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Air Traffic Controllers

Also called: Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS), Air Traffic Controller, Certified Professional Controller (CPC), Air Traffic Controller (Enroute Option)

What they do:
Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.
On the job, you would:
  • Issue landing and take-off authorizations or instructions.
  • Monitor or direct the movement of aircraft within an assigned air space or on the ground at airports to minimize delays and maximize safety.
  • Monitor aircraft within a specific airspace, using radar, computer equipment, or visual references.

Knowledge

Transportation
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
  • law and government
Math and Science
  • geography
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Visual Understanding
  • see hidden patterns
  • quickly know what you are looking at
Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Self Control

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Flight control software
  • Direct-To Tool software
  • En route descent advisor EDA
Expert system software
  • Advanced technologies and oceanic procedures ATOP
  • Automated radar terminal systems ARTS

Education

Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma or
some college
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$122,530
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about air traffic controllers.