Acquiring an FAA Dispatcher License - Learn What it Takes

In the aviation industry, there are plenty of meaningful careers outside of being a pilot, and one of them is being a dispatcher. 

Dispatchers work for passenger airlines, cargo carriers and other transportation companies with fleets of planes. Dispatchers are key players in the operational success of these companies. They are a pilot’s trusted partner on the ground, keeping planes running safely and on time. Their responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring weather developments
  • Developing flight plans 
  • Making real-time adjustments to flight plans to account for weather or other unexpected situations
  • Maintaining communications with flight crews

Aviation experts predict overall growth in the industry, which is expected to result in high demand for certified dispatchers.

How is this different from air traffic control?

You may be wondering, how is this different from an air traffic controller? They also communicate with pilots and have the authority to redirect flights during bad weather and unexpected emergencies. 

The key difference is that air traffic controllers work for the Federal Aviation Administration. They are only responsible for monitoring a flight from the moment it enters their air space until it leaves, whereas a dispatcher’s responsibility is from pre-flight through post-flight. 

What you need to know about training

Being a dispatcher requires an FAA license. That license comes with the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 23 years old. 
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalency. 
  • You must speak English
  • You must undergo 200 hours of training with an FAA approved program
  • You must pass the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Knowledge Test and Practical Test

Assuming you meet the first three prerequisites, you’re ready to move on to training. Training courses are available through a multitude of colleges and universities as well as flight schools and other outlets. You can take your training in a traditional classroom setting or online. 

Once you’ve found a program, it’s a good idea to confirm that they are FAA approved. You can find a list of approved program providers here.

Training covers a multitude of topics, including:

  • U.S. regulations and laws 
  • Meteorology
  • Weather interpretation
  • Principles of air navigation
  • Air traffic control procedures
  • Aircraft loading, weight and balance
  • Decision making and judgement
  • Crew communication and coordination

If you have previous experience as a pilot or in the aviation industry, you may be able to substitute that experience for a portion of the minimum 200 hours of training. 

After completing the course, you’re ready to take the FAA test. 

The knowledge and practical tests

The FAA allows you to take the knowledge test as early as 21, even though you cannot earn your certification until age 23. 

The knowledge test is a multiple-choice examination that covers the topics you learned about in training. It is 80 questions long and you have 3.5 hours to finish. 

You must score at least a 70 percent to pass. 

The practical test takes place with an examiner. Test takers must show that they can plan flights, dispatch planes and develop and communicate emergency procedures. 

If you’re nervous about the practical test, Pilot Mall can help you make sure you are as prepared as possible.

ASA Dispatcher

EducationTraining

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Featured products

Headsets - Bose A20 Aviation Headset With Bluetooth (Battery Powered Twin Plugs)
Bose
360 View
Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth (Battery Powered Twin Plugs)
Sale price$1,195.00
37 reviews In stock
ASA 2023 FAR/AIM (Print Book)
ASA
ASA 2023 FAR/AIM (Print Book)
Sale price$26.96 Regular price$29.95
3 reviews In stock

New Products

View all
Plush Barnstorming Aviator Bear 15" Long
Manhattan Toy
🔥 New Product
Plush Barnstorming Aviator Bear 15" Long
Sale price$19.00 Regular price$29.00
In stock
Rothco Womens Lightweight MA-1 Flight Jacket
Rothco
🔥 New Product
Rothco Womens Lightweight MA-1 Flight Jacket
Sale price$79.99 Regular price$159.00
In stock
Rothco Womens MA-1 Flight Jacket
Rothco
🔥 New Product
Rothco Womens MA-1 Flight Jacket
Sale price$74.99 Regular price$149.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official Patches Ball Cap
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official Patches Ball Cap
Sale price$29.99 Regular price$39.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official CWU-45P Nylon Jacket with Fur
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official CWU-45P Nylon Jacket with Fur
Sale price$129.99 Regular price$179.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official G-1 Leather Jacket
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official G-1 Leather Jacket
Sale price$449.99 Regular price$550.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official B-15 Nylon Bomber Jacket
Top Gun
💰 Save 38% Today
Top Gun® Official B-15 Nylon Bomber Jacket
Sale price$111.79 Regular price$179.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official G-1 Leather Jacket with Patches
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official G-1 Leather Jacket with Patches
Sale price$499.99 Regular price$650.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official CWU-45P Military Brothers Nylon Jacket
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official CWU-45P Military Brothers Nylon Jacket
Sale price$149.99 Regular price$249.00
In stock
Top Gun® Official MA-1 Nylon Bomber Jacket
Top Gun
🔥 New Product
Top Gun® Official MA-1 Nylon Bomber Jacket
Sale price$119.99 Regular price$179.00
In stock
All Nippon Airways (ANA) 737 (JA02AN) Aviation Tag
Aviationtag
🔥 New Product
All Nippon Airways (ANA) 737 (JA02AN) Aviation Tag
Sale price$49.99 Regular price$59.99
In stock
Christian Ulbricht Santa in Plane Ornament
Christian Ulbricht
🔥 New Product
Christian Ulbricht Santa in Plane Ornament
Sale price$19.99 Regular price$25.00
In stock