.
- Germany, the national average is €17,000 Euros.
- India, Rs 407,000 rising to Rs 1,000,000 Rupees.
- Malaysia, national average is 135,000 Ringgits.
- New Zealand, national average is 101,000 New Zealand Dollars.
- South Africa, national average is 342,000 Rand.
- United Kingdom, £15,000 rising to £47,000 Pounds Sterling.
- United States, $30,000 rising to $91,000 US Dollars.
How to become an Aircraft or Flight Dispatcher
The requirements for the role of Flight Dispatcher or Flight Operations Officer may vary from country to country but some things are common to all. Candidates need to have an appreciation of the following subjects. The more proficient they are in one or more of these skills the more chance they have of securing a position;
- Air Traffic Control
- Aircraft Systems
- Weight and Balance
- Minimum Equipment Lists
- Emergency Procedures
- International Operations
- Flight Planning
- Dispatch Resource Management
- Practical Dispatching
Candidates will also need to be familiar with Flight Dispatch or Airport Operations software tools. These might include flight planning systems, crew scheduling, aircraft performance analysis, and other related products pertaining to aircraft and airport operations.
Employers are looking for the relevant qualifications or work experience among those who started in a junior position within airfield operations. The IATA website lists dozens of suitable short courses suitable for those seeking knowledge and certification in airport operations. See: iata.org/training/.
As your career progresses you can specialise in an area or simply take on more responsibilities for managing resources, that could lead you into a managerial path that leads eventually to positions like Director of Operations at an airport.
The skills and experience gained in these roles are transportable giving you the option of applying for vacancies globally. One thing is for certain; as long as the aviation industry remains buoyant there will be demand for Flight Dispatchers, and if you’re a specialist the demand and the rewards will be higher.