Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers monitor and direct the activities of aircraft into and out of airports and along specified flight routes. They radio pilots with approach, landing, taxiing, and takeoff instructions and advisories on weather and other conditions. These reports help maintain the safe and orderly flow of air traffic both in the air and on the ground. There are approximately 23,060 air traffic controllers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Monitor and direct the activities of aircraft into and out of airports and along specified flight routes
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • Speech
Experience Several years of experience
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Skills
  • Business Management
  • Information Management
  • Leadership
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must be 30 years of age or younger, pass physical and psychological examinations, have U.S. citizenship, and vision that is or can be corrected to 20/20
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Control Tower Manager
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Developmental Controller

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