Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 20, 2014, 10:11:24 AM
Home Help Login Register      
News: NEW Follow LiveATC updates on Twitter and Facebook


+  LiveATC Discussion Forums
|-+  Aviation
| |-+  Pilot/Controller Forum (Moderators: dave, RonR)
| | |-+  ATC as a career
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: ATC as a career  (Read 31627 times)
Tai_Wodecki
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2


« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2009, 06:46:35 PM »

hello, I'm new and am training to be an atc for the air force and was wondering if there is any advice you could give us
Logged
FlySafe
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 35



« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 02:05:01 PM »

keep your head down, eyes and ears open.  Controllers will share experience and information if you appear engaged and ready to learn...

If you aren't training.. open a book...65, LOAs SOP...study and learn.  A successful day (eve for the experienced controller) is one that you learn something new and apply it the next time you work.
Logged

Natasha  
FAA-ATCT
cessna man
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2009, 05:31:35 PM »

Hi, I love to fly I'm looking to be an ATC and a private pilot. Any sugjestions
Logged
Tai_Wodecki
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2


« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2009, 06:39:18 PM »

thanks for the advice, i started class about 2 weeks ago and its hard but i love the atc job already.  I'll make sure to keep what you said in mind.
Logged
RV1
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2009, 08:43:12 AM »

Remember always: Don't trust the FAA or their word! Even if you get it in writing!
Probably one of the best jobs out there.
Learn the difference between arrogance and confidence. It's a fine but important line.
Be willing to start out at a lower level facility and move your way up (it's better to start out slower and get certified than to start out busier and wash out).
Don't be afraid to try some of the free ATC games on the net. There are two that I recommend to my trainees to improve their skills.
Try to keep a positive but low profile until your probationary period is done. It's very easy to get fired if you're a probee.
Don't think that idle chit chat and nonstandard phraseology on the freqs is a cool way to be when you key up; people are getting fired for that.
If you want to attend college, great. Your degree/time will help when you bid on higher positions and may give you extra bidding points over other controllers. Don't go into major debt just to land an ATC job. Use the education to improve yourself as a whole.
There aren't many other jobs where my skills as a controller are just what they want.
Do take tours in your local ATC facilities. The controllers will try to help and be helpful and management will try to provide direction for you to take because they really need more bodies.
If you are relatively young, (and even if you aren't) get a job! The FAA is looking for three years of work experience, not three years of controlling experience. Shoveling horse poop for three years is still work experience and considering your ability to handle crap may actually aide you when you get hired.
Consider pilot training. Half of the controllers here have a pilot's license. This helps you to understand some of the rules and regs and gives you some insight into what the pilot is trying to do or why. (Other times, you may still have no clue as to why he just did what he did!)
Studying for the tests increases your ability to get your foot in the door. However, it doesn't always provide insight as to whether or not you'll 'make it'. I've seen people who have studied ATC for over a year wash out during their OJT, yet newbies with NO ATC experience check out in less than a year.
In all careers, like what you do. You may be there awhile. A job in hand is...
Logged

Kick butt, take no names, they dont matter anyways
jmcmanna
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2009, 11:01:34 AM »

While I agree that a new controller should have some skill or talent to fall back on, I wouldn't completely stay away from any ATC training in college.  Many of the CTI schools are big universities with other programs not related to aviation.  While I was in college, I had intended on majoring in management, but took a couple of ATC classes on the side and really enjoyed it (which turned me on to the job). 

Several semesters of ATC training really can't take the place of 5 weeks of AT-Basics at the Academy.  Going to the Academy with a working knowledge of the ATC system will help, and you'll most likely do better at your first facility, too.

If you're just looking for a 'job', then go ahead and apply off the street.  With no experience or education in the field, you will probably wash out, but if you're happy with saying "well, I tried", then great.  If you make it, then wonderful for you.

If you really want to be an air traffic controller for a career, I suggest going to college, get a 2 or 4 year degree in something non-aviation related (which can be boring if you really want to do something with airplanes, I know first hand, but it's worth it in the end), and take as many ATC training classes on the side as electives, then apply off the street.  Or, if your school will give you the CTI card by minoring in ATC, that gives you a bit of a leg up when it comes to getting hired.  A double major in ATC and something else is another great option if you really want to go that route.  The simulator time and being in the books in a formal setting will help you beyond the academy and into your first facility.

