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Author Topic: Becoming an air traffic controller  (Read 8754 times)
At-Tair
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« on: February 28, 2008, 07:33:13 PM »

Hey guys. Im really intrested in becoming an air traffic controller but im not sure where to start. Could someone give me a step-by-step outline of what someone would have to do to become one? Thanks.
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NAplaya16-ATC
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 08:45:34 PM »

Hey,  welcome to ATC!   Currently, I am a student for ATC at Beaver County.  It all depends on which route you would like to go.   Would you like to go either military or attend a CTI (Collegiate Training Initiative) school.  CTI schools are special schools which have recieved special permission to teach ATC to students. 

Im not completely familiar with military ATC, but I have heard that once you enlist, I have heard and I think its 6 years.  Training is longer in the military, but once you get out, you will be guaranteed a job in ATC with the FAA.

As far as looking at CTI schools, I would research as many schools as possible.  Find which places you would think you would like the most and would really enjoy attending.  Also, you might want to think about whether you want to go to a 2 or 4 year school.  ATC is only a 2 year program, but thats with ATC as a major, while if you attend a 4 year school, you could major in other things like, Aviation Management, Airport Management, etc with an ATC minor,  that way, if by some chance you cannot be an ATC (which i certainly hope not, b/c we need everybody), you still have a degree, a major or something to fall back on.

Personally, I researched alot of schools, like Miami-Dade, Beaver County, Purdue, and a couple others.  I also visited my local airport at Port Columbus Intl. and told them that I wanted to be an ATC, and asked if they had any advice as to schools, ways of becoming, and getting into a facility i would enjoy.  Thats what i did and i am currently a second semester student at Beaver County, and i love it!

Regardless of what you do or where you go, welcome to ATC!!

(To anyone who posts after me, if any of my information in this post is incorrect, please feel free to correct and call me a dumbass!)  haha
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moto400ex
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 09:41:04 PM »

The ATC program at the University of North Dakota is a 4year degree and is also the best CTI school in the country.  Im not just saying that from my point of view but the FAA has nominated it as such and I can see why.  The equipment you train with is top notch and the professors are extremely helpful and have tons of experience both military and civil.  oNly that thing that is bad is the location. 
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 12:13:56 AM by moto400ex » Logged
NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 10:09:50 PM »

all good info. After College its just a waiting game/paperwork for a looong time. For me it was a year.
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 01:13:46 AM »

Talked about ad nauseum: http://www.liveatc.net/forums/index.php/topic,4188.0.html
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jdfmoc
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 01:52:46 AM »

Just graduated Embry Riddle in the process of being hired by the FAA. You should go check out an CTI program and see what they offer. Some schools like UND, Embry Riddle, and Alaska few others have great simulators which are really sweet to see. Good luck to you any questions you can pm me....
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IndyTower
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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 06:06:47 AM »


LOL nice Ed.  I miss that Philly attitude you all out there have.

To add to this...a great reference site is www.atccti.com.  Info on CTI schools and a fantastic message board used mostly by CTI students and grads, but a great place for additional information and to get your questions answered.
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w0x0f
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 07:51:41 PM »

There is an interesting 2 part post at FAAFollies regarding the initial path into ATC.  Probably worth a read.  Be sure to check the comment areas too.

Part 1 http://www.faafollies.com/?p=398

Part 2 http://www.faafollies.com/?p=399

w0x0f
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NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 08:32:18 PM »

sucks right now in the FAA...but I cant picture myself doing anything else.
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NAplaya16-ATC
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« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 09:56:27 PM »

Also, something maybe to consider is whether you would like to be either an En Route Controller or a Terminal Controller.   It may be too early for you to decide which you would like to be yet, but if you decide to visit places, you can have an idea as to which places have better simulators or actual towers for what you would like to do.

Personally, im training to be a terminal controller, so i chose beaver county because it has an on-sight control tower in which the students work and control during their last 2 semesters.   So thats why i chose beaver.

-NAplaya
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cmhidinger
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2008, 10:04:03 AM »

First, training in the Air Force is roughly 3-5 months in Biloxi, MS.  Then whatever training time is required at your first facility to get fully checked out.  Overall the AF training is shorter than a CTI school with the added bonus that you'll get a CTO or radar qual.  On the other hand you're taking a chance at being stationed in a crappy location, a trip or two to Iraq (or one of the other lovely middle eastern countries) and the monotony of military "games" that you have to play every so often. 

