Although the United States does not have truck dispatcher license requirements, many companies that employ truck dispatchers do. Additionally, truck dispatchers still need to check specific boxes in terms of education and skills to find jobs or start their own businesses as independent truck dispatchers.
This article explores the requirements for truck dispatchers and the necessary skills and education to succeed on the job.
Disclaimer 12/5/2023: Please note that this is not legal advice.
In this article:
- Do Truck Dispatchers Need a License?
- Common Truck Dispatcher License Requirements
- Ensure Your Fleet Has What It Needs to Succeed
- Frequently Asked Questions
Do Truck Dispatchers Need a License?
A truck dispatcher coordinates shipments and deliveries between warehouses and drivers to ensure they happen reliably and on time. Several skills are necessary for truck dispatchers to perform their work properly, but some companies might also prefer a certification or licensure for their truck dispatchers.
However, a truck dispatcher generally isn’t required by law to hold a license.
Common Truck Dispatcher License Requirements
Although truck dispatchers aren’t generally required to have a license, many employers still prefer their dispatchers to hold a certification or license proving their skills and expertise in the industry. The following are typical requirements for truck dispatchers.
Necessary Truck Dispatcher Skills
Truck Dispatcher Responsibilities 🚛💼
— DispatchStreet (@DispatchStLLC) September 29, 2023
Communication skills are the most crucial for a truck dispatcher. Truck dispatchers need to not only know how to communicate clearly via verbal and written communication methods, but they also need to understand how to use modern technology to perform job-related tasks and communicate with drivers and suppliers effectively.
For example, dispatchers who understand how to use automation tools, such as autonomous dispatch and routing software, and how these technologies can improve their efficiency and accuracy may have a leg up on the competition when applying for positions.
Truck dispatchers must also be organized, efficient, and able to multitask well to meet the needs of each driver quickly. Adaptability, problem-solving skills, and analytical skills can also set high-performing truck dispatchers apart from the pack.
Education to Become a Truck Dispatcher
Truck dispatchers typically need a high school diploma or GED to begin working. However, many logistics companies are now requiring at least some college education, like an associate degree. These education requirements help to ensure that their truck dispatchers have foundational skills that can help them succeed in their careers, like communication and management skills.
To advance in truck dispatching, an employer may require a bachelor’s degree. Some employers prefer that their dispatchers complete a training program specifically for truck dispatchers, which typically covers everything from dispatching software to fleet management tools and security regulations.
Certification and Licensure for Truck Dispatchers
Certification or licensure is generally only required for truck dispatchers conducting certain types of dispatching. For example, dispatchers who are considered brokers by property brokers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must apply for a broker license. However, an employer requiring this license will make the requirement clear to a potential candidate.
Dispatchers working independently may also need a license to perform work if their state requires it. In California, for instance, dispatchers working as brokers must have a freight broker license. States will usually also require independent truck dispatchers to register as a business.
Professional Experience in the Truck Dispatching Industry
At a minimum, logistics companies typically look for truck dispatchers with at least 1-3 years of experience. Dispatchers with an associate or bachelor’s degree or with relevant internship experience may find jobs without having professional experience.
However, having experience in driving, logistics, shipping, or a similar specialty is usually necessary to become a truck dispatcher.
Ensure Your Fleet Has What It Needs to Succeed
Well-trained truck dispatchers are crucial to the supply chain and logistics management, as they assist trucking companies with completing smooth pickups, transfers, and deliveries. It all trickles down to the last mile, during which a delivery makes its final stop to a customer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What skills do you need to be a truck dispatcher?
Truck dispatchers handle multiple drivers at once, so multitasking is the number one skill they need to succeed. Truck dispatchers also have excellent attention to detail, can think quickly on their feet, and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Computer skills are also necessary for dispatchers to navigate dispatching tools and organizational systems.
How many drivers can a dispatcher handle?
Although entry-level truck dispatchers may handle 5-10 drivers at a time, more experienced truck dispatchers may manage up to 30-50 drivers at once. This number can vary significantly by company, though, depending on the company’s typical truck loads.
Do truck dispatchers need to be licensed or certified?
Generally, no, truck dispatchers don’t need a license or certification to begin working. However, many companies have their own set of requirements for truck dispatchers, which may include a specific certification or licensure.