what is a dispatcher?

A dispatcher works in an organisation's communications department. Your job is to receive and pass information to different people. As a dispatcher, you coordinate operations with customers and drivers to help ensure that goods are delivered on time.

Dispatchers carry out many duties. For instance, you respond to non-emergency and emergency calls from your company's drivers and customers. You also track the vehicles transporting goods to different places and pass messages to customers. You dispatch and receive orders when working for a company that supplies products.

As a dispatcher, you work in various organisations. For instance, you can work for the police force or a transport or utility company. You may also work in emergency services or for a taxi company. Some dispatchers coordinate transport and security in mining industries or manufacturing facilities.

When you work in emergency services, it is essential to stay resilient and collect vital information to determine the severity of a situation. The role requires excellent communication and decision-making skills since you weigh a situation and dispatch the appropriate team to assist the caller. Communication skills help you instruct callers as they wait for police officers or paramedics.

dispatcher vacancies

average dispatcher salary

As a dispatcher, you take home an average remuneration package of $68,000 annually. When you work in an entry-level position with minimal tasks and responsibilities, your starting salary is $60,000 annually. Senior capacity roles attract a salary of $75,000 yearly.

what factors affect the salary of dispatchers?

Dispatchers don't require formal education, but having a logistics or courier transport background increases your remuneration prospects. You can negotiate a higher salary with additional skills or certifications since you handle complex tasks. Aside from experience, the company you work for also influences your remuneration. For instance, working for the military or coordinating transport operations attracts a higher salary than dispatchers handling smaller operations. Working for the private sector also improves earning potential since logistics companies have higher budgets, unlike government organisations.

Want to know what you will earn as a dispatcher? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

dispatcher careers

types of dispatchers

Some of the types of dispatchers include:

  • emergency dispatchers: as an emergency dispatcher, you handle cases associated with public safety. The role usually covers police, firefighters and emergency medical dispatchers. Your job is to obtain information from callers and dispatch the appropriate units to offer assistance. You also talk callers through life-saving medical procedures and safety tips.
  • transportation and service dispatchers: transport companies rely on dispatchers to respond to service calls and organise delivery schedules. You monitor the delivery of materials and coordinate pickups and drops. If you work for a water or gas company, you receive calls for emergency assistance with utilities.
  • flight dispatchers: as a flight dispatcher, you are responsible for monitoring and planning an aircraft's journey. You are responsible for the flight's safety and can delay, cancel or divert a flight.
Smiling woman sitting at desk in the office
Smiling woman sitting at desk in the office

working as a dispatcher

As a dispatcher, you provide radio and communication services to operational coordination units. If you are interested in the role, discover dispatchers' daily duties and work schedules.


education and skills

You don't require formal education to work as a dispatcher, but the following qualifications improve your career prospects:

  • complete VET/TAFE certifications: the basic entry requirement for becoming a dispatcher is to complete Year 10. You can also pursue some courses to improve your career prospects. For instance, pursue a Certificate III in supply chain or a degree in logistics to learn the ropes.
  • gain work experience: you gain additional knowledge and expertise in entry-level positions. Internships and part-time jobs help you learn the ropes and prepare you for the role.

dispatcher skills and competencies

Some skills of a dispatcher include:

  • communication skills: your role involves communicating with people. That means you require good communication skills. For instance, you should listen keenly and speak clearly. It is also important to use a friendly tone to encourage people to continue talking to you.
  • problem-solving skills: you encounter many issues that require creative solutions, so problem-solving skills are central for dispatchers. With these skills, you analyse problems, determine the sources and find solutions.
  • keyboarding skills: as a dispatcher, you type on your computer keyboard throughout the day. You need keyboarding skills to ensure you do not have difficulty doing your tasks. These skills improve your speed and typing accuracy.
  • directional skills: it is crucial to know your area of jurisdiction, including major routes and landmarks. Directional skills help you determine the location of a caller from simple descriptions. The skills are also essential for directing emergency response teams.
  • compassion: a dispatcher is naturally compassionate and comfortable talking to stressed and panicked callers. When you empathise with the caller, you reassure them and help calm them down.

FAQs about working as a dispatcher

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a dispatcher.

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