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How to Become a Railroad Dispatcher?

A train dispatcher is a railroad employee who ensures the safe movement of trains and the safety of freight and passengers. Are you interested in controlling the movement of trains? Do you know the job responsibilities of a train dispatcher? You can have a great career opportunity as a railroad dispatcher but before that, you will have to take the best freight dispatcher training. Train dispatchers are people who give instructions to trains but the job is not as easy as it sounds. It demands a lot of hard work and managing a busy schedule. In this column, we will share the various aspects of train dispatching as a career.

Skills Required for a Dispatcher

If you want to become a dispatcher, you need excellent communication skills as you will have to learn how to use different communication channels. This is because a train dispatcher has to communicate with train drivers and conductors. They stay in touch with various departments at the same time. Handling emergencies with ease and a relaxed mind is essential for this job. Today, the movement of trains is monitored using technology so you will also have to be tech-savvy to manage the dispatching software.

Steps to Becoming a Dispatcher

  • The requirement for becoming a dispatcher may vary according to the location but some of the general requirements include: you should be above 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. If you meet all these requirements, get in touch with a dispatcher training provider.

  • In the training program, you will learn oral and written communication skills, customer service skills and all about the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) software. You will also learn to make quick decisions, stay calm and working under pressure in pursuit of a dispatcher certificate.

  • Once you have gained your dispatcher certificate, you can continue to work on improving your skills as a trainee for field experience. You will undergo several weeks of on-the-job training and a probationary period. With experience, you will start to enjoy your job and aim to become a senior dispatcher. All the skills you learn as a trainee dispatcher will also help you further in your life, such as working in a fast-paced work environment and handling stressful situations.

You have to go through rigorous training before becoming a professional train dispatcher. This profession is best suited for people who are responsible about their work. Most railroad companies’ demand experienced dispatchers because they don’t want to take any risk. A single mistake by the dispatcher can have hazardous outcomes. It is considered a difficult job but if you are interested in working as a dispatcher, you will be trained to multi-task and how to use the dispatching software.

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