Going to the web site of the FAA, www.faa.gov
, and looking for job postings of 2152's will give you an idea of the background the FAA wants you to have, to consider you for hire (at least for this month, it changes frequently). Currently, I think that the only requirement is to be breathing (on your own). Math is one of the strongest areas needed as well as any class that helps to improve your analytical skills. Being a pilot helps in many ways, like familiarity with airports, phraseology, maps and microphones. It also used to add bonus points to your application. Having a job, currently, helps as well. Good study habits, learned early, are a great benefit to doing this job. I've been controlling for almost 20 years, and I still need to learn new things, take new tests, certify on new procedures and equipment, etc. It doesn't end. When I started, the 7110.65 was approx. 1/2" thick. It is now around 2" thick and growing. (There's a lawyer somewhere to blame...) I also believe that some video games increase your ability to scan, multitask, make snap decisions, establish a game plan and modify that plan, constantly. That right there is the basics of ATC. However, DON'T use that as an excuse to go home and play video games 24/7 because some ATC said...! Good luck and may the force be with you, because the FAA won't be.