Dispatch Supervisor Job Description

Dispatch supervisors may be employed within various industries, but typically work in warehouses and call centers. The best candidates for this position are flexible and self-motivated with a positive “can do” attitude. Dispatch supervisors may work rotating shifts, nights, weekends, and holidays. Travel to local sites may be required as well. Because dispatch supervisors normally work directly on the warehouse or call center floor, they stand for long periods at a time and may also be required to lift and move heavy products. As a significant part of their role involves oversight, prospective employees who are effective leaders and communicators are preferred.


Dispatch Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

Dispatch supervisors’ primary duties are related to transportation coordination and activity. These responsibilities may vary based on whether the position is in a warehouse, call center, or office environment, but there are common core tasks that apply to all dispatch supervisors. Some of these tasks include:

Perform Site Checks

Because customer project and delivery deadlines must be met, dispatch supervisors check progress and ensure everything is on schedule to meet the customers’ expectations.

Plan and Track Project Man Hours

Customer budgets allocated at the beginning of the project must be adhered to. To stay within the budget, dispatch supervisors propose a projected number of man-hours at project initiation and track those hours throughout the project.

Train and Oversee New Employees

Quality work is important for retaining current customers, attracting new ones, and meeting industry standards. Dispatch supervisors orientate new employees, making sure they are aware of job, company, and industry requirements, as well as safety standards.

Monitor Dispatcher Activity

The supervisor monitors dispatcher calls to ensure optimal performance, integrity, and professionalism. These call reviews are used to identify dispatcher strengths and weaknesses, coaching opportunities, and as a basis for performance reviews.

Maintain Records

Dispatch supervisors keep employee records, including productivity tracking and attendance documentation. They also maintain vehicle and equipment maintenance records for internal and external review.


Dispatch Supervisor Skills and Qualifications

  • Computer – Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher are used to produce reports, store and analyze project and vendor data, and create presentations for internal and external use; inventory management software is used to keep track of incoming and outgoing products
  • Reading comprehension – excellent reading skills are necessary to read and fully understand project documents containing customers’ specifications
  • Decision making – dispatch supervisors are presented with various choices throughout the course of the project, such as which vendor to use and modes of transportation, and must be able to weigh the costs and benefits of each, making an appropriate choice
  • Critical thinking – to identify the pros and cons of pursuing an alternative course of action when problems arise
  • Communication – to aid interaction with staff (dispatchers, employees within other departments, outside vendors) and customers


Dispatch Supervisor Training and Education

While an associate degree is preferred by employers, it is not required. A high school diploma with two to five years’ dispatch experience and two to five years’ of supervisory experience are the minimum expectations for prospective dispatch supervisors.


Dispatch Supervisor Salary and Outlook

The salary range for dispatch supervisors varies based on location, tenure, and the specific company. The range starts at $36,000 with a maximum salary of $67,000 and a median salary of $49,000. Salaries are complemented with bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions.
Shipping, manufacturing, and logistics industries are the biggest employers of dispatch supervisors and will experience the most job growth. Overall, this position is expected to increase at a rate of seven percent through 2026.


Helpful Resources

A list of resources for dispatch supervisors in various industries has been compiled and provided below:

International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) – This nonprofit organization supports medical, fire, and police dispatchers through the provision of education, certification, and accreditation. The mission of this 35-year-old organization is to “advance and support the public-safety emergency telecommunications professional and ensure that citizens in need of emergency, health, and social services are matched safely, quickly, and effectively with the most appropriate resource.”

Dispatch Manual Trucking 2018 – In this Kindle edition, author J.W. Lessing provides valuable guidance, tips, and information to aid successful dispatch operations in the transportation industry. Topics discussed in the handbook include tools of the trade (laws, regulations, and documentation), relationship building and customer service, time and stress management, and finding, booking, and handling loads.

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatcher Career (Special Edition): The Insider’s Guide to Finding a Job at an Amazing Firm, Acing the Interview & Getting Promoted – Anne Johnson gives prospective emergency dispatchers a heads up on how to be successful in locating and obtaining a position and moving up the ladder in this industry.

Personality and Leadership as Dispatcher Retention Tools: A Study of the Big Five TraitsAuthor Lora Reed provides a case study examination of the personality traits and leadership characteristics that correlate to dispatcher job fitness and retention. This book may aid in determining suitability and prospects for success in this position.


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