In this guide, we look at what dispatching is and walk you through the steps to become a truck dispatcher. We also include 3 recommendations for training courses to help you gain knowledge and experience ahead of your first dispatcher role. 

Table of contents
  1. What Does a Truck Dispatcher Do?
  2. How Much Does a Truck Dispatcher Make?
  3. Why Become a Truck Dispatcher?
  4. How To Become a Truck Dispatcher: Step by Step
  5. 3 Best Truck Dispatching Training Courses
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

Truck dispatching is an exciting field with growing demand and a relatively easy entry point. 

Dispatchers—sometimes called freight dispatchers—coordinate trucks, drivers, and shipments to ensure they reach their destinations efficiently. It’s a role that requires organizational and communication skills, a knack for logistics, and the ability to multitask under pressure. 

But how, exactly, do you become a truck dispatcher and land your first job as one?

In this guide, we walk you through everything you need to know about truck dispatching—no matter if you’re actively looking for a career change or simply want to know more about being a dispatcher. 

We share the 5 steps to becoming a dispatcher, plus truck dispatcher salary information and responsibilities.

We also explore the 3 best truck dispatcher training courses that can help set you up for success as well as the best tool to train your future truck dispatchers.

Key Takeaways

  • Truck dispatchers coordinate trucks, drivers, and freight (transported commercial goods) to ensure timely deliveries. They develop efficient routes, manage drivers’ schedules, communicate with customers, monitor goods, and more. 
  • As of 2023, truck dispatchers in the United States make about $45,000 per year. This doesn’t account for independent dispatchers or those who own their own businesses.
  • Truck dispatching jobs are a good fit for people who are organized, detail-oriented, and interested in logistics. 
  • One of the most important steps in becoming a truck dispatcher is taking a dispatch training course. A great option is the National Dispatch and Freight Certification Association (NDFCA) Course, which covers all the industry basics.

What Does a Truck Dispatcher Do?

A truck dispatcher coordinates truck drivers and freight—in this context, meaning commercial goods transported by land—and ensures efficiency in getting them to their destination. This means working with the truckers themselves, the company or people supplying the freight, and the company or customer receiving the shipment. 

The dispatcher may work on behalf of a motor carrier, sometimes just called a carrier, which is the entity that owns the trucks. Sometimes, this is a major company that owns a nationwide fleet, and sometimes, it’s an owner/operator of a single truck. 

Dispatchers identify customers, sometimes called freight brokers, who need loads of goods moved. Then, they assign ‌loads and routes to drivers. 

The dispatcher also communicates with drivers and carriers, maps and optimizes routes in advance, and tracks freight through to delivery. They negotiate rates, resolve billing issues, and keep records of freight orders and deliveries, too.

Most dispatching is done with truck dispatch software. One standard solution is called a load board. It’s a database where customers enter loads they have, and carriers enter availability. Dispatchers use load boards to find loads and make contacts and connections. They may use separate software for tracking or metrics to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

🧠 Did You Know?

Connecteam is the ideal dispatch software solution for your dispatch business or fleet of company vehicles. It offers built-in scheduling features, GPS location tracking, a secure chat, and more. Connecteam provides real-time tracking of vehicles and loads, and a user-friendly interface for dispatchers. It also provides real-time notifications and alerts for dispatchers, making it easy to stay up-to-date with the status of jobs and vehicles.

Get started with Connecteam for free today!

Because much of the job is software- and phone-based, dispatchers often work remotely, depending on the company or client.

Dispatchers may work as independent contractors providing dispatching services, or they can build a career working within a carrier business like a trucking or distribution company. Many even start their own dispatching businesses. 

How Much Does a Truck Dispatcher Make?

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a truck dispatcher role in the US is $44,803

This can vary widely based on the dispatcher’s experience level, the company they work for, and the state they work in. It also doesn’t account for independent contractor dispatchers or those who run a truck dispatching business.

