Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are in charge of coordinating the movement of air traffic including both commercial and private planes either at a specific airport location or for flights between airports. They must make certain that planes remain a safe distance from one another. Their main concern is safety but they must also direct planes in a way that minimizes takeoff and landing delays.

In addition they keep pilots informed on weather conditions and runway status during arrivals and departures. According to most air traffic controllers are employed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To become an air traffic controller there are specific age requirements (for example less than 31 to hold certain positions) as well as certain educational requirements (a bachelor's degree or equivalent relevant experience). 

Prospective air traffic controllers must be admitted to and complete an FAA-approved training program that takes between two and four years followed by an 8-hour certification exam. Because of the high standards the federal government only hires trainees who graduate near the top of the class. Air traffic controllers are in high demand and the FAA is expected to hire 17000 new employees by the year 2018. Prospects for financial compensation are excellent.  Start your Career with an education in Air Traffic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary is close to $100000 and the benefits are excellent. Also air traffic controllers that continue to meet the required proficiency and medical standards have more job security than most other people because they are rarely ever laid off. However they must remain vigilant at all times so the job is stressful which is the main reason they are eligible for retirement benefits at age 50 or after 25 years of service. Retirement is mandatory at the age of 56.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $98545
High Salary: $131610
Low Salary: $65480
Tasks: Coordinates the movement of air traffic.
Directs planes in a way that minimizes takeoff and landing delays.
Keeps track of weather conditions and runway status.
Works at either large or small regional airports.
Also Called: FAA worker
Airplane flight coordinator
Flight Controller
Airport Tower Controller
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