With that said, I worked for a short time with a new hire CTI at my first low-level VFR tower.  She had graduated from a very expensive college in Daytona Beach, yet did not know the difference between VFR and IFR when she walked in the door (not sure she did when she washed out 3 months later, either).  Actually paying attention in that CTI school is key.  Study the .65 between when your graduate and when you show up at the academy; sign up for VATSIM, do whatever it takes to keep all the stuff in your head.

And the other option (that I am not familiar with), is join the military as an air traffic controller.  You come out, skip the academy, and jump into an FAA facility.  The traffic is quite different, but you will have a big head start on  your career.
Logged
wannabeatc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2009, 09:49:42 PM »

hey everyone,

I'm currently in my Junior year of college and im interested in becoming an ATC after i graduate. I've done some research on it and it seems like it would be such a cool job. + i've started listening on this site and im hooked!

does anyone know how often and approximately when the faa puts out applications for hiring people off the street? is there someplace where i can sign up for like an email notice?? I keep hearing that they're going to have a shortage of people in the next 2-5 years or something...so im hoping that it'll be my chance to get in the industry as my career. Right now...im in that stage where i don't really know what i want to do or going to be doing in say 1 or 2 years down the road after i graduate(degree in Business Finance) and ATC seems like something i could possibly do. At least guarantee i have a job if i actually able to get in, and pass the course in OKC without washing out. 

I read off their website that i can take the test within  9 months of graduation from college?


After you pass the test there's an interview right? then off to OKC? How long is the training? 1 year?

Is this a realistic goal? or should i go for a different career path that actually involves what im studying. It doesnt seem like it's that hard to actually get to OKC training but hard to pass the training course.

Tips and advice gladly accepted.

Thanks

Logged
atcman23
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 367



« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2009, 08:16:43 AM »

The FAA puts put an application for off the street applicants a couple of times per year (their fiscal year is October - September).  The last had one out about a month ago and currently do not have one available.  I don't know if you could sign up for an e-mail notice, but you can go to www.usajobs.gov for search for available positions or to www.faa.gov, click on "Become an air traffic controller" and go from there (it'll take you to USAJOBS as well). 

The test you are referring to is the AT-SAT exam.  I'm not sure about the number there.  Typically with off-the-street applicants, you'll apply first and then later be notified about taking the AT-SAT, usually within 2 months of applying.

Once you take the AT-SAT, pass that, your application gets placed on a referral list.  Once you are selected from this list, then you will be contacted via e-mail to attend a interview.  It consists of many things such as a regular interview, medical examination, psychological exam, background and security clearances, etc.  If they like you and you pass everything, then you'll be offered a facility and, if you accept it, given a Oklahoma City date to report to the Academy for training.  Off the street applicants go to the Air Traffic Basics class, which is about 5 weeks long, and will then attend Initial Training for either Terminal or Enroute, which is an additional 37 or 62 days, respectively.

Is the goal realistic?  Possibly.  It may not be that hard to get past the intetview and AT-SAT but yes, with little prior knowledge in the field, OKC will be difficult.
Logged

Mark Spencer
davolijj
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 545


MMAC ARSR OKC


« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2009, 10:09:10 AM »

...Is the goal realistic?  Possibly.  It may not be that hard to get past the interview and AT-SAT but yes, with little prior knowledge in the field, OKC will be difficult.

Actually the Academy is pretty much automatic these days....I wouldn't be concerned about passing the Academy as the washout rate has been in the 5-15% range over the past 3 years.  If I was applying off-the-street I'd be more concerned about being successful at a field facility.  The basics course is 5 weeks long and crams the equivalent of 2-4 years of CTI training.  It's an enormous amount of information in a very short amount of time.  The brain can learn this info in the short-term by rote memorization, but good luck drawing on that info a year or two later during on-the-job training.

The most disturbing thing to me is that new-hires (VRA, CTI, and off-the-street) are being placed in the busiest facilities in the NAS lately.  Places like New York Tracon(N90), ATL Tracon(A80), Socal Tracon(SCT), MIA Tower, and others.  No new hire has successfully checked out in any of these facilities since 2006.  Trust me this job is much harder than it looks.
Logged

Regards
JD
wannabeatc
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2009, 01:20:49 PM »

i didn't think it was going to be easy. but from what im hearing here, it doesnt seem too hard to get to training. if i get to that stage i'll work my butt off to pass and do well at the station no matter what. As for getting assigned a facility, i don't care where. i'm young and flexible so as long as i have a job that pays decent and guaranteed i'll be happy!  smiley

it is disturbing that they put newbies out to big centers like NYTracon and the like. But if they're trained well there should be no problem.

i'll probably apply to take the test at the end of this year or beginning of next year (whenever the application comes out).

