What does a Dispatcher do?
Dispatchers work in shipping or emergency service industries providing guidance and important information to callers. They often act as the first point of contact for any emergency or non-emergency calls and are responsible for directing the caller to a different department or uncovering the information that best assists the caller and solves their problems. Dispatchers usually manage a multi-line control system and must know how to quickly use it in a high-pressure or emergency situation.
They use a wide variety of communication systems to answer and respond to customer questions, including phones, computers and radios. Dispatchers are typically in charge of supervising the drivers’ routes and the field units’ status to ensure the drivers’ schedule is efficient and productive.
Dispatcher skills and qualifications
The qualifications and skills a Dispatcher must have are:
- Excellent communication skills to collaborate with others under any type of condition
- Excellent clerical and organizational skills to keep track of schedules, routes and personnel
- Knowledge of computers for scheduling and other dispatching duties
- Ability to multitask with different, and sometimes conflicting, events happening at the same time
- Ability to work under stress and remain calm and to calm other people during rapidly changing circumstances
- Ability to relay information in a fast-paced environment
Dispatcher Salary Expectations
A Dispatcher makes an average of $14.81 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Dispatcher Education and Training Requirements
Dispatcher education and training requirements vary by what type of dispatcher a person chooses to be for their career. Usually, a high school diploma or GED in all that is necessary with on the job training. Certification requirements for a Dispatcher position vary by state. Emergency personnel dispatching may require a bachelor’s degree with a focus on criminal justice or communication.
Some community colleges may offer certificate programs for emergency Dispatchers covering criminal justice, emergency telecommunications, stress management and transcription skills.
Dispatcher Experience Requirements
Dispatchers should have experience with working with people under stressful conditions. This usually involves two to three years of experience of progressively being able to take on harder challenges that involve remaining calm and being able to calm others while sorting out problems that arise. They should be accustomed to working in a fast-paced environment with others while multitasking several schedules and priorities at once.
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