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  1. #1
    TSF34A's Avatar
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    Dispatch turned ATC

    Any aircraft dispatchers turned ATC out there?

    What was your transition like? Any recommendations for a new hire?

  2. #2
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    I am in the process now. Start OKC March 26th.

  3. #3
    MTCTIGUY's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    I always considered doing dispatch, because I will get a flight dispatchers license after I graduate, although I'll most likely stick with ATC. How much does a typical dispatcher make each year?

  4. #4
    TSF34A's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    It all depends on where you end up if taking the dispatch route. I'd say most, not all, Regionals start out between 12 and 13 dollars per hour. Depending on how much over time you pick up, you might end up close to 30K at the end of year one. After a few years, and some determination, you could possibly make around 50K / year. Keep in mind that all regionals are not a like and neither is their pay.

  5. #5
    ShyFlyGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    Former dispatcher now @ OKC Academy... Went through the PUBNAT hiring process... so far only in basics class and very easy. Have a friend who finished last month and though he copped out as a center puke, said it wasn't too difficult. He only dispatched a year before switching over. I spent 2 years with express aircraft at Piedmont, and then 1.5yrs with Omni doing DC10/B757 worldwide. Don't have much insight to offer, but expect the first couple of weeks to be a refresher on aviation basics, same with any pilot out there, basically private ground stuff so far. Make sure to go out and have fun while you have the chance, I hear the later classes aren't so simple or easy, even for those with aviation experience.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    I had an internship with a regional my last semester of college (CTI from MTSU), and then went on to dispatch with Colgan Air for two years while I waited for the FAA to call. If I remember correctly my best year there, with a promotion to supervisor and overtime was just over 40K and then I got the call for ZDC.

    Two friends that graduated the semester after me - one dispatched for Piedmont for a little while then went to Pinnacle to dispatch there for a little bit and when the FAA called, he said no thanks and actually became an pilot for Pinnacle. The other started dispatching for a part 135 operator right out of school and enjoyed it so much that she also turned down the FAA when they called her.

    Have to say that as much as I enjoyed dispatching for a regional (no two days were ever the same - or boring for that matter), I am now radar training at ZDC and nothing can compare

  7. #7
    TSF34A's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    Appreciate the info. In my offer letter it says I'll earn sick and leave as well as be eligable for federal benefits to include health insurance, life insurance, etc, etc. I was under the impression that health insurance wasnt offered to trainees out in OKC. Can those of you who are currently attending confirm / deny?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    BoomerSooner77's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    Quote Originally Posted by TSF34A View Post
    Appreciate the info. In my offer letter it says I'll earn sick and leave as well as be eligable for federal benefits to include health insurance, life insurance, etc, etc. I was under the impression that health insurance wasnt offered to trainees out in OKC. Can those of you who are currently attending confirm / deny?

    Thanks
    http://www.stuckmic.com/faa-academy/...insurance.html

  9. #9
    TSF34A's Avatar
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    Thanks, had a feeling that the question (and answer) had already been posted somewhere on here.

  10. #10
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    Re: Dispatch turned ATC

    I dispatched for a regional for over 6 years (and had 4 years in the airport services division before that) and I pulled in mid to upper 40s last year. Not great but the job was fun. Now I'm in OKC and headed to ZHU and whatever people say we go through more training than tower/TRACON people (just to poke some fun at the 'center puke' comment) :P The basics class is pretty easy and mostly review other than separation minima but being a pilot, CTO, and dispatcher by license and experience has made it an easier transition for me. If you're waiting on ATC I'd recommend doing dispatch if you can afford to get the license and if you have the time. If you're not an aviation buff you may not like the job too much but it will definitely teach you how to multitask like you may never have done before! Not every day was fun but I had fun every day

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