Thanks for the words of encouragement. 
Logged
jmcmanna
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 36


« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2009, 02:56:49 PM »

it is disturbing that they put newbies out to big centers like NYTracon and the like. But if they're trained well there should be no problem.

The issue is that developmentals are only given a limited amount of hours for on the job training at each position, then they MUST certify.  Some people just don't have the ability to consistently work airplanes throughout every situation that arises in that amount of time.  It's like saying that you have to pass your private pilot check ride in 60 hours; if you don't, you can't keep training anymore.  It's probable for most people in a Cessna 172 (Level 5 facility), but nearly impossible in a Boeing 747 (Level 12 facility).

I would highly recommend turning down a job offer for any facility that is an ATC-9 level or higher if you don't have prior ATC experience.  Lately, the FAA has been allowing new hires to turn down several offers.  A majority of new hires have a reasonable chance of becoming certified at an ATC-8 facility or lower.

Start smaller, succeed in training, then move up to a bigger, more complex facility . . . or go to a level 11 or 12 facility and wash out in the first 6 months (or less).
Logged
djmodifyd
Guest
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2009, 06:31:07 PM »

it is disturbing that they put newbies out to big centers like NYTracon and the like. But if they're trained well there should be no problem.

The issue is that developmentals are only given a limited amount of hours for on the job training at each position, then they MUST certify.  Some people just don't have the ability to consistently work airplanes throughout every situation that arises in that amount of time.  It's like saying that you have to pass your private pilot check ride in 60 hours; if you don't, you can't keep training anymore.  It's probable for most people in a Cessna 172 (Level 5 facility), but nearly impossible in a Boeing 747 (Level 12 facility).

I would highly recommend turning down a job offer for any facility that is an ATC-9 level or higher if you don't have prior ATC experience.  Lately, the FAA has been allowing new hires to turn down several offers.  A majority of new hires have a reasonable chance of becoming certified at an ATC-8 facility or lower.

Start smaller, succeed in training, then move up to a bigger, more complex facility . . . or go to a level 11 or 12 facility and wash out in the first 6 months (or less).

Thats mostly correct.
You can get extention of your hours, a certain percentage of them, i don't remember how many though.

Also, the FAA has changed face, if you don't make it, you can transfer to a lower level facilitiy if you show signs of improvement.
Logged
RV1
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2009, 09:29:05 PM »

To be on the safe side... if you wash out of a training program, the FAA does NOT have to offer you a position at another facility. As two recent CPCs from my facility found out at C90, the FAA does NOT have to offer you an extension of training hours. Considering the dire straights that the FAA is in with such a shortage of controllers, you'd think that they'd be working really hard to keep all employees/trainees and find places for them to check out and get seasoned, and then move them to higher level facilities. But they aren't, and it doesn't make sense...
Can you tell that I'm not in management?
Logged

Kick butt, take no names, they dont matter anyways
bartleby913
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2009, 01:24:42 AM »

All this is very interesting.  I'm a Paramedic now and have been for several years.  For the past few years I have been contemplating changing things around.  ATC was a career I was looking into.  Would be very interested but Pay doesn't seem to be so great for someone with a mortgage and other bills used to a 60k a year salary to just drop to 20k a year for training.  Here is my question.  What is the pay scales broken down for ATC starting from training and up.
Logged
sykocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 346



« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2009, 02:12:28 AM »

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pJ4stwBZPxXO1aunJJsuMCQ

That's the pay chart from last year. Everything when up 1.7% this year so it's not too different. Once you finish training at OKC you are at the AG grade (academy grad). As you progress though training at your facility you move up to D1, D2, D3. Once you finish training you become a CPC. The requirements for each promotion are different at each facility as is the amount of time it generally takes to progress. As a new hire you make the bottom of the band (lower number) or 6% more then what you were making in the previous band, (which ever is higher). Each vertical column in the pay chart is for the pay level of your facility. For example the pay for a level 8 facility is in the H column. The higher the level, generally the more traffic you work, but there are other factors that come into play.
Logged

Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!