Although there is no minimum age requirement for becoming a truck dispatcher— in most instances, to be considered for employment or licensing, you will be expected to be at least 21 years old.
You have to understand that truck dispatching requires a high level of organization, focus, attention to detail, and patience.
To become a truck dispatcher in the United States, you will be expected to first possess certain qualifications and skills. Most often, a high school diploma or equivalent will suffice, although you will find employers who want candidates with higher or additional education in logistics, supply chain management, or transportation.
You will also need to have an insight into transportation and logistics trucking, including knowledge of industry regulations, routes, traffic patterns, and transportation terminology.
Don’t underestimate the importance of excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, especially since they are very important when interacting with drivers, customers, and other stakeholders. Strong organizational abilities are also vital since you will be tasked with handling multiple trucks, drivers, and schedules simultaneously.
Steps to Become a Truck Dispatcher
Complete All Required Education and Training
While there are no generally stipulated educational requirements, you might want to hold a high school diploma or GED.
You should also take into account the possibility of taking a truck dispatching course that will introduce you to the industry and ensure you have the basic knowledge and skills to attain success.
Consider an Associate’s Degree
Most often, a high school diploma or equivalent will be all you need to work as a truck dispatcher. However, you will find employers who want candidates with higher qualifications or those who have an associate’s degree in logistics, supply chain management, or transportation.
Keep in mind that an associate’s degree can give you a competitive edge over other candidates, and you can leverage an associate’s degree as a stepping stone toward a bachelor’s degree.
Gain Experience in the Industry
You cannot underestimate the importance of the right experience in this line of business. Consider gaining industry experience by working in a role related to trucking, freight hauling, and shipping and receiving.
Look for locations will you can learn about your local, state, and federal laws, especially those that have to do with freight transportation, weight limits, and safety regulations.
Develop Your Skills
It is imperative you invest in developing your skills in telecommunications, written communications, and interacting with others.
Note that the role of a truck dispatcher tends to center heavily on attention to detail and organization but mostly your communication. Come up with a method for keeping records, documenting phone calls, and keeping schedules organized.
Skills to be Successful as a Truck Dispatcher
To attain success in this profession, it’s necessary to continually improve the skills you require for the job. Nevertheless, below are the requisite skills you have to focus on developing in your career as a truck dispatcher:
Keep in mind that these soft skills encompass your empathy, communication skills, and teamwork skills. These are very vital qualities to possess especially when it has to do with answering calls, negotiating with suppliers, and fostering good relationships with clients and drivers.
Technical and Computer Skills
Most truck dispatchers in this modern technology age tend to leverage mapping and scheduling software and applications to carry out their jobs.
For example, dispatchers are known to utilize mapping programs to discover and record efficient routes and find ways to beat traffic clocks and other tasks.
Applications like appointment-setting software and calendars can work to help dispatchers efficiently organize and maintain records of pickups, deliveries, and in-transit cargo.
Attention to Detail
You will need to have fine-tuned organizational skills as well as the ability to handle multiple tasks on the job. Aside from that, the way you approach prioritizing your tasks can also impact in many ways how organized you’ll be in the role.
Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills
Ensure you have the ability to monitor in-transit cargo, working around multiple drivers’ schedules and finding solutions to transportation issues (like alternate routes due to accidents).
Note that these are some of the instances where your analytical and problem-solving skills will prove valid while on the job.