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If you have dreams of working in the aviation industry, a career as an aircraft dispatcher may be the perfect path. FAA-certified aircraft dispatcher jobs are currently in demand, and the airlines are hiring at rapid rates. It is one of the most exciting, best-paying jobs in the industry.

Aircraft dispatchers are critical to the operations of an airline, and have several different responsibilities, including:

Planning flight and fuel schedules
Checking aircraft performance, weight and balance
Assisting with passenger loading
Monitoring other flight factors such as weather, runways and airport logistics
So, what does it take to be an aircraft dispatcher? Here are six things to consider:

#1. A college degree is not required.

#2. It’s ideal, but not required, to have a job in the aviation industry prior to your training. The FAA does not require dispatchers to have previous experience around airplanes or with flight planning.

#3. Enroll in a flight dispatcher training program. Flamingo Air’s Airline Ground Schools, located at Cincinnati, Ohio’s historic Lunken Airport, offers an Aircraft Dispatcher certification course online that is designed specifically for working adults. With campuses in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Miami, Florida, Airline Ground Schools (AGS) is one of the largest FAA-approved aircraft dispatcher certification schools in the world.

According to academy president Sharon McGee, students can earn an aircraft dispatcher certification in less than six months at Airline Ground Schools. It is the quickest and most cost-effective FAA certification course available.

“The Certified Aircraft Dispatcher program is a 200-hour course. However, 152 of those hours can be completed online at your own pace,” stated McGee. “Students only need to spend six days on campus in our residency study program to complete the training.”

#4. Take the FAA aircraft dispatcher certification test. You must be at least 23 years old at the time of the test and you must take the test within 90 days of completing your training course.

#5. Obtain your certificate and apply to open positions with airlines and freight carriers.

#6. Maintain your certification. To stay certified, the FAA requires aircraft dispatchers to fly in a cockpit at least five hours every year.

Flamingo Air’s Airline Ground Schools is the only school of its kind in the world approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to offer the Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Course with online distance learning to individuals with no aviation background.

The program offers 152 hours (of the 200 required for FAA certification) online. Through a cooperative agreement with Pan Am International Flight Academy, AGS also offers the six-day residency program at Pan Am’s Miami campus.

For information on becoming a certified aircraft dispatcher, contact Airline Ground Schools at Flamingo Air.

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