Pilot to dispatch

Baronman

Well-Known Member
I have to admit...Even though I'm a pilot, I sometimes envy Dispatch without knowing exactly what you guys do behind the scenes. Of course I have an idea but never sat through a shift for instance.

Reason I bring this up....I really enjoy planning, weather and the nuts and bolts of getting a flight out. Of course I love flying but sometimes I wish I could go to the office for a shift instead.

Has an airline had a pilot who for whatever reason decided to go into dispatch? What would it take? Certificate and then?
 
I’d say with an ATP background, it would go something like get the certificate and straight to dispatch with your airline or airline of choice. This is after applying to the next opening and assuming you do well on the interview process, which is likely with your background. Experience may or may not be a factor, just depends on the airline and if you’re applying internally or externally.

I’d say it’s not uncommon but you see it more with those who either barely made ATP minimums and for whatever reason they moved to dispatch or only did CFI and some commercial flying. If you’ve been flying past these points, it will be a pay cut in most situations.
 
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There definitely are people who make that move from flying to dispatching. It's technically a different certificate but should be easy for a pilot to learn everything.
 
Some of the dispatch schools offer accelerated programs for people with ATP, I think like a 2 week class or maybe even just 1 I can't remember. I work with quite a few people who started out wanting to be career pilots but decided to switch, none with their ATP but quite a few multi/commercial. I imagine if you are already at an airline and you acquire your dispatch license it would be pretty easy to get hired as the experience you have would be pretty valuable to a dispatch office.
 
All very interesting responses. Thank you. Maybe I should reach out to my current (Blue) dispatch and see if I can spend a few hours there. System Ops is only about an hour train ride away.
 
When I was in school, we had some 777 pilot come in at the end for the accelerated portion. He was doing some really weird kind of 777 flying in the Middle East and Africa and I think he was looking to get away from that. Not sure whatever happened to him, though. Anywho, yeah, pilots make the switch.
 
I have to admit...Even though I'm a pilot, I sometimes envy Dispatch without knowing exactly what you guys do behind the scenes. Of course I have an idea but never sat through a shift for instance.

Reason I bring this up....I really enjoy planning, weather and the nuts and bolts of getting a flight out. Of course I love flying but sometimes I wish I could go to the office for a shift instead.

Has an airline had a pilot who for whatever reason decided to go into dispatch? What would it take? Certificate and then?

All it would take to apply for dispatcher jobs is getting your dispatch certificate, which a pilot background might mean you could take an accelerated course to do it faster.

I think that for most pilots, they would miss the actual flying part of their job. If you still can fly recreationally that might not be as big of an issue. We do have some former regional pilots where I work…including a regional airline captain. He got tired of the lifestyle and likes being home every night after work.

Dispatchers at major airlines make very good money (especially if you work overtime) but it’s still a lot less than what pilots at those same majors are making right now…especially captains.
 
Pilots do become dispatchers. Some to avoid a life of hotels and others due to medical. The key for a pilot making the move is to come into the job with the proper expectations. Pilots who come into dispatch thinking it was a job that was not very busy with only one or two flights a shift dont last very long. Similar to pilots who dont realize dispatch is seniority driven with midnights going to new hires.
 
I have to admit...Even though I'm a pilot, I sometimes envy Dispatch without knowing exactly what you guys do behind the scenes. Of course I have an idea but never sat through a shift for instance.

Reason I bring this up....I really enjoy planning, weather and the nuts and bolts of getting a flight out. Of course I love flying but sometimes I wish I could go to the office for a shift instead.

Has an airline had a pilot who for whatever reason decided to go into dispatch? What would it take? Certificate and then?
One of the guys in my class was a pilot turned dispatch and I have worked with dispatch turned pilot. We all can relate to the others.
 
All very interesting responses. Thank you. Maybe I should reach out to my current (Blue) dispatch and see if I can spend a few hours there. System Ops is only about an hour train ride away.

DM me anytime and I can help you out getting a day to shadow in the SOC or any other questions you may have about the Blue dispatching
 
I just retired from AA after 37 years. 99% of the dispatchers were incredible. They had your back. Misty XOXO (haha) was the best. She told me she would be retiring soon. If you saw her name listed as your dispatcher you knew it was going to be the best flight possible under those circumstances.
 
I just retired from AA after 37 years. 99% of the dispatchers were incredible. They had your back. Misty XOXO (haha) was the best. She told me she would be retiring soon. If you saw her name listed as your dispatcher you knew it was going to be the best flight possible under those circumstances.
Always good to get some positive feedback about our profession from our counterparts -- thank you😊
 
I recently did a shadow/dog and pony show in our DX shop, and it was really cool. Had a free afternoon before my recurrent began, and the DX and crew skeds managers were awesome hooking me up with some great people on their respective floors. I’m a super newcomer to 121, and id recommend it to anyone who is green like i am. Very informative. Off topic i know, but since it was mentioned
 
I have to admit...Even though I'm a pilot, I sometimes envy Dispatch without knowing exactly what you guys do behind the scenes. Of course I have an idea but never sat through a shift for instance.

Reason I bring this up....I really enjoy planning, weather and the nuts and bolts of getting a flight out. Of course I love flying but sometimes I wish I could go to the office for a shift instead.

Has an airline had a pilot who for whatever reason decided to go into dispatch? What would it take? Certificate and then?
I have, I lost my medical and needed to do something until I get it back.
I tolerate it, pay isn’t the best but home every night is nice
I will be honest and say some dx’ers are bitter because they couldn’t fly for what ever reason, so I have had a few guys try to take shots at me, take shots at pilots towards me but they’re just miserable turds.
Everyone else it cool
 
I have, I lost my medical and needed to do something until I get it back.
I tolerate it, pay isn’t the best but home every night is nice
I will be honest and say some dx’ers are bitter because they couldn’t fly for what ever reason, so I have had a few guys try to take shots at me, take shots at pilots towards me but they’re just miserable turds.
Everyone else it cool
121 airline?
 
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