Why Become a Truck Dispatcher?

There are various reasons to become a truck dispatcher, and everyone’s journey in the industry is different. Some have aimed to be truck dispatchers since they were relatively young, while others have decided to leave one career and get into dispatching later in life.

Here are some common reasons you might want to become a truck dispatcher:

To do challenging, rewarding work

Working as a truck dispatcher requires excellent time management, problem-solving, communication, and multitasking skills. You’ll craft and optimize effective routes, tackle logistical challenges in real time, coordinate multiple drivers and freight shipments, and more. It’s a dynamic, engaging role that can be incredibly rewarding.

To have more flexibility

The nature of the job means many truck dispatchers work flexible schedules, and most work remotely with the help of dispatch software. This offers dispatchers a lot of flexibility, enabling them to establish a healthy work-life balance

As a dispatcher, you might be able to shape your professional schedule around your personal commitments, ensuring you’re fulfilled in all aspects of your life.

To work a job that’s important to many industries

Dispatchers are essential pieces in the puzzles of numerous industries—from trucking and transportation to logistics and commercial goods. They’re in charge of ensuring freight moves from one place to another safely and reaches their destination on time. The work they do has the potential to help thousands of people, if not many more, and they contribute to the wider economy as well. 

This level of importance can give you a strong sense of purpose in your professional life. And when you feel this way, you’re more likely to be satisfied and engaged with your job, too. 

To set yourself up for bigger career ambitions

Finally, you might become a truck dispatcher to kickstart a career in transportation and logistics. The experience you’ll gain as a dispatcher can transfer to many senior roles, like transportation manager, supply chain coordinator, and operations supervisor.

Or, you may seek a truck dispatcher job to lay the groundwork for creating your own dispatching business down the line. 

How To Become a Truck Dispatcher: Step by Step

Step 1: Complete relevant education if necessary

In terms of formal education, most dispatching companies only require workers to have completed a General Educational Development (GED) test or possess a high school diploma. 

Some don’t require formal education, so be sure to do your research beforehand. Additionally, your personal career goals may not involve getting a GED credential. 

You’ll be set if you have either of those already. But, it just takes some studying and planning to complete a GED test if you don’t have a credential and would like to. 

First, head to the GED test website to sign up for a student account. There are live online classes (starting at $69), practice questions, and a mock exam you can take to prepare for the test. Across the US, there are 6,000 GED prep centers that can help you study, too. 

The overall GED test involves 4 individual subject exams: “Mathematical Reasoning,” “Reasoning Through Language Arts,” “Social Studies,” and “Science.” You can take these at separate times if you’d like. 

Once you’re ready to take the test, find a test center near you. There’s also an option to take it online. You’ll need to score at least 145 out of 200 on all 4 subject exams to receive your GED credential. Each exam costs $20-$36 on average.

Step 2: Brush up on industry knowledge and relevant soft skills

Working as a truck dispatcher incorporates people, organizational, problem-solving, and multitasking skills. Develop and strengthen these soft skills by signing up for training sessions and workshops or seeking advice from your current or former colleagues who are adept in these areas. 

You might also consider using a daily planner and following a time management method like the Pomodoro technique, where you work in 25-minute blocks with a 5-minute break between each. Also, practice making quick decisions, speaking clearly and concisely with others, and juggling multiple tasks at once. Think of these as “drills” that get you in the habit of doing what you’ll do as a truck dispatcher.

💡 Pro Tip:

When training your dispatchers’ soft skills, try engaging them in microlearning—learning in short, regular bursts rather than one long block. Studies have shown that microlearning boosts knowledge retention, so they’ll remember more and avoid being overwhelmed with long training sessions.

a worker looking at his phone smiling

The role also requires some basic industry knowledge. Research the trucking and transportation industries to familiarize yourself with key terms, regulations, and technologies. You can search online for popular industry publications and read those. Also, you might look through platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to stay updated on industry news as it emerges. 

