The need to have a contact person between the public and the professionals is the reason that several types of industries require Dispatchers. Dispatcher jobs can be found in public safety and first responder as well as in trucking companies, messenger and delivery services. Duties for Dispatchers vary depending upon the industry in which they're working, but basic responsibilities may include taking incoming phone calls, scheduling and dispatching workers and equipment, compiling data and writing reports.
A minimum of a high school diploma is required for Dispatchers, but on the job experience and computer and customer service skills will look good on your resume. You may have to take a written exam and complete a typing test. Once you land the job, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that you may also be required to take a training and certification course specific to your field, especially if you wish to work as a Dispatcher for hospital ambulances or the police or fire department.
Dispatcher Job Market
The outlook for Dispatcher jobs will likely hold steady in the coming years. That's because although Fire, Police and Ambulance Dispatcher jobs are expected to increase by eight percent by 2022, other types of Dispatching jobs -- specifically Power Plant Dispatchers -- are expected to decline eight percent. As of 2012 there were approximately 72,400 Dispatcher jobs in power plants and around 98,500 in the first responder industry of police, ambulance and firefighters.
Although there may be fewer opportunities to land a job as a Power Plant Dispatcher, that's the job that pays the best. The median salary is $71,690, almost double the average income of $36,300 for Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers. You'll be expected to work long hours including nights, weekends and even holidays so you can expect to earn some overtime, and that may serve to put you at a higher than average income.