Airline Dispatchers Federation.
Representing the professional interests of the Aircraft Dispatcher.

Compensation/Growth Within Dispatch Ranks

Aircraft Dispatchers salary varies depending on years of service, whether you work for an express carrier, major airline, or a cargo carriers

Express carrier’s salary starts at approx. $40,00 for new-hires and could top out at $60,000. For the majors, newly hired Aircraft Dispatchers starts at approx. $60,000 and top out at $150,000. At both express and major carriers, Aircraft Dispatchers can decide to branch out within their office and accept training on “Specially Qualified” desks. These “Company Select” positions often have overrides that push a senior dispatchers salary at majors to approx. $140,000. (disclaimer: salary numbers are averages only) 

Dispatchers can expect to work "shift work" and should plan on occasionally working midnight shifts and holidays, especially when junior in their respective offices. 
Most major airlines only hire experienced dispatchers with considerable time at smaller carriers, or else selected candidates already employed by the company with many years of internal airline experience.  As an example, at one of the nations largest airlines, candidates are selected from within the company.  The average successful candidate has 15-20 years of seniority within the airline with supervisory experience in a variety of operational areas.  This airline does not hire outside of the company.  Another airline recently hired 10 dispatchers.  Each of the new dispatchers were selected from the ranks of other airlines and had 10 years average dispatch experience.  

Graduates from dispatch schools will find a good job market, but realistically should not expect to be hired off the street by major airlines such as American, United or Delta.  However, a good basis for future employment with a major airline is a 5 year stint with one of the smaller carriers.  Most majors regard their dispatch positions as senior management level positions and require considerable experience in candidates before turning over the operational control of their flights to dispatchers.