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Author Topic: Question for the CTI grads, students, prospects  (Read 11334 times)
ridejumpfly
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2006, 11:20:16 AM »

Just remember that even though you start out lower as soon as you start getting ratings you pay increases.  I wouldn't consider it bad enough to forget about going FAA.
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digger
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2006, 05:50:31 PM »

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The new pay scales seem to suck but teachers at UND tell me that they wont be like that for long and they will eventually change for the better.


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even though you start out lower as soon as you start getting ratings you pay increases. 


But the "pay bands" have changed, downwards.

NWA ARJ, Just so I'm clear on what you're saying--Do the teachers believe that the pay scales will change at some point, so that the wave of new controllers, who are going to replace the wave of retirees, can expect to do as well monetarily over the course of their careers, as the retirees have? Or are they just telling you that at some point the pay scale will no longer suck?
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IndyTower
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 12:40:50 AM »

My prof at Purdue (who was a PATCO controller) always told us not to worry to much about the new contract, including the pay scale and everything else involved, as it would pretty much even out eventually and get back towards where it was.  Even with that said, there were some people I graduated with, including myself, decided not to pursue ATC, the primary reasons being our concern with the new pay scale and with concern about all the negative relations between the union and management and the resulting low morale.  On the other hand, pretty much all of us, including myself, have reconsidered.

I should also add that the new contract wasn't my primary reason for not wanting to pursue ATC.  The biggest factor for me was the environment in some of the facilities where there's so much animosity and tension between the controllers and management  Along with this, there's the historic equipment, equipment failures, odd working hours, not being able to go to family functions and see your wife (and kids at some point) as often as you'd like etc etc.  Though, after working in the industry some, I've learned that this just comes with the territory of working in the aviation industry.  It's something we all have a passion for, and we're willing to put up with the not so good to be able to enjoy the good.

Most my friends put their paperwork in months ago, ie chosing preferred states and employment history, with the realization that they could always turn down an offer if given one.  I chose not too, therefore forefiting being eligible in this round of hiring.  Three of my friends who I've talked to recently got tentative placement at RNO, SPI, and BTV.  After graduating from Purdue and getting a job in the industry, I decided I may as well put my paperwork in, though now wish I hadn't waited, as I'll have to wait longer.  Though eventually, it'll happen.

The one thing that all of us remember, and an advantage of a Bachelor's from Purdue, is that even if we take ATC jobs and decide it's not for us for one reason or another, we have a degee to fall back on that will get a wide range of different jobs in the industry.  I just took the opposite path as many of my peers and immediatly took a job in the industry instead of waiting tables or any other odd job while waiting for the FAA to call.  Though that's mostly because I thought I'd be staying with that company instead of pursuing ATC.  But like I said, we can always get out of ATC if we want because our degrees allow for it.

Sorry if this is long winded.  Those of you who've been around the site a while know how I can be.  Wink  I intended to write on this a couple of months ago, but my perspective on it has changed since then, as there have been a lot of changes in my life. 

One thing I know is that when I do get to a facility and if I do set up a feed, I won't do any adversiting of where I am or that I can be heard on the new feed, in fear of having posts about me like the guys on ground control at JFK.  Wink

Matt
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 12:49:23 AM by IndyTower » Logged
digger
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2006, 02:14:07 AM »

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Sorry if this is long winded...
 

Quite the contrary. I appreciate the lengthy and well thought out reply.

Part of the reason I asked the question in the first place was that it seems, based on what I've heard, as if the FAA has underestimated the number of eligible individuals that are actually going to retire. If that's the case, then A: they're going to be shorter of staff, and sooner, than they'd projected, and B: their projections of how many new hires are going to be coming into the ranks might be equally innaccurate.

As for what the instructors have apparently been saying about things eventually returning to more or less the way they were in times past (like before the Imposed Work Rules), I hope for everyone's sake that they're correct, but I'm glad I'm not in the position of having to bet my college education and career on it. With all due respect, CTI instructors have a vested interest in keeping their students focused on the goal of becoming  controllers, and that might prejudice their opinion, whether intentionally or not.

It seems to me that if there is indeed an impending shortage of qualified controllers (and it seems there is no doubt of that), that to cut pay, and make working conditions less attractive, to lower the morale of the existing workforce, is NOT the way to attract a large pool of qualified applicants to replace those who will be departing.

I got the impression during all the back and forth, while the contract was still an open question, that the agency might be counting on the individuals' love of the profession itself to sustain adequate staffing, and to attract replacements, without regard to how poorly they might be treated on payday, and every working day, for that matter.

It's interesting to read the replies here, and guage how true that might be...
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davolijj
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2006, 10:55:43 AM »

...I got the impression during all the back and forth, while the contract was still an open question, that the agency might be counting on the individuals' love of the profession itself to sustain adequate staffing, and to attract replacements, without regard to how poorly they might be treated on payday, and every working day, for that matter.

