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Author Topic: Become an ATC  (Read 10408 times)
Galaxy001
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« on: December 16, 2008, 01:52:27 AM »

Hello,

A question for those controllers out there.  Can one become a controller part time?  Do (specifically) control towers schedule shifts on an availability basis?  Does it depend on the tower?  I've thought about doing ATC, but I want to pursue a carrer in astrophysics and was wondering if there was a way to do both.  Thanks!

Zach
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atcman23
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 07:58:10 AM »

Some towers are part time towers, meaning that they are not open 24/7.  A majority of these towers are located at smaller airports.  Further, a majority of those facilities are contract facilities, meaning that they are not owned and operated by the FAA.  In addition, this also means that there is no going to Oklahoma City for weeks on end.  The downside is that the companies who run the contract facilities usually want you to posess a Control Tower Operator license and have about a year experience in a facility.  Basically, they don't hire just anyone off of the street and many people come from the FAA to work at these facilities (since they are usually the only ones that have experience, alongside some military controllers). 

It sounds like you're at a standstill between astrophysics and ATC.  I don't know if you'll be able to do both however.  Here's a couple of links to the contract facility owners:

Midwest ATC: http://www.atctower.com/
Robinson Aviation: http://www.rvainc.net/operational-air-traffic-control/

There is another company that also does it and I can't remember the name at this time.

And if for some reason you decide you want to do ATC full time, there is a public application for the FAA for an ATCS position (Air Traffic Control Specialist), but it closes at midnight tonight.

Either way, if you are interested in really getting into ATC full time, let me know and I'll try and answer your questions!  smiley

Mark
ATC 101 Blog: http://atcontrol101.blogspot.com/
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Mark Spencer
davolijj
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 01:43:22 PM »

There is another company that also does it and I can't remember the name at this time.

Serco: http://www.serco-na.com/?q=Capabilities/Services/Transportation-Management/Aviation-Services
They operate many of the towers out west.
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Regards
JD
Galaxy001
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 07:51:48 PM »

Mark, thanks for all of the information.  I will look into it some more and keep your knowledge in mind.

Regards,
Zach
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admissions
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 12:04:42 AM »

Galaxy, Checkout www.advancedatc.com  we can give you the right information to see if an ATC career is right for you.
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brainh18
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 10:19:48 PM »

A quick answer from my short 27 years as an en route ATCS is no.  We have had no recent part time employees and I doubt that will be allowed in the near future.  Good luck on your other interests!!
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nfredrich
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 02:51:14 AM »

Quote
Galaxy, Checkout www.advancedatc.com  we can give you the right information to see if an ATC career is right for you.

What kind of gimmick is this?

If they are sending VRA and RMC hires to OKC you can count on graduates from this type of program going as well. CTO certificates are issued after passing a very easy written test at the academy. Most of the material was gone over extensively in weeks previous to test day. This shouldn't be confused with your actual CTO (Control Tower Operators License). This is issued for the specific tower you work in, have had documented OJT time in, and a certification check-ride with the appropriate staff member. Even then there is a waiting period for all the paperwork to be processed before you obtain your actual control tower operators license. Keep in mind a CTO license is only valid for the facility you have been checked out at. Read the fine print.

This site says first year salarys are in the low to mid $40k's. nope. The ATC academy salary is $ 19,293/yr .. which computes to $9.24/hr. You get an additional ~$80/day in per diem which is supposed to cover your lodging, meals, and incidentals. Most FAA approved housing places are $45-$70/day. You will get a raise when you arrive to your facility. an ATC-7 with the standard locality rate is $37,463/yr. Your next raise will not come until you get checked out on a certain number of positions. This is a variable that is different from facility to facility. It depends on staffing, number of trainees, number of CICs, and schedules of essential staff members in the facilities training department.

I would like to point out that the FAA does hire applicants off the street for both terminal and en route facilities without charging a fee. The classes in the academy at the MMAC in OKC can be transfered over to college credits along with other training courses provided by the FAA.

The best options out there if you don't already have a degree is going to a CTI school. If it doesn't work out for you, at least you didn't throw your money away, you got a degree in something right? If you have a degree in something already try applying off the street. You would be amazed at the career backgrounds you'll run into at the academy, and be weary of gimmicks like this.

All of this information isn't geared to scare anyone away from the profession, its simply the fact of the matter and the more information someone has before they get into this fantastic profession the better. I know I wish I had all this info when I was getting started.
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Nick Fredrich
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 08:07:55 PM »

We have two controllers where I work that are part-time.
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