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Help me become an air traffic controller!
or, How can I get a great job as an air traffic controller!?
or, an air traffic controller makes how much?!
One question that comes up frequently is, "How can I become an air traffic controller?"
Now you might be saying to yourself, "Why would anyone ask that question?" The answer is simple. The average air traffic controller makes about $100,000 a year, which is not bad for a job where you sit at a "desk" for 8 hours a day.
Becoming an air traffic controller is not for the faint of heart however. To get to that $100,000 pay check you have to jump through a number of hoops. You can read pages like this one and this one to get the details, but here are the highlights:
If you think you can make it through all that and are interested in a high-paying career, then this page is a great way to learn more. It has lots of info, along with a movie, a quiz, games, etc. Good luck!
- First, there are only about 15,000 air traffic controllers in the U.S. Half of them will retire before 2010 though.
- Some air traffic controllers work in control towers at airports, but most work in quiet rooms where they monitor planes as they are in flight.
- There are some special requirements. You have to be young (below 30) for example. You have to be good and thinking in 3-D. You have to have a great memory. You have to be a calm/cool/collected sort of person. You have to pass a detailed medical exam. Your vision and hearing cannot be impaired.
- Then you have to get a four-year college degree (in "aviation administration with an emphasis in air traffic control") from one of 14 schools listed on this page. Or you can get training in the military.
- Then you go to FAA school for more training.
- Then, if you make it through all that, you get a job.
Want to discuss ATC jobs?
Go to the Helpation ATC Forum!
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