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Career and Education Opportunities for Dispatchers in Vancouver, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dispatchers in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 4,210 working dispatchers in Washington; this should grow by 16% to about 4,890 working dispatchers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dispatchers are expected to shrink by about 2.6%. 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.

Income for dispatchers is about $18 per hour or $37,800 annually on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,850 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Dispatching and Logistics, people working as dispatchers in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Dispatching and Logistics nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a dispatcher, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. 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.


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 Vancouver 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.


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.


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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.