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Training and Preparing For A Career in Air Traffic Control Jobs

What must one do to be qualified for a career in air traffic control jobs? Let's have a look, shall we?


Becoming an air traffic controller is an extremely lucrative type of position that can guarantee you a fantastic salary.  But what you’re also going to get is a great and challenging type of career path that’s assured of providing you great work opportunities, because they are jobs that are always in demand.  However, they do involve a pretty complicated and involved training program, so you’re going to have to be prepared for everything that comes alongside. While the path can be difficult, air traffic control jobs are guaranteed to be worthwhile.

When you’re on the hunt, there are a few things that you should know in the first place.  Namely, this is a job that comes with a lot of stress, because peoples lives will literally be in your hands. That means you have to have grace under pressure, as well as a pretty stern ability to manage your stress levels.  Without these two natural abilities, you’re going to find that this just may not bet the type of career for you, because of the challenges they are going to present.

1) Just what do air traffic control jobs entail?

Basically you’re going to find that the job works literally just as it sounds.  You’re going to be controlling and organizing all of the traffic in the air around the airport.  That means you have to be able to dictate and control which planes are going to be where, how to organize their holding pattern, and how to schedule flights in and out so that everyone stays as close to schedule as possible.  That’s a lot more complicated than it sounds, which is why it’s a job that takes a ton of training for you to be able to acquire.

2) Starting out with the right training program.

The first step is actually to apply as an air traffic controller trainee with the FAA, so that you can enroll within the program to get an education.  This basically means going to a very focused type of college, where you can get an education in aviation and everything that comes with and will be a part of your job.  That includes everything to do with planes, as well as controlling the traffic grid, but also the lingo that comes with how pilots and the ground crew talk to one another.

3) The college you attend has to be AT-CTI approved.

In order to qualify for any types of major FAA jobs, you have to be getting your education from the right accredited source.  This almost always means going through AT-CTI certified schools.  What that means is that the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative approved the curriculum.  This is the only way that you can be sure that you’re going to be actually learning what’s needed for the job, so that you can apply with confidence once you get to finding a job.

4) From there you’re ready for the pre-employment exam.

Once you have your basic collegiate level aviation education, you’re ready to move on to actually qualifying for more intensive training involving air traffic control jobs.  This is where you actually take a pre-employment test, where you’re able to showcase that you did more than take and pass the classes, but you will be tested on the real world knowledge that you’ve retained. You have to make at least a 70 on this type of exam if you’re to be able to move on to the next level.   But usually a higher score is always going to bode well with you down the line, so make sure that you take your testing seriously.

5) Now you’re ready for on the job training.

Once you’ve completed the college level of education, and you’ve passed the initial exam for FAA jobs, you’ll find that you’re actually able to move on to getting and receiving formal job training.  This means training in the tower, or even at the terminals, so that you can help to organize and better understand the skies.  Most typically training is going to last anywhere from one to two months, but then requires a very long period of working your way up to full certification.  It will take around two years before you receive full certification for air traffic control jobs, once you start working after completing full training.

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