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Author Topic: How to become an ATC  (Read 24626 times)
Umop3pisdn
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« on: April 10, 2006, 06:28:44 PM »

For a while now, I have wanted to become an air traffic controller, Ever since about seventh grade. I Am currently a junior at a high school in Connecticut. What are some of the things I should do to become an ATC. Today I got back my ASVAB results, and my second interest code, it was conventional, low and behold ATC was there.
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mattkbdl
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 07:11:49 PM »

I would suggest to start looking at schools the are in the FAA's Collegiate Training Initiative.  Research and if possible, visit the schools you are interested in.
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2006, 07:19:20 PM »

www.atccti.com , all the resources you'll need.
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Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2006, 08:09:48 PM »

thanks a bundle! With the research I have done, it said that I need 4 year of collage or, three year work experanice before entering a school. Do those school apply, or is this a diffrent program of some sort
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davolijj
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 08:13:34 PM »

Quote from: Umop3pisdn
thanks a bundle! With the research I have done, it said that I need 4 year of collage or, three year work experanice before entering a school. Do those school apply, or is this a diffrent program of some sort


That's not true.  Most CTI programs are 4 years but there are a couple of 2-year programs as well.  And you don't need any work experience to enter any of them.
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JD
Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 08:35:47 PM »

Thanks again, also, How hard is it to get into one of these schools, and become an ATC
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Lezam
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 09:09:38 PM »

ouch, its hard from what i hear. it takes effort, no mistakes in controlling, and schedules are hard too.

it depends on what airport you want to go to! different classes, different pay scales... different experiences required  Cheesy
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ZOTAN
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 09:33:20 PM »

Make sure you know what your getting yourself into though. NATCA and the FAA are having BIG contract talks right now and its not looking too good for the controllers.
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Matt Stevens
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 08:09:07 AM »

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Make sure you know what your getting yourself into though. NATCA and the FAA are having BIG contract talks right now and its not looking too good for the controllers.


In what way is it not looking good?  Pay, benefits, an uncertain future (outsourcing)?

I think it is admirable that this person knows what he wants to do at his age.  Me?  I screwed around during and after high school, then entered college a few years later in a degree in which I really was not interested.   By the time I realized that I was interested in ATC as a career, I was bumping up against their maximum age (30) of entry into the program.  Needless to say, I didn't make the program.

My recommendation to the originator of this thread is to take all the necessary steps to enter the program now.   Good luck to you!
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Regards, Peter
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2006, 12:50:07 PM »

This is a post from a ZJX Dev. on the atccti.com forum, with the new pay scale is included.

AG (Academy Grad) $31,100
A side $36,335
D side $41,570
R side $57,275
CPC $66,000 to $94,900 (after 30 years on job) CURRENTLY CPC PAY IS $110,00-140,000

"Under the FAAs last best offer, anyone who is not a CPC will fall under this scale. However our pay currently will not be cut. I am making 61,000 as an A side right now (compare that with the $36,335). But my pay will not be lowered. However I will not get a raise again until I am CPC. It will be a 5 grand raise!!!! whoopie"

I don't know if this was changed in the new contract. But the FAA was proposing, no incentive pay to an instructor. Which as some know, if your Developmental has a deal. Your charged with it..... In the new contract, they want to make pay scales by each Area in the ARTCCs. So they count up the traffic, and give your area a rating. That would be the demise of facility ratings, so someone in a less intense Area will get screwed over. While some guy busting his ass off with get the "promising" B scale. If your ARTCC Area is made say a Level 9. This would be the pay scale.

AG (Academy Grad) $31,100
A side $34,550
D side $38,000
R side $48,350
CPC $54,100 to 76,500 (after 30 years on job) CURRENTLY CPC PAY IS $110,00-140,000

For people that are interested in the entire contract proposal that goes in front of Congress in two months. It's here: http://employees.faa.gov/managers/media/FAA_Submission_to_Congress_4-5-06.pdf

If you haven't done so already, call your Congressmen to let them know how bad you don't want this contract to go through. www.fairfaa.com is where you wanna go to know who to call.
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ZOTAN
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2006, 02:02:44 PM »

KSYR,

PHL_Approach's post basically backs up what I was saying. The new pay scale proposed by the FAA is a joke. I could be a fry cook at Mc'Donalds, put up with less bullshit then controllers do, and make more money than an Academy Grad.

Im not trying to discourage him or anthing; I just think If someone wants to get into this career they should know what kinda future they are looking at.

Im younger than he is, so it has nothing to do with age. Ive seriousily looked into ATC as a career, but with all the crap going on right now Im not so sure. Both of us have a while though. A lot can happen in a few years.
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Matt Stevens
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2006, 02:38:28 PM »

Quote from: PHL_Approach

If you haven't done so already, call your Congressmen to let them know how bad you don't want this contract to go through. www.fairfaa.com is where you wanna go to know who to call.


Ditto. For anyone that hasn't, please, please call your Congressmen. There about the last chance left for controllers to have any kind of decent standard of living.
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Matt Stevens
Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2006, 03:01:07 PM »

Zotan, how old are you...And as for the person saying dont discourage him, i have gotton alot of discouragement already. When I was younger, i wanted to be a pilot, so something to do with avation would be cool. I really would like to be a controller. I'd like to thank everyone for answering my questions. Another thing, with the live feeds,  I can't get it to play. It loads fine and on all my players it says its playing. i have tried winamp, real player, and windows media player..suggestions?
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Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2006, 03:06:19 PM »

Quote from: KSYR-pjr

My recommendation to the originator of this thread is to take all the necessary steps to enter the program now.   Good luck to you!


