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Career and Education Opportunities for Dispatchers in Montgomery, Alabama

If you want to be a dispatcher, the Montgomery, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 2,190 people are currently employed as dispatchers in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 4% to about 2,290 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dispatchers are expected to shrink by about 2.6%. In general, dispatchers schedule and dispatch workers, work crews, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers, or for normal installation, service, or emergency repairs rendered outside the place of business.

The income of a dispatcher is about $15 per hour or $31,780 yearly on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $33,850 annually on average. Earnings for dispatchers are better than earnings in the general category of Dispatching and Logistics in Alabama and better than general Dispatching and Logistics category earnings nationally.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Montgomery area, including one within twenty-five miles of Montgomery where you can get a degree to start your career as a dispatcher. Given that the most common education level for dispatchers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a dispatcher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dispatcher

Dispatcher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dispatchers schedule and dispatch workers, work crews, or service vehicles for conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers, or for normal installation, service, or emergency repairs rendered outside the place of business. They also duties may include using radio, telephone, or computer to transmit assignments and compiling statistics and reports on work progress.

Dispatchers advise personnel about traffic problems such as construction areas and other hazards. They also talk with customers or supervising personnel to address questions and requests for service or equipment. Equally important, dispatchers have to decide on types or amounts of equipment or personnel required in line with work orders or specifications. They are often called upon to monitor personnel or equipment locations and utilization to direct service and schedules. They are expected to schedule and dispatch staff, work crews or service vehicles to appropriate locations in line with customer requests or needs, using radios or telephones. Finally, dispatchers record and maintain files and archives of customer requests, work or services performed, charges and other dispatch data.

Every day, dispatchers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for dispatchers to receive or ready work orders. They are often called upon to manage needed repairs to restore service and schedules. They also oversee all communications within specifically assigned territories. They are sometimes expected to relay work orders and data to or from work crews and field inspectors using telephones or two-way radios. Somewhat less frequently, dispatchers are also expected to order supplies and equipment, and issue them to personnel.

And finally, they sometimes have to record and maintain files and archives of customer requests, work or services performed, charges and other dispatch data.

Like many other jobs, dispatchers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dispatcher Training

Community College of the Air Force - Montgomery, AL

Community College of the Air Force, 130 W Maxwell Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36112-6613. college located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 321,775 students. Community College of the Air Force has an associate's degree program in Logistics and Materials Management which graduated 851 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Emergency Number Professional: Certification is a tool of a professional association to establish the benchmarks of performance that will signify a broad-based competence in the professional field.

For more information, see the National Emergency Number Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama photo by Spyder Monkey

Montgomery is situated in Montgomery County, Alabama. It has a population of over 202,696, which has grown by 0.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Montgomery, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Montgomery are valued at $129,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred seventy-eight new homes were built in Montgomery, down from six hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Montgomery are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 29.4% of Montgomery residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Montgomery is 10.1%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Montgomery residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Big Roxanna Church, William African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel and Whitfield Memorial United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Montgomery. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Churches of Christ.

Montgomery is home to the Montgomery Public Library and the Booker T Washington Community Center as well as Old Selma Road Park and Montgomery East Exchange Park. Shopping centers in the area include Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, Montgomery Mall Shopping Center and Norman Bridge South Shopping Center. Visitors to Montgomery can choose from Relax Inn, Islander and Towne Place Suites by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.