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Career and Education Opportunities for Dispatchers in Portland, Oregon

Dispatcher career and educational opportunities abound in Portland, Oregon. Currently, 2,750 people work as dispatchers in Oregon. This is expected to grow by 12% to about 3,090 people 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 $17 per hour or $35,600 per year on average in Oregon and about $16 hourly or $33,850 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for dispatchers are better than earnings in the general category of Dispatching and Logistics in Oregon and better than general Dispatching and Logistics category earnings nationally.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including two within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career 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

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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland 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.
  • Front Desk Manager. Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
  • Order Filler. Fill customers' mail and telephone orders from stored merchandise in accordance with specifications on sales slips or order forms. Duties include computing prices of items, completing order receipts, keeping records of out-going orders, and requisitioning additional materials, supplies, and equipment.
  • 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

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Logistics and Materials Management which graduated eighty and zero students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a bachelor's degree program in Logistics and Materials Management which graduated four 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: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.