Air traffic controllers are responsible for monitoring and directing aircraft in the sky, as well as on the ground. Their responsibilities vary depending on their position within an air traffic control facility, but they all have one thing in common: they are vital to the safe and efficient movement of airplanes and pilots.
Typically, traffic controllers work in towers and approach control facilities that are near major airports. They also monitor air traffic throughout the country and direct flights in remote locations, often using a radar system.
To become an air traffic controller, you need to meet a series of requirements, including graduating from the FAA Academy and passing both a pre-employment screening and the AT-SAT test. You also need to pass medical and physical exams.
Career Development: The pay of a new air traffic controller can increase as they advance in their training and experience. The FAA also offers a variety of programs for controllers to develop their leadership skills and move into supervisory roles.
A traffic controller's salary is based on their level of certification, how long they have been working and the type of facility they work at. It's also augmented by overtime and other premium pay.
The average salary of an air traffic controller is $126,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure includes taxable wages, tips and bonuses, plus the cost of living adjustments.