Sorry for the double post, but what would those steps be?
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digger
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2006, 03:09:28 PM »

As far as discouragement or not--It appears to me that, from here forward, if somebody wants a career in air traffic control, it'll be because they love the job. That's an acceptable reason--actually a damn good one. But, it's not going to be a job for somebody who hates it and is only in it for the money.
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ZOTAN
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2006, 03:14:11 PM »

Umop,

Im 16.

Ive looked into becoming a pilot also, but have the same feeling for that career as I now do about ATC. It seems as If all of aviation is on a downhill slope right now. It is an industry I want to be involved with, but If the current  trend continues I will do something else.
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Matt Stevens
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2006, 03:18:16 PM »

Quote from: Umop3pisdn
Sorry for the double post, but what would those steps be?


I going to defer to JD's experience, as he is a real live controller and I was a 1988 wash-out of sorts.  Smiley

While I am confident that there are steps that you would need to complete, I couldn't speak to the details as they are in 2006.
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Regards, Peter
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2006, 04:10:22 PM »

Quote from: digger
As far as discouragement or not--It appears to me that, from here forward, if somebody wants a career in air traffic control, it'll be because they love the job. That's an acceptable reason--actually a damn good one. But, it's not going to be a job for somebody who hates it and is only in it for the money.


I use to think the same thing. That it's not about the money and all. But we all know jobs are about the money. It was a double whammy for me. It was good money and it was something I wanted to do. Before I wanted to be an ATCS, I wanted to get my ATP and move up to a major. After meeting an ATP (who Im now really good friends with). He told me to stay away from it and this was from a man who was furloughed from US Airways Mainline and was recalled to fly E170's for Mid Atlantic. Now with all the stuff going on with Mid Atlantic, he decided to leave and is flying for a much smaller company now. The only good job security for ATPs out there is with Fractionals/ Corporate.  

If this FAA contract goes through, I'm done. I know alot of guys are just dropping out of CTI altogether or atleast changing majors/minors if this contract goes through. For the most part, alot of these facilites are in very high cost of living areas. It's hard to support yourself as a Dev with the current pay. If your looking to start a family fresh outta OKC, forget it. I can't imagine what it will be like with the new pay. My buddy at ZNY makes 3800 a month, he's been out of OKC since August. He's checked out on his A sides and now in D school. He told me he just barely squeaks out the bills at his residence in LI.

Edit: Spelling mistakes
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davolijj
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2006, 05:21:30 PM »

I'm no journeyman but allow me to give my 2 cents.  I'll agree that the current climate in the FAA is not great.  Employee morale is at an all-time low and the contract negotiations weigh highly on everyone's mind.  But...

If you love aviation and Air traffic control, do whatever it takes and become an air traffic controller.  I would do this job for $10 an hour if that's what it paid.  I love it that much.  I cannot tell you how many professional controllers I hear every day say, "this is the greatest job in the world."

Yes, the industry as a whole is at a low-point right now but like anything else it will bounce back (especially with the certification of so many new microjets - but that's another thread).  Tell me what industry has a rock-solid future which never waivers and I'll tell you why it is not as great as this one.
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JD
digger
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2006, 05:22:10 PM »

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If this FAA contract goes through, I'm done.


The whole thing kinda cuts both ways as far as a young person who's considering a career.

It should be interesting to see how many retirements happen. It's been well publicized that there's a lot of controllers getting close to retirement age anyway. Those who have enough time in, but would have worked for a few years more will be particularly tempted to hang up their headsets. The staffing issue could turn critical a lot sooner than has been talked about--a matter of months rather than years.

If there's a mass exodus of the older controllers there will be openings sooner for new people. Those who may have had to wait could get hired a lot earlier. Yes, the money won't be as good, but, as I said, for someone who just loves the job for its own sake, the time may be right.

On the other hand, a lot of otherwise qualified and motivated people, who'd have made good controllers, will seek better economic opportunities in other fields.
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digger
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2006, 05:31:57 PM »

JD, you posted that while I was typing my post. That's excatly the attitude I'm talking about. (And maybe what the FAA is counting on. Trouble is, and what I think Ed is talking about, it could seem a little less great when baby needs a new pair of shoes.)

Quote
By the way, my paycheck comes from the United States government....I'm pretty sure that's never going out of business.


Maybe not, but I wouldn't bet against the whole darn government someday being contracted out to the lowest bidder...        rolleyes
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senduhelp
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2006, 06:54:20 PM »

I also considered ATC as a career.  The problem for me is that I am 29 and live in Mechanicsburg, PA which isn't near any of the ATC schools.  I am married and not willing to relocate to attend school.  I wish I had explored this career option much earlier because I sincerely believe that I would enjoy it.  If the schools were closer I would consider jumping in at the last minute, but without that option I can't even consider it.
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Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2006, 07:09:48 PM »

How smart do you have to be to pass the AT-SAT? Im in level two classes, except for math. My grades are all b's except for math heh, i dont do well with imaginary numbers and things that you'll never use in life.
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davolijj
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2006, 07:19:40 PM »

Quote from: Umop3pisdn
How smart do you have to be to pass the AT-SAT?


That depends on your definition of "pass."  If you take it in a competitive setting like a job-fair or something, my understanding is they won't even look at you unless you score 95% or better.  If you take it as part of a CTI program, your placement will be depend on how well you do relative to the others in your service area.

I took it recently for resarch purposes and I thought it was pretty easy.  People who are good at typing or playing video games should have a distinct advantage.

I'm sure you've seen this but here is an overview of it.
http://www.atccti.com/document/atsat.doc
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JD
Umop3pisdn
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2006, 07:28:59 PM »

I am alright at typing, and I hate video games.
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