FAA Offers Dream Job Opportunities. Interested? Learn More (Multi-Video)

Interested in becoming an Air Traffic Controller? Take a video tour of a tower and see what this FAA career looks like from 295ft off the ground. (Multi-Video)
Interested in becoming an Air Traffic Controller? Take a video tour of a tower and see what this FAA career looks like from 295ft off the ground. (Multi-Video)

Every minute, every hour, every day, there are men and women working to ensure the safety and efficiency of our national airspace system.

This elite group of more than 14,000 FAA air traffic control specialists provide a vital public service to guide pilots, their planes and 2.2 million daily passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it will begin accepting applications from candidates for entry-level air traffic controller positions starting today, through July 14, 2017.

The job vacancy announcement for the highly competitive positions of Air Traffic Control Specialist (Trainee) will be available on the federal government’s official job site, USAJOBS.gov.

This announcement is expected to be open for seven days, and the agency is projecting to fill 1,400 positions.

(Interested in becoming an Air Traffic Controller? Take a video tour of a tower and see what this FAA career looks like from 295ft off the ground. Courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration and YouTube)

Air Traffic Control Specialists are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of air traffic through the nation’s airspace.

Trainees spend their first several months of employment in an intensive training program at the FAA Academy located in Oklahoma City, OK, and continue their training once they are placed at a facility.

Developmental controllers receive a wide range of training in controlling and separating live air traffic within designated airspace at and around an air traffic control tower or radar approach control facility, or an air route traffic control center.

(Air Traffic controllers describe peoples’ reactions after responding to the question “What do you do?” Courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration and YouTube)

Applicants will be separated into two pools of candidates.

  • Pool 1 will include graduates of an institution participating in the Collegiate Training Initiative program who provide an appropriate recommendation, as well as eligible veterans.
    • Individuals who qualify for Pool 1 are not required to take a biographical assessment.
  • Pool 2 includes the general public.

Air Traffic Control Specialists are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of air traffic through the nation’s airspace.

Because of the serious nature of this work and zero margin for error, the training regimen and proficiencies needed to become an air traffic control specialist, are demanding.

Initial selection does not guarantee placement into federal civilian service.

Entry-level applicants must complete required training courses at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and gain on-the-job experience before becoming certified professional controllers.

(Take a look at the Air Traffic profession through the eyes of some of the FAA’s female controllers. Courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration and YouTube)

All applicants must meet minimum qualifications and other eligibility requirements.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be age 30 or under (on the closing date of the application period)
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Pass a security investigation
  • Pass the FAA air traffic pre-employment tests
  • Speak English clearly enough to be understood over communications equipment
  • Have three years of progressively responsible work experience, or a Bachelor’s degree, or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years
  • Be willing to relocate to an FAA facility based on agency staffing needs

Pay, Benefits, Hours

The median annual wage for air traffic control specialists was $127,805 in 2016. The salaries for entry-level air traffic control specialists increase as they complete each new training phase.

The annual salary for more advanced controllers who have completed on-the-job training varies with the location of the facility, the complexity of the airspace, and other factors.

As a Federal employee, air traffic control specialists receive a benefits package that rivals, if not surpasses, those offered in the private sector, with a variety of insurance, retirement, leave and flexible spending options for employees and their families. Learn more about benefits.

Most air traffic control specialists work full time, and some work additional hours. Larger air traffic control facilities operate continuously, and employees may rotate among day, evening, and night shifts, along with weekends and holidays. Smaller facilities have more standard dawn to dusk operating hours

FAA

If you are interested in applying, log on to USAJOBS and apply prior to the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

Learn more about the air traffic controller profession, as well as an overview of the day-to-day work, on our aviation careers page.