Helicopter Dispatcher

Report pick-up info, weather conditions and efficient routes for pilots.
picture of Helicopter Dispatcher

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $166,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Helicopter Dispatchers do?

A helicopter is the Muhammad Ali of the aircraft world. It can duck, float, and move with lightning speed. Because of this, when someone needs to get someplace fast, a helicopter is called in to do the job. A Helicopter Dispatcher plans the flight and makes sure it runs smoothly.

As a Helicopter Dispatcher, you may work for a police department, dispatching helicopters to transport people to hospitals. Or you may work for a news station, sending helicopters to monitor traffic or breaking news. Alternatively, a Helicopter Dispatcher may work for a helicopter company that transports busy executives from one important meeting to another.

Regardless of who employs you though, when you’re notified that a helicopter is needed, you determine where your helicopter is located, and where the person needs to be picked up and dropped off. You also look at the weather reports to make sure it’s safe for a helicopter to fly. Additionally, you determine how much fuel it takes to complete the trip. Then you plot the trip for the Helicopter Pilot, deciding on the quickest and safest route to take.

You notify the Helicopter Pilot about the trip, explaining everything you’ve planned and giving detailed, exact instructions. You may not be able to communicate with the helicopter during the flight, so you make sure the Pilot understands everything. If you have to, you repeat yourself for emphasis.

You do your work quickly because clients often expect a helicopter to arrive minutes after they call. You’ll learn to keep your cool under pressure, smiling throughout the workday, even when the pressure mounts. Your cheery demeanor will make you an excellent poker player—no one will know what you’re truly thinking.

Should I be a Helicopter Dispatcher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Helicopter Dispatcher

    Most Helicopter Dispatchers have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9ltqab&chl=no+college+%2845%25%29|certificate+%2827%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2812%25%29||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,45,45
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