Career and Education Opportunities for Dispatchers in Anchorage, Alaska
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for dispatchers in the Anchorage, Alaska area. There are currently 480 working dispatchers in Alaska; this should grow 3% to 490 working dispatchers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dispatchers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.6% over the next eight years. Dispatchers generally 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.
Dispatchers earn about $19 per hour or $41,540 yearly on average in Alaska and about $16 hourly or $33,850 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Dispatching and Logistics, people working as dispatchers in Alaska earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Dispatching and Logistics nationally.
The Anchorage area is home to four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can get a degree as a dispatcher. The most common level of education for dispatchers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a dispatcher if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dispatcher
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.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Anchorage include:
- Freight Representative. Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.
- Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
- Shipping and Receiving Clerk. Verify and keep records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material; and arranging for the transportation of products.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dispatcher Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Logistics and Materials Management which graduated three, one, seven, and one students respectively in 2008.
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: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.