Author Topic: Aspiration to major in Air Traffic Control.  (Read 9867 times)

Offline ajsantosb

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Aspiration to major in Air Traffic Control.
« on: November 02, 2013, 08:16:08 PM »
So I have my plan for the future and now I'm preparing by applying to colleges with the major. I found a community college called Beaver County College and I plan on going there. I just want to know the difference in taking En Route or Terminal, and any advice going in here. I was considering going into the airforce also because im in rotc and already learned of the benefits, so maybe i could score a job in ATC. I want any advice you could give to me and i was wondering if getting a job as an ATC is easy nowadays or maybe 4 years from now. Thank you

Offline RonR

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1237
Re: Aspiration to major in Air Traffic Control.
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 09:26:18 AM »

I suggest you have a look at this topic:

A very similar question was asked there and you might find some of the answers to your questions there.  Good luck!


Offline klkm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 57
Re: Aspiration to major in Air Traffic Control.
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 02:21:52 PM »
Beaver is a great college, I work with many that went there that have succeeded in enroute and terminal.  The post referenced brings up good points, but if you are looking at 4 years from now, I say go for it.  The current budget crisis and sequestration, will hopefully be behind us by then as a new administration takes over.  By 2016-2017 there will be lots of openings as retirements are starting up and in the next 4-5 years will likely hit a peak from the strike of 1981.  Simple math, most got hired after the strike at about 20-25 years old, can only work until 56. 

Offline jermscentral

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Aspiration to major in Air Traffic Control.
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 07:43:16 AM »
As ronr530 stated, I talked about majoring in ATC in the thread, so you can read that there.

As for CCBC, it seems to be a good school. You'll earn a CTO (Control Tower Operator) license, but that won't necessarily land you a job. Depending on the situation with federal contract towers (FCT) at the time you graduate, you could apply with Serco Management Services, Robinson Aviation, or Midwest ATC Services and potentially work there. When I worked at a VFR tower, we had a woman that had worked at a FCT until the FAA had a job posting for new hires that already possessed a CTO. It keeps them from having to then send you to OKC for training before you get to your facility, and she was able to make the jump from a contract tower to an FAA tower, after which she got certified and moved up/out to where she wanted to be.

One thing you have to keep in mind with the career is that in your first years, you may not necessarily be where you want to be permanently, but you can always request a transfer.

As for hiring, no one really knows what the outlook will be. We have such a glut of new hires in the pipeline from the past 5-ish years that haven't been processed through the system that it may be a while before we actually start officially hiring externally again. Yeah, there is the retiree factor, but that's why the FAA started the hiring spree 8 years ago. Since the PATCO strike caused a massive influx of new controllers, there was barely any hiring done in the 90s. Most of the post-PATCO hires are eligible for retirement now or in the near future, so pretty soon, we'll have a workforce with really young seniority. We were all hired en masse to get trained in enough time to have at least 5-10 years of experience before the "old guys" all retire, making sure the National Airspace System stays in good, knowledgeable hands instead of being left with a bunch of noobs.

It's not an easy job to get into, and it's also not for everyone that applies and is accepted. If nothing else, you can get your degree, get your flight ratings, and be a CFI or maybe find work at an airline while watching USAJOBS or the FCT sites for ATC job postings.

tl;dr: Don't expect much, hiring-wise, and CCBC is pretty good.