ATC as a career?

AJL5236

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Wondering if anyone has went from flying to working as an air traffic controller, or is working as a controller and didnt fly? How do you like it, QOL, pay, internal movement and transfers, schedule? I currently fly for a charter company and minored in ATC and am considering changing to a controller; if called. Any info is appreciated. Thank you
 

Vector4fun

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AJL5236 said:
Wondering if anyone has went from flying to working as an air traffic controller, or is working as a controller and didnt fly? How do you like it, QOL, pay, internal movement and transfers, schedule?

Well, I went from instructing and some corporate stuff to ATC, but that was so long ago, not sure it's relevant. On a whole, I like it, for the stability most of all. Every facility is a bit different in terms of shifts depending on traffic and hours, but most terminals work rotating shifts. (2 eves, 2 ams, mid or similar)

Pay, well, most of the guys my age are making $80-140k, depending on facility. That includes night, Sunday and Holiday differentials. Busier facilities pay more natch. But Marion says she wants a "B" scale for new hires. Will she get it? Your guess is as good as mine. They've already cut pay for new hires at the academy to less than what I made there in 1979....

Internal movement is slow to non-existant right now (terminal), unless you want to move to one of the really hard to staff facilities. I don't know how that will play out over the next decade. Center guys have told me it's relatively easy to swap facilities if you can find another controller willing, but I don't know about bidding. It's cheaper for FAA to place a new hire in many facilites than let someone transfer. Marion's pinching pennys.

Labor/management relations nationally aren't the greatest right now, and stink at some facilities. That could change for the better with a new administration and administrator, or not. Things weren't too bad 6-8 years ago, they could improve again.

The best part is I'm elegible to retire now, so just one really bad day, and all I gotta do is sign the papers on my way out of the door....:cool:
 

152SIC

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What is the maximum age for applying for an ATC position?
 

ISaidRightTurns

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Im not sure which region you would like to go to, but make an easy choice. Lots of folks come to the busy facilities and think that they can do it. Not everyone makes it. 10 years ago when you failed out of a busy facility, they sent you down or to flight service. Now they just let you go.
 

smellthejeta

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Vector4fun said:

Vector, he said "apply." If you apply on your 31st bday, you're too old. I don't know the technicalities behind it, but I think you better be starting at the academy by your 31st bday.

There is a Comair pilot on this board pursuing an ATC gig between flying... I know, because I talked him into it.
 

152SIC

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Thanks for the replies, but being 32 makes me SOL anyways.
 

AJL5236

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right turns

Right Turns,

Do you know from experience... did you leave ATC to persue flying or are you just saying that...? What do you do now?
 

ISaidRightTurns

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AJL5236 said:
Right Turns,

Do you know from experience... did you leave ATC to persue flying or are you just saying that...? What do you do now?

I left flying to do ATC.
 

RichardRambone

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I am too looking into a switch. Im not comfortable pursuing something without a stable future. I guess what it really comes down to is if you ever regret leaving a pilot position to go ATC. That is the question. From what I gather the pros are the money, stability, eligible to retire after 20 years and such but the cons are irregular work shifts, politics and I guess stress. Am I right? Also, since the FAA isn't currently advertising ATC spots for non employees the only way to get a job is to get an ATC degree from a CTI school. Being that I already have a B.S. in aviation technology Im trying to gather which school would give me the most seamless, quickest way (and preferably cheapest) way to become an ATCer. I supposed you can still fly if you want. Prob make enough money to buy your own. Also, do you know how much the "B" plan would pay? Any advice?
 
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