Air Traffic Controller Job Profile and Description
Civilian Air Traffic Controllers work within the National Airspace System (NAS) to coordinate the safe movement of commercial and private air traffic. This involves ground movement, take offs and landings as they monitor flights within an airspace radius from the air terminal. Their immediate objective is safety, but they also direct aircraft ground movement efficiently to minimize delays.
Air Traffic Controller Duties and Responsibilities
- Relying on visuals, control sequence of aircraft arrivals and departures, issuing landing and take-off authorizations and instructions.
- Monitor and direct aircraft movements within an assigned air space radius using tower facilities like computers and radar approach control.
- Direct tarmac and runway aircraft movements for maximum safety and minimal disruption or delays to scheduled and chartered airline operations.
- Inform arriving and departing aircraft pilots regarding visibility conditions, wind directions and conditions and other potentially hazardous conditions and redirect them to alternate airports when called for
- Alert airport emergency services in anticipation of landing difficulties.
- Transfer control of departing flights to traffic control centers and accept control of arriving flights.
Air Traffic Controller Skills and Specification
- Should be 30 years old or younger if applying as a novice air traffic controller
- Outstanding multitasking and comprehension and computer literacy skills
- Outstanding ability to make decisions even under extreme work pressure
- Good written and verbal communication, social and interpersonal skills.
Air Traffic Controller Education and Qualifications
- A 4-year college degree with at least 3 years work experience is necessary.
- Alternatively have prior air traffic control experience with the Department of Defense or the FAA, or passed a 2-year or 4-year degree from the FAA’s Air Traffic Collegiate training Institute (AT-CTI) program
Air Traffic Controller Salary
Air traffic controllers earn relatively high pay and have good benefits. Average annual salary of air traffic controllers is around $115,000 with the middle 50% earning between $74,000 and $145,000. The lowest 10% received about $47,000, while the highest 10% got about $165,000. The average annual salary of air traffic controllers in the Federal Government which employs 90% of all controllers is around $111,000.