Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance
43-5032.00

Schedule and dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers, or for normal installation, service, or emergency repairs rendered outside the place of business. Duties may include using radio, telephone, or computer to transmit assignments and compiling statistics and reports on work progress.

Sample of reported job titles: Aircraft Dispatcher, Charter Coordinator, City Dispatcher, Dispatcher (Dispatch), Mine Dispatcher, Paratransit Dispatcher, School Bus Dispatcher, Taxi Dispatcher, Train Dispatcher, Truck Dispatcher

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Schedule or dispatch workers, work crews, equipment, or service vehicles to appropriate locations, according to customer requests, specifications, or needs, using radios or telephones.
  • Prepare daily work and run schedules.
  • Confer with customers or supervising personnel to address questions, problems, or requests for service or equipment.
  • Relay work orders, messages, or information to or from work crews, supervisors, or field inspectors, using telephones or two-way radios.
  • Receive or prepare work orders.
  • Record and maintain files or records of customer requests, work or services performed, charges, expenses, inventory, or other dispatch information.
  • Arrange for necessary repairs to restore service and schedules.
  • Monitor personnel or equipment locations and utilization to coordinate service and schedules.
  • Determine types or amounts of equipment, vehicles, materials, or personnel required, according to work orders or specifications.
  • Advise personnel about traffic problems, such as construction areas, accidents, congestion, weather conditions, or other hazards.
  • Oversee all communications within specifically assigned territories.
  • Ensure timely and efficient movement of trains, according to train orders and schedules.
  • Order supplies or equipment and issue them to personnel.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 92% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 81% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 75% responded “Very important results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 79% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 62% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 66% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Letters and Memos — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 41% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Moderately competitive.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 47%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 26%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info
  • 8%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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Interests

Interest code: CRE
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$21.18 hourly, $44,050 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
202,900 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Little or no change
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
20,700
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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