How to Become Air Traffic Controller

If you want to become an air traffic controller, you will need to follow the right path. You see, there are three paths for you to choose from. Make sure that you pick the right one so that you can already get the needed certification.

You must posses the traits of an air traffic controller because these can help you in passing the AT-CT training program.

Key Traits of Air Traffic Controller

If you’re someone who is motivated, committed, decisive, and self confident, you can become an air traffic controller. In this kind of profession, you can work either in the skies or in airports. However, it may take some time before you can become an air traffic controller. This is a great career but first, you must undergo training. During the training, you will be working closely with FAA controllers.

Before anything else, you will need to choose between three paths – path 1 is for those who have experience as traffic controller; path 2 is for those who don’t have any experience yet; and path 3 is for people who want to sign up for the AT-CT Program. You will need to be a citizen of the US and should not exceed the age of 31. You are required to pass security investigation and medical examination. Try to finish your college degree and after graduation, you will need to progressively work for at least 3 years. Take the FAA pre-employment test and make sure that you get 70 or higher as your score. Since you will be using communications equipment, you should speak the English language clearly and complete the interview.

Training Program

You will need to undergo the AT-CT Program. The training program consists of various phases and you are required to complete them all. This is necessary if you want to make career advances. The training is going to be conducted in Oklahoma City and the FAA will assume the travel costs. You may need to spend for the lodging, meals, and other incidental expenses but after the training, you can reimburse it at $79.20 a day. After passing the training, you can now be assigned to control facilities but this is still going to serve as ongoing training. This will help you in becoming more familiar with the operational environment. Classroom instructions are going to be given as well together with simulations. After the OJT, you can now be given a certification to prove that you’re a certified air traffic controller.

Depending on your experience, you will need to follow the right path as mentioned earlier. If you’re just starting out, then it might take some time before you can get the certification. The starting salary is over $17,000 but you can still increase it to more than $33,000 annually. This profession can be rewarding so if you want to become part of the air traffic office, follow these steps.


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