In short, apply on the FAA website under the public (off the street) announcement.  That way you won't waste any more time or money than you have to, especially considering the fact that it takes a unique individual to do the job and you may not make it.  Military: 6 years min. of your life.  CTI: around $50K maybe more, maybe less.  OTS: costs you nothing, possibly some travel expenses. 

hd
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jb8622
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2008, 10:20:59 PM »

If you want to go the CTI route, I would go around and visit some of the CTI schools you may be interested in. Go and meet the professors, see the facilities, and hear what the schools have to offer. I'm a Beaver grad, and dang proud of it. Don't take my word for it though, go see for yourself.
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nfredrich
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2008, 04:21:30 PM »

I received the call from OPM yesterday, I'm going to OKC on 03/31/08 with my permanant duty location as PWM.

I was hired off the street applying on 05/07, AT-SAT test 10/07, Placed on referal lists for MHT,ZBW,A90,BGR and PWM around x-mas time. I received an interview in Jan.. went to a Pre-Employment Processing Center in Fed. and just got the call yesterday.

I'm not sure if there are anymore OTS hirings happening soon, but keep an eye on jobs.faa.gov

I also have a blog running which I am about to update. I will include a day-by-day account of what to expect at OKC for those going terminal. http://zwramper.blogspot.com/

Also those interested getting into the agency there is a forum website that has been excellent in getting tons of input.  www.atccti.com
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 04:29:09 PM by nfredrich » Logged

Nick Fredrich
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 08:37:45 PM »

Thank you everyone. Everything you guys have said has really helped me narrow down what to do to become and atc. Thanks again.
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NAplaya16-ATC
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008, 01:25:00 AM »

Your welcome!  If you have anymore questions, post them here or you can PM me if you like!   Again,  Welcome to ATC!

-NAplaya
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icissel
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 09:16:42 PM »

glad i searched the forums before asking the same question... all of the info so far has been really helpful

i was talking to someone that did the atc program back in the 80s and he was telling me that it was a <1 year training program in Oklahoma, is this still an option or did the CTI make all atc training a mandatory two college excursion (i already have a 4 yr degree in an unrelated field so it wouldnt make sense for me to go for another 4 years)

basically my question is what is the quickest option for training
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atcman23
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2009, 10:20:43 PM »

The entire process has changed since the 1980s; everything from hiring to training.  First, though, you have to be hired by your 31st birthday.  If you are very close or over that age, then, you can't get into the controller arena. 

There are a few ways to apply.  You can apply as an off-the-street applicant with no required experience (you spend a longer time in Oklahoma if you are able to make it that far).  You can also go to a CTI school and as long as you do well, you are placed onto a "direct hire" list, which is basically a recommendation by the school to the FAA that you are "well qualified" for the job.  You can go to a few 2 year schools and get this completed. 

Or, if you want, you can enlist in the Air Force or Navy and get similar training with a good bet you'll also have either a CTO or radar qualification (or both).  And the FAA takes military personnel quicker than the other two, especially if you have experience.
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Mark Spencer
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2009, 11:07:29 PM »

thanks for the info im 22 so that wont be an issue, how do i sign up under the "off the street" option?
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cessna157
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2009, 11:10:49 PM »

thanks for the info im 22 so that wont be an issue, how do i sign up under the "off the street" option?

Keep on eye on the FAA's ASAP website.  You'll need to register and make a resume and profile.  The address is https://jobs01.faa.gov/asap/default.asp?WCI=p_Home     In the job listings, you want to look for job number 2152, with the word "PUBNAT" in the title.  The next Pubnat is going to be Pubnat8, rumoured to be released this July.  Keep in mind, the hiring process, from time of application to start date at the academy, will be almost 2 years.
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CRJ7/CRJ9 F/O, Travel Agent
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2009, 11:12:29 PM »

Also, there is a wealth of information, just about any question you could ask has already been answered, over on the Stuck Mic forums at http://www.stuckmic.com/atc-employment-forum/
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CRJ7/CRJ9 F/O, Travel Agent
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