What Will I Learn in Transportation Dispatch Courses?

Find out the job duties and requirements of transportation dispatchers. Learn about courses and training programs that can prepare you to work in this field. Schools offering Supply Chain Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Transportation Dispatch Courses Can I Take?

You can take transportation dispatch courses to learn how to become a non-emergency dispatcher in industries such as commercial trucking, air cargo and railroad. Dispatchers also work for taxi, bus and courier services, but are frequently trained on the job in those fields. Courses in transportation dispatch can teach you how to use communication and navigation systems to coordinate and maintain distribution, shipping and delivery schedules.

What Skills Will I Gain?

You'll learn how to use computers, radios and phones to coordinate transportation dispatch services and prepare for events that might disrupt schedules, including traffic and weather. Dispatch courses often cover state and federal transportation regulations and the steps you'll need to take as a dispatcher if one of your vehicles is involved in a traffic accident or other roadside emergency.

You'll also learn about cargo weight distribution, maintenance requirements and vehicle safety. Coursework emphasizes the development of decision-making, communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Course topics may include:

  • Transportation of dangerous goods
  • Roadside inspection
  • Driver fatigue and distraction
  • Train safety regulations
  • Train operations
  • Train dispatch software
  • Meteorology
  • Air traffic control procedures
  • Flight planning and procedures

Where Can I Take Courses?

You can take transportation dispatch courses primarily at vocational schools and community colleges. Continuing education workshops are also available for dispatchers in various transportation industries and typically cover a particular topic, such as driver safety issues or new regulations. Online transportation dispatch courses are rare, but there are a limited number of aircraft dispatcher courses available offering a combination of online and in-person instruction.

Can I Specialize?

While general transportation dispatch courses may include training in all types of transportation, specialized training is available in the areas of railroad and aircraft dispatch. Specialized programs may lead to a certificate or associate degree. Some 4-year schools also offer aircraft dispatch courses through bachelor's degree programs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires aircraft dispatchers to become certified by passing the FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Airman Knowledge Test.

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