In addition, it can be beneficial to get familiar with dispatching software. Start by researching software solutions popular in the industry. Then, explore each solution’s website, reading up on how they work and the features they offer. 

You might also consider signing up for free trials to test the software. This will allow you to get hands-on experience with the tools you may eventually use each day. In turn, you’ll be more confident and can start using the software efficiently from day 1 in your new role.

Step 3: Take a truck dispatching training course

The next step is to learn how to be a truck dispatcher by taking a truck dispatching course. (Some are marketed as “freight dispatcher training” courses.) It’s the best way to gain hands-on skills and in-depth knowledge necessary for the role without seeking an advanced degree in logistics or business.

As for how long truck dispatcher training is, most courses require only a few days or weeks of time investment. Many are available online, too, so they’re convenient to complete. Prices can vary, though, so it’s important to consider your budget as well.

That said, it can feel overwhelming to research courses and pick the right one. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top recommendations for online courses you can sign up for today. Check them out in the next section of this article.

Step 4: Network with dispatching professionals

Next, begin connecting with experienced truck dispatchers and others in the industry. 

A great way to start is by joining LinkedIn or using it more often if you’re already signed up. You can search for and request to connect with dispatching professionals, sending them personalized messages asking to chat about their experience. 

If you already have ​​contacts in the industry from previous jobs, ​​contact them and set up a time to talk about dispatching. Consider offering to buy them a coffee or snack in exchange for their time.

You can also grow your network by interacting with others on social media. Ask questions, reply to posts, and share your own thoughts based on what you’ve learned through your dispatching course. 

Finally, consider attending industry events or even seeking out mentorship opportunities. These can help you gain more knowledge and build professional relationships with others before you even start your first dispatching job.

Networking may seem nerve-wracking, but it can provide invaluable insights and tips as you begin your journey in truck dispatching.

Step 5: Update your resume and apply for jobs

You’ll need to update your resume to highlight your freshly honed skills and newly acquired truck dispatching knowledge. 

Start by editing your “skills” section to spotlight your ability to communicate, problem-solve, communicate, and use software effectively. Then, list the training courses you’ve completed and any certifications you’ve received. You might consider including these closer to the top of your resume so hiring managers can see it immediately. 

You can also update your previous work experience to emphasize transferrable skills. Even for jobs very different from dispatching, describe how you effectively managed your time, resolved issues, coordinated tasks, and communicated with others. 

Once you have your resume ready, start looking for jobs. You can search for titles like “truck dispatcher,” “freight dispatcher,” or “freight coordinator” to find open roles. 

Look for dispatching jobs on job boards like Indeed or directly on company websites for carriers or other distribution companies. Any company with a warehouse likely employs, or at least works with, dispatchers. 

Many companies offer great entry-level roles with additional on-the-job training. Consider starting here, gaining hands-on experience, and then applying for more junior positions.

💡 Pro Tip:

Tailor your resume to each position you apply for. Do this by highlighting skills and experience that match the role’s unique requirements. You can even include keywords and phrases from the job descriptions in your resume. This takes some extra time and effort. But, it can show hiring managers you’re dedicated and enthusiastic, helping you stand out.

Finally, in your interviews, emphasize both your soft skills—like being organized and detail-oriented—and your experience and education. Even seemingly unrelated experience can be important to show that you have demonstrated work ethic and dedication.

3 Best Truck Dispatching Training Courses

Course provider: The National Dispatch and Freight Certification Association (NDFCA)

Length: Self-paced, with an estimated time of several days

Cost: $449

Great for learning the basics

The NDFCA Dispatcher Course applies to all logistics industry workers, including truckers. It starts with the universal building blocks of terminology and equipment used in trucking. 

The fully online course includes modules for various topics, including frequently used technology and state and federal laws, like Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements. It’s a perfect starting point for those who’ve never worked in the trucking industry. 

