How to Become a Truck Dispatcher

4 min read
Truck dispatcher walking through a truck yard while working on a digital tablet

If you have a passion for the trucking industry, a great way to get involved is to become a truck dispatcher. As a dispatcher you get to put all of your coordination and communication skills to use in order to help fleets thrive.

With the growth of the trucking and transportation industries, having skilled and reliable dispatchers is critically important. It’s a job that greatly influences the success of each delivery and impacts all of the downstream businesses and consumers who rely on the timely delivery. We’ll give you all the information you need to become a successful truck dispatcher.

A Quick Summary:

While no formal qualifications are needed, to be competitive for truck dispatcher jobs you’ll need to 1) Complete an online truck dispatcher course. 2) Earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field like logistics or supply chain management. 3) Get experience by working in another part of the trucking industry. 4) Develop good communication skills and learn how to use truck dispatching software.

What Does a Truck Dispatcher Do?

The day-to-day job of a truck dispatcher is to operate as a liaison between drivers, clients, and suppliers to ensure the efficient and secure delivery of cargo loads. In order to coordinate between customers, truck drivers, and suppliers, truck dispatchers may perform a range of tasks to guarantee that operations are running smoothly. These tasks may include:

  • Interfacing with clients or suppliers regarding driver information and relaying information between drivers, clients, and suppliers
  • Organizing timetables for pick-up and delivery of goods as well as tracking cargo in real-time
  • Maintaining proper documentation of transactions, recording billing histories, resolving freight issues, and recording orders
  • Mapping transport routes and actively communicating with truck drivers in transit using sophisticated software systems

A truck dispatcher job often provides the opportunity of further advancement within trucking companies and can be done remotely or in an office.

Education and Skills Needed to Become a Successful Truck Dispatcher

If you’ve set a career path goal to join the truck dispatching business, here are four ways you can stand out from other candidates.

1. Complete an Online Truck Dispatcher Course

Many companies do not require the completion of a truck dispatcher training course, but the skills and knowledge will make you a stronger candidate during the application and interview process. When researching the best online courses, be sure to select one that’s offered by an accredited institution. Other online resources, such as webinars, may also help you gain knowledge about the industry.

2. Earn an Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree

While most truck dispatcher job descriptions only require a high school diploma or GED, earning a higher education degree can give you better job prospects. Some common degrees among dispatchers in the transportation industry include business, communication, management, and even accounting.

3. Gain Experience in the Trucking Industry

Companies are more likely to hire candidates with a strong background knowledge of the trucking industry. While doing research is great, gaining real on-the-job experience in the trucking industry is most beneficial. This may include finding a position in hauling, shipping, or freighting. Along the way, you will also want to study the local and federal laws and regulations applicable to the trucking industry in your area.

4. Develop Technical and Interpersonal Skills

Working as a freight dispatcher at any level requires a high degree of customer service and communication skills. There is a lot of communicating and relationship building involved, so mastering your interpersonal skills is key. It’s also important to improve your computer skills and familiarize yourself with telecommunications technology and truck dispatching software. Candidates with a superior communication and technical background are most likely to be hired.

Average Truck Dispatcher Salary

According to Indeed, the average salary of a truck dispatcher in the United States is $52,710. However, salaries may range from $30,000-$60,000 based on your location and other factors. Candidates with a higher level of industry experience may be more likely to receive higher pay. Additionally, the role offers the possibility of upward mobility within a company and a higher salary in the future.

Truck Dispatcher License Requirements

Before you begin work as a truck dispatcher, you may want to obtain a license from the National Dispatch and Freight Certification Association (NDFCA). Although this is not a strict requirement in the industry, it will no doubt help you toward your goals. There is a cost involved though. There are several course options available, but you can purchase the bundle of courses and the Freight Dispatcher Certification Examination for $699.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Truck Dispatchers

How many trucks is one truck dispatcher responsible for?

Truck dispatchers may be responsible for anywhere from 1-15 trucks at one time. Inexperienced dispatchers will likely work with a smaller workload to begin with, as the probability for mistakes or accidents increases with higher workloads.

Can I work from home right away as a truck dispatcher?

Your work environment is likely dependent on your proven experience in the industry. Without experience you may not find a position that allows you to work remotely from day one. Another option is to freelance or become an independent truck dispatcher, although a proven track record is often needed to make this a feasible option.

What is the difference between brokers and dispatchers?

Brokers are responsible for the business side of the trucking industry, while as a dispatcher you will only be responsible for liaising between clients, truckers, and suppliers. If you have experience or interest in business, freight brokering may be the right job for you.

Take the Next Step in Your Career Path

Have more questions about how to become a truck dispatcher? Drivewyze is here to help you with a wide range of solutions, resources, webinars, and other support to help you find success in the trucking industry.

Next Steps

Drivewyze is a leader in connected truck services. We have helped thousands of fleets improve fleet efficiency and safety outcomes towards our vision of zero crashes and zero fatalities.

  1. Drivewyze PreClear – Request a demo of the largest weigh station bypass service with 900 sites in 47 states and provinces.
  2. Drivewyze Free – Sign up for Drivewyze Free, the first comprehensive and free safety solution using proactive alerts to improve fleet safety. Available for free for fleets and owner-operators.
  3. Drivewyze Safety+ – Premium safety solution for fleets that comes with custom zone alerts, severe weather alerts and a lot more. Request a demo or a free trial today!
  4. Drivewyze Mobile Apps – Owner-operators can sign up for a free 30-day trial for the Drivewyze PreClear app on iOS and Android and start receiving bypasses in 900 sites across 47 states and provinces.
  5. Careers and Partnerships – If you’re interested in joining the team that is building the future of connect trucking, please see our Careers page and submit partnership inquiries here.

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