Author Topic: Non-standard ATC career question  (Read 8790 times)

Offline Red Crown

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Non-standard ATC career question
« on: February 02, 2009, 04:39:14 AM »

I am a 31-y-o, who will be separating from the military in four months.  I have interest in becoming an ATC, but from all the research I have done, the FAA will not hire me because I do not hold any certifications and I have reached my 31st birthday.

In the military, I was a tactical air controller.  So while I have experience as an air controller, it has been more to do with tactics and often times bringing aircraft together rather than keeping them apart.   However, I believe I have enough of the basic skills to successfully be an ATC.

As I said, the FAA will not hire me because of my age. 

But I just read something interesting and was hoping somebody might be able to clarify for me.  According to the FAA's website, "Persons who have reached their 31st birthdays may not be originally appointed to ATCS positions in FAA."  So does this mean I can apply for a position as an Air Traffic Assistant, gain experience and whatever else is necessary, and then be appointed to the ATCS position?  The way that statement reads, it sounds like there might be hope for me after all, the keyword obviously being originally.

Thanks in advance for any assistance that can be provided.


Offline jmcmanna

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Re: Non-standard ATC career question
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 10:32:31 AM »
I think the intent of "originally" means if you were an ATCS before you were 31, left the FAA, then re-applied after age 31, you would be eligible.  I'm not sure ATAs meet that requirement, but I don't know for sure. 

What I can suggest is looking into becoming a controller with the DOD.  I don't think they have an age rule, and they pay better than the FAA.  I don't know all the details on that either, but I am aware of some people leaving the military and becoming DOD controller's successfully.


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Re: Non-standard ATC career question
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 09:28:36 PM »
Keep in mind that most military controllers who get out look for either FAA or DOD jobs.  DOD is a lot about who you know.  I know at my current assignment, all of the DOD controllers are retired military.  These jobs are not easy to get and there always seems to be a good amount of competition for these jobs. 

Simple solution:  Re-enlist and cross train into ATC.

Best of luck.

Offline Delray

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Re: Non-standard ATC career question
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 08:46:47 PM »
The 31 age limit applies to being appointed as an ATC in Federal Civil Service. Some of the DOD has raised the age limit to 36. Many DOD facilities are willing to make an age waiver for veterans.