Dispatchers serve as a crucial component to the entire airline operation. Aircraft dispatchers are licensed airmen certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Dispatchers must undergo extensive testing and training to earn this certificate, and must pass both an extensive oral examination and the comprehensive written Aircraft Dispatcher test. These tests are equivalent to the Air Transport Pilot (ATP) written and oral examinations that airline pilots must successfully complete.
All dispatch training is conducted at SkyWest Airlines’ headquarters in St. George, Utah. Initial New Hire training includes more than 100 hours of formal classroom instruction and testing. A designated dispatch trainer will then conduct practical training until the trainee is deemed ready for a Competency Check. Initial New Hire training normally lasts two to three months.
The Competency Check is conducted by the manager of Dispatch Standards, chief dispatch instructor or other air transportation supervisor. Upon successfully passing the “Comp Check,” the dispatcher will complete the certification process by participating in an Aircraft Familiarization or “jumpseat” time of five hours.
All written tests administered during training require a score of 80 percent or better with one retake permitted.
Pay will begin on the first day of training. Base pay starts at $15.30 per hour and will increase to $17 after one year with the company. Additional raises will occur on an annual basis. Vacation and personal days are accrued according to hours worked.
All accommodations during training are the responsibility of the trainee, at their own expense.