There’s no exam associated with the Dispatcher Course, but there are quizzes you’ll need to take and score at least 70% on. After the course, you’ll receive a digital Certificate of Completion you can print out. You can also take the exam for an NDFCA National Freight Dispatcher Certification if you choose. 

Additionally, the NDFCA offers other courses and certifications that you may want to pursue in the future, and the Dispatcher Course is a prerequisite for some of them.

Course provider: Learn Dispatch

Length: Self-paced, with an estimated length of a week

Cost: $360 for the Core Version; $600 for the Extended Version

Great for starting an independent truck dispatching business

Learn Dispatch’s Truck Dispatcher Training Course – Core Version and Truck Dispatcher Training Course – Extended Version are great for people who want to become independent truck dispatchers. You can complete them online and even break course payments into monthly installments.

The Core Version includes 120 interactive lessons that offer valuable knowledge and context about dispatching and starting your own business. 

You’ll learn industry terms and trends, analyze examples of real-world scenarios, and take regular quizzes to test your knowledge as you progress. Plus, you’ll learn marketing tactics and tips for finding clients. 

Once you complete the course, you’ll receive sample documents for carrier profiles, client contracts, and other forms you’ll need to set up your business. 

The Extended Version teaches you all this, too, and offers an additional 55 lessons. These cover trucking industry basics in greater detail and teach you more about freight booking and business marketing. You’ll also have access to extra examples and an instructor to chat with about each lesson.

With either course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion and access to DAT Load Board for 1 month.

Course provider: Truck Dispatcher Training

Length: Up to 3 weeks

Cost: $775

Great for learning about in-house dispatching and becoming an independent dispatcher

With 75 course lessons, guest speakers from the field, and a dispatch job board included, Truck Dispatcher Training is a one-stop shop. The lessons—which include video classes and 1-2 live digital sessions each week—walk through every aspect of the job, from route planning to driver drug testing. 

After working through the lessons, you’ll have to pass a 100-question exam that takes about 30 minutes to complete. You’ll receive a digital certificate when you pass. Then, you’ll complete a practical task with a professional dispatcher over Zoom.

Truck Dispatcher Training also offers job support after the course. You’ll get 1 month’s access to live mentor support, which you can extend with a monthly subscription. Truck Dispatcher Training will also teach you how to build your resume, start working as an independent dispatcher, and more. 

🧠 Did You Know?

You can use Connecteam to build training courses and materials—or load them in from a third party—in minutes. Courses support PDFs, images, text, audio files, videos, and more. Plus, you can add quizzes to test your team’s knowledge. Connecteam lets you track your team’s progress in real time and send completion reminders, too. 

a worker smiling filling new employees onboarding


Becoming a truck dispatcher can be a great career move for you if you’re logistics-minded with a knack for multitasking, problem-solving, and interacting with others. It’s an excellent job with many advancement opportunities. You can even start your own company as an independent truck dispatcher. 

To get started in the industry, truck dispatch training classes can set you up for success. The 3 we outlined in this guide are a great place to start. Overall, be sure to pick a course that will help you reach your goal—whether it’s to work in-house for a carrier or create your own dispatch business. 


How do I become a good truck dispatcher?

Completing a truck dispatcher training course is a great first step to becoming a good truck dispatcher. Experience and tenure will help you get even better. 

As you work, get to know your drivers and suppliers and ensure great customer service to both. Also, stay up to date with industry trends and evolving technology to ensure you’re ahead of the competition. 

Is it hard being a truck dispatcher?

Being a truck dispatcher can be both challenging and rewarding. But what you consider “hard” depends on various factors—like how well you handle stress, how adaptable you are, the company you work for, etc. In general, you’re more likely to enjoy the job if you’re interested in logistics and have strong communication, problem-solving, and multitasking skills.

As for how hard it is to break into truck dispatching, the job typically requires only role-specific training courses and a high school diploma (or equivalent), not advanced degrees. So, there’s a pretty low barrier to entry. 

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