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Gone from pilot to controller?

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Quack said:
I've had three friends that have left the airlines for spots with ATC...it's tough to pass up when you make 100,000 + third year in the system as a controller, plus the gov. benefits package. Dohhh...If only I wasn't afraid of the dark...

yeah right 100000 maybe if you got tower or tracon at a very large class B and even then you would have to work like your ass off..but very unlikely
it all depends where and what sector picks u up and the sector does not let go of you for atleast 3 years thats how long it takes to be trained good as a controller. Then maybe you can move somewhere else.

Salary for begginers depends but average for a third year controller would be a safe 55,000
I did it the other way, military ATC to civ pilot. Flying is way more interesting than being a controller, the equipment often sucks as well, it is good money though + govt bennies. I miss it sometimes but not often,....
I graduated last year from a CTI school and got a call yesterday about getting my security packet started. The lady on the phone said that process alone takes 8-10 months.

I was surprised to hear how much the pay has changed. She said to expect to make the equivalent of 17K/year salary while in training. And this doesnt even include per diems for housing. First year now is about 40K/year and it takes 3-4 years to be a CPC:certified professional controller (I think thats what its called) and get checked out in enough positions to make some decent coin.

They are currently hiring for ARTCC's and I was offered ATL MIA JAX and MEM centers for my bids. They are suppossedly planning to hire 1250/year for 10 years.

Good luck with it. I plan on going through the motions and see how the process works out, but will probably keep my job at a regional. Things just aint like they used to be with controlling and flying. It's decent money but not great money...
2LT said:

I went through this program back in 2002. You still have time to make the cutoff if most everything is "in order."

Give it a try...it worked especially well for me since I was able to continue flying part-time and attend the program.

Best of luck...

My understanding is this is very much treated like an "ab initio" program, and effectively a back door to an ATC job. (as opposed to the years-long civil service exam and interview route).

I have family in ATC. Its a great job . . . great benifits, great retirement, stress thing is WAY overrated (kina like being a pilot . . . only stressful when it all goes in the toilet . . . about .0000001 percent of the time.)

If I were 25, I'd be all over this gig. Controllers at regional centers (New York, Chicago) will be making over 60k second year, and a FPL (full peformance level) easily making over $100k-$130k.

One of the best, most highly paid goverment jobs out there. You'll be making more than NASA scientists and Generals in the Army!
McNugent said:
I graduated last year from a CTI school and got a call yesterday about getting my security packet started.

You should make the decision NOW! Once you get the security packet filled out, they schedule a physical for you with an AME, then a psychological evaluation to follow. All in all, about 2-3 months for all of that, then a waiting for a class date.
Don't lose hope if your don't get the call. Research the NATCA.com website. They have extended the two years, however in 2004 they lost 500 controllers and only hired 13 do to the budget cuts. Good luck it seems like a cool job
I got hired six months after graduation, and about 1 month after filling out my final paperwork. I submitted my security paperwork a couple of weeks ago, and the paperwork said 45-60 days for the background. The medical office said it's taking more like three months, and the medical office won't schedule my exam until my background check is completed. In my case, that's actually a good thing. If I walked in to the exam within the next few weeks, I'd flunk it.

As far as the coin goes, it's tied to your facility rating. There supposedly some rules about the levels of facility you can get assigned out of CTI school, but the short and sweet of it is that current year graduates are offered positions at the ARTCC"s. We'll see $100k+ after becoming CPC. That is, unless Maid Marion shoves the paycuts down our throats that she's looking for.

FWIW, I only did 18.5 credits at school. I know guys taking less than that and finishing in one semester. The Minneapolis program that a previous poster talked about in 2002 was a different program than its current incarnation. The current program is inline structurally with the other 13 schools, in its previous form it was a direct route to being hired at a Center and skipping OKC.

My guess is that in a few years, the time lag from graduation to OKC will shorten. However, for the guys looking to go to school in the next year or so, you really need a viable job to tide you over.

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