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How to become an air traffic controller



How long does it take to become an air traffic controller?

FAA academy generally takes two to five months to complete, depending on your experience. It then takes another two to four years of on-the-job training to become fully certified. Air traffic controllers may become fully certified in as little as five years, or as many as eight.

Is it hard to become an air traffic controller?

Even though the path to becoming an air traffic controller isn’t as long or difficult as trying to become a doctor or lawyer, it is by no means easy. It typically begins with a Federal Aviation Administration approved collegiate training program.

Can you become an air traffic controller after age 31?

Yes, the FAA requires you to apply for air traffic controller training before your 31st birthday. They also require you to retire at the age of 56. The one exception to the above limits is that former military air traffic controllers are allowed to begin work with the FAA even if they are older than 31.

Is air traffic control a good career?

Air traffic controllers, who maintain the flow of aircraft in and out of airports and in flight, are key to aviation safety. This is well recognized as one of the most stressful jobs, requiring total concentration. Median annual wages of air traffic controllers in May 2008 were $111,870.

What jobs are similar to air traffic controller?


Airline Pilot

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

What is the average salary for air traffic controller?

Air traffic controller/Similar professions

How much do air traffic controllers earn?

The estimated salary for a air traffic controller is $164,947 per year in Sydney NSW. Was the salaries overview information useful?

What are the duties of air traffic controller?

Indeed, it is one of the 10 most highly paid jobs on the planet, according to its 2017 ranking, published this month – only health professionals and petroleum engineers earn more. How much are we talking about? Career Cast lists the average air traffic controller salary as $122,410, or around £91,000.

At what age do air traffic controllers retire?

In the FAA most Air Traffic Controllers work an 8 hour shift, which includes their meal break. Some controllers work alternate work schedules that include some 9 or 10 hour shifts. By statute FAA controllers may not work more than 10 hours in a shift.

What skills do air traffic controllers need?

Under current law, FAA air traffic controllers must retire by age 56.

What education do you need to be a air traffic controller?

Important Qualities

  • Communication skills. Air traffic controllers must be able to give clear, concise instructions, listen carefully to pilots’ requests, and respond by speaking clearly in English.
  • Concentration skills.
  • Decisionmaking skills.
  • Math skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.

Do pilots need to speak English?

Air traffic controller/Entry level education

What do pilots say when landing?

The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), the world’s organization overseeing aviation, require all pilots flying under their organizations to have attained ICAO “Level 4” English ability. This means all pilots must speak, read, write, and understand English fluently.

Do Chinese pilots speak English?

Thank you.” To indicate the landing clearance or final approach, the Captain will either make the following announcement and/or blink the No Smoking sign. “Flight attendants, prepare for landing please.” “Cabin crew, please take your seats for landing.”

Why do air traffic controllers talk so fast?

In China and Taiwan, controllers and pilots speak Mandarin to Chinese colleagues, and English to international pilots. Languages switch back and forth, making it challenging for crews to fly into busy airports when controllers rattle off instructions in both languages. Asian pilots frequently struggle with English.

Why is ATC so hard to hear?

Pilots talk fast because controllers listen fast. It’s mostly the same thing, same phraseology spit out day after day. If it’s something non-standard the speech rates go down, as do listening rates. 90% of communications are rote chunks that are scripted (there’s phraseology for it.)

Why do pilots talk the same?

In the Air Traffic world, all phraseology is scripted. So, in summery to the uninitiated ATC transmissions can and will sound strange and hard to understand. The muffling is most likely due to listening to a transmission that is a long distance away and has bounced so much that the wording sounds weak and muffled.

Why is ATC quality so bad?

One reason that pilots sound similar is that the primary prerequisite for effective communications is to be understood. That probably makes them sound similar. Experienced pilots can easily tell when a new pilot or even a longer term pilot who doesn’t know the “approved” way to talk is on frequency.

Why do pilots have bad mics?

The second reason is because atc communication uses AM radio. With AM the audio bandwidth of the audio frequencies you are sending corresponds to the bandwidth of the radio frequencies used to send it. The audio quality in the airband is limited by the RF bandwidth used.

What radios do pilots use?

A pilot’s microphone has to pick up normal speech from the pilot in an environment where you need hearing protection; small aircraft are LOUD. It also only has to reproduce the frequencies that the radio will transmit, but it has to do that pretty well so its actual frequency response will be much wider.