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Bruce Nicholson KMFR

Anyone here a Flight Attendant???

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Anyone here an FA or know one very well? Im tired of waiting for the FAA to start the ATC testing again, and Im getting desparate since my A.S. in Aviation Admin/OPS doesnt seem to be getting my anywhere right now. Hoping that maybe being an FA will get my foot in the door.Thanks,Eric

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Why not try dispatching, requires ATP, and is definately a Foot In the Door.Quite a few schools offer training, and the pay is pretty good from what I read.me ... ....

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Becoming a dispatcher may be a good way to get into the industry, but it does not require an Airline Transport ticket. It does require an FAA dispatcher certificate, which is completely separate from any pilot certificates. It's certainly much cheaper to obtain than an ATP.

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I should have rephrased, you take a similar test as an ATP, which does get you a Dispatchers certificate. Same Knowledge is required for both.

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Okay, I admit. I totally forgot that this is what I wanted to do before I decided on ATC. Now after waiting for the FAA forever, you guys go and remind me of Flight Dispatch. Ever heard of Sheffield in Ft. Lauderdale? What do you think of that school? ERic

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I haven't heard of it, but I know there are a few different ways to obtain the schooling for it.Some do it several ways, self-study is the cheapest, and then you take courses after you have mostly learned on your own.Or you can take a full course, classroom style, which costs the most.You may be looking at between $3,000 -$4,000 for a full course.As low as $1,000- $1,500 for a self study type course.Regards,Joe

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Eric,I've done my homework regarding dispatching as I also am interested in it as a career. I've interviewed a couple of dispatchers and here is what I've learned. I'm not going to "candy-coat" this, just give you the hard facts.You can do the self study as Joe says and it is cheaper, but you better have tons of insider knowledge or at least a dispatcher friend you can talk to if you do it that way. There is so much "extra" that is given to you during classroom training, specifically to help you pass the FAA certification. You're not going to find that in the training materials you purchase.Second, the ATP certificate is completely separate from the FAA dispatcher's certificate. It was recommended that I take the ATP exam, then use the knowledge from the ATP training and apply it to the dispatcher training. You can do it any way you want, but that process was recommended.You'll see people refer to the Dispatcher's certificate as a "coveted" license. It has that designation because of the grueling certification process. One dispather told me the FAA examiner could have stuck a fork in him, he was that "well done" after the exam. When you read about the various dispatcher school's, they will tell you that they assist in the hiring process and they have contact with the airlines. What they don't tell you is the success rate of their students. Just because you pass the coursework, is no guarantee you will make it past the FAA dispatcher testing.Next, comes the reality of the marketplace. The certificate does not get you a job, it's just a requirement of the job. Like other things in life, it helps if you know people in the industry to help you get a foot in the door. Your best chance of getting into the industry is to start with one of the regional airlines. Most dispatchers cut their teeth in the regional sector and get the experience needed that the major airlines require. You'll want to find a regional carrier that is expanding with new routes and needs to add a dispatcher, or an airline where one of its dispatchers has found a job at a major airline and created a vacancy.So you make it into the job... guess what? More dispatcher training! This time its the airline teaching you their internal policies. Again, another certification. You make it past that and you'll be the new kid on the desk, meaning you will work all the odd shifts, weekends, holidays, and whenever someone is out. Pay is adequate at the regionals, but not so good people want to stay. That's why everyone keeps an eye out and makes friends with dispatchers at the majors.A reality about the major airlines... openings only happen when someone leaves or retires and some airlines have internal hiring policies. Southwest and Delta will only hire from within. That means if you want a dispatcher job at one of these two airlines, you will need to work in crew scheduling or one of the other jobs no one wants to do. I was told that some people work up to 5 and 10 years in crew scheduling, before they get their chance to interview as a dispatcher.We all know that the airlines are an expanding and contracting industry. When the industry slows down, dispatchers are put on furlough. When it expands, they are called back. So just because the industry is expanding, is no assurance jobs are available.When people tell you that you can make "good" money as a dispatcher, realize that they are talking about dispatchers that work international routes for the majors. It took them years to get to that level and they put in their dues to get there. You'll make a decent living as a dispatcher, but if you are looking for an interesting job that pays really well, look for something else.I don't want all of this to come across as pessimistic, but rather, as the reality, and that you need to keep a very optomistic viewpoint to be successful in the career. It's a very serious career. You and the pilots flying work as a team to ensure the safety of passengers.Eric, best wishes if you persue the career. I highly recommend that you talk to people in the industry before you start. Also check out the Airline Dispatcher Website at http://www.dispatcher.org/. Look under the "About the Dispatch Profession" link for a transcipt of a dispatcher at work to get an idea of what is involved. You'll see why a dispatcher told me one has to be "King of Multitasking" to be successful at the job.Bruce(Special thanks to those dispatchers that have spoken to me, if you are reading this). :-)

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