You hit the nail on the head Digger.  In a speech at the FAA academy last May, Rick Day, VP of EnRoute and Oceanic Services, stated that the FAA is seeking candidates who have intrinsic motivations for the carreer.   Meaning they're looking for people who want the job because they love ATC.  He said extrinsic motivations like pay, benefits, and scheduling don't bring the kind of people they want.

I hate to break it to them but I'm pretty sure the number of candidates fitting the FAA's preference is not even large enough to staff one facility.  And even if a mojority of the CTI candidates had intrinsic motivations, the low morale and union/management relationship in today's FAA would quickly drive those people away.  I understand where they're coming from on this one, but it's 2007, and that philosophy just isn't realistic.
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Regards
JD
w0x0f
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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2006, 12:25:04 PM »

No one has mentioned the very real chance that the whole ATC system may be privatized.  That throws a much different light on this topic.  What kind of a pay scale do you think they'll have then?

w0x0f
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RayZor
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2006, 09:22:41 PM »

So overall: would you, or would you not recommend a career in ATC?  I have been thinking about it, but the outlook is kind of grim it seems...
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digger
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2006, 10:08:01 PM »

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He said extrinsic motivations like pay, benefits, and scheduling don't bring the kind of people they want.

Since it appears the the emphasis of the FAA administration has shifted from moving taffic safely to moving traffic cheaply, I guess he's right that those things don't bring the kind of people they want...     rolleyes
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w0x0f
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2006, 12:13:14 PM »

So overall: would you, or would you not recommend a career in ATC?  I have been thinking about it, but the outlook is kind of grim it seems...

http://www.natca.net/newsletter/122906FAACoverLady.msp
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digger
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2006, 12:24:06 PM »

If the reality of it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable...
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w0x0f
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2006, 01:11:05 PM »


You hit the nail on the head Digger.  In a speech at the FAA academy last May, Rick Day, VP of EnRoute and Oceanic Services, stated that the FAA is seeking candidates who have intrinsic motivations for the carreer.   Meaning they're looking for people who want the job because they love ATC.  He said extrinsic motivations like pay, benefits, and scheduling don't bring the kind of people they want.

 

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digger
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2007, 11:41:37 PM »

I thought I'd bump this thread to the top again. At the time it was active, the FAA hadn't yet started hiring "off the street".

Any new opinions?
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RV1
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2007, 05:26:33 PM »

CTI's, I would consider all options before I signed on to the FAA. On the website FAAFOLLIES.com, there are some posts about academy students on govt. subsidies in order to feed their families. The FAA, 5 years, ago required a degree from a CTI school before they'd even look at you. Now they're advertising on Craigslist, myspace, youtube, etc. Yet if you read their mantra, they are fully prepared for the mass exodus of controllers. How do you continue to handle the traffic, that continues to increase, if you are short staffed? Overtime! Mandatory.
For interesting reading, go to FAAMA.org. This is the website for FAA Managers. Even some of their own managers are totally fed up with the way the FAA is being run(down).

I realize that you may want to have this career because of the job itself, and I don't blame you! It is a great job. However, it would be hard to sit and wait for the 'phone call of an offer', especially after a few years. Two examples I know of: 30 year old mother of two, single parent, school loans of $100K, three years SINCE graduating, still waiting for THE CALL, three months before her 31st birthday... 'You must be hired prior to your 31st birthday'

Ex. #2 Early to mid nineties, trained a fired Patco controller, asked him what he'd been doing for the last 12-14 years, his response was odd jobs: driving instructor, insurance salesman... waiting for the FAA to call him back. WAITING.

Welcome to the FAA, where it takes five years to hire you, and five minutes to fire you.   On the FAAMA website, you'll see where they would like the probationary period to be made longer. Does that mean that even though they are short staffed, and getting shorter, they want the ability to easily fire you for a longer period of time than a year? They will invest training time and money into you, but if they don't like your attitude, you're history.

It's been awhile since I've recommended this job to anyone. It will be at least a year before I change my tune. Remember, it's called one of the most stressful jobs in the world and for a reason. Now, you have to watch your back as well (this is where the FLMs are sitting). evil
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Kick butt, take no names, they dont matter anyways
Johnksan
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2007, 02:07:01 AM »

I'm currently in OKC doing my training.  I have to say that the new pay system is ridiculous. Especially for those of us that are going to expensive cities like SAN, SFO, JFK, LAX, ORD....i.e. locality pay for some where in Indiana is around 12% and for SAN is around 20% but the actual cost of living in a big city is a heck of a lot more than the locality.  So for those of us that are going to big cities, we're screwed.  Yet, most people get into this career for the love of the game rather than money so I don't think this will deter many.  And, most old timers will tell you that the pay will likely go up in a few years.  So, we can just hope.  Eitherway, this is a tough profession and I feel that we should be paid just as much as a surgeon if not more.  You have to retain and put to use sooooooo much information and knowledge every day.  There is also a 50% washout rate espesially if you're going to a level 10 or higher facility.  Lastly, if you want to be a controller for the money, don't bother, it's definately not worth it.  Do it for the love of the profession!
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