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How to Become an Air Traffic Controller

By William Hauselberg Subscribe to RSS | April 16th 2012 | Views:
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An air traffic controller is responsible for tracking and directing planes in order to prevent collisions and to maintain order in the skies. It is a notoriously high-stress position that requires attention to detail, coordination and mental stamina. It is also a tightly regulated position that provides good benefits and competitive pay. Nearly anyone can apply to become an air traffic controller. Most individuals will have to take some type of air traffic control training if they are accepted, however. One restriction for individuals that do not have previous civilian or military experience is that applicants must be younger than 31 years of age. There are three primary paths for becoming an air traffic controller.

People With No Previous Experience

Individuals who have no prior air traffic experience must apply for a position and pass a pre-employment test. There can be a delay of several months between when the pre-employment test is taken and when an individual is contacted with a score. Applicants who have a passing grade might then be reviewed by a panel and assigned to a specific location. The applicant must then take an intensive air traffic control training program that will last for several months and might require the applicant to travel to a specific city until the course is completed. During the bulk of this process, employment is not guaranteed. A job is only guaranteed after a person receives a formal offer letter (FOL).

People Who Have Previous Air Traffic Control Experience

People who have previous air traffic control experience or who were controllers in the military do not have to take the pre-employment test. Much of the training that is involved for inexperienced individuals can be skipped if the experienced applicant meets some basic requirements. Most notably, the applicant must have worked as an air traffic controller recently for no less than 52 weeks without interruption. Veterans can enroll in a special recruitment program that waives some of the more stringent application requirements.

People Who Attend Aviation College Classes

The final way to become an air traffic controller is to attend a certified air traffic controller school. These courses can last from 24 to 48 months and are held at normal colleges. Graduates must still take a pre-employment test but are not required to attend another training program. Regardless of whether a person attends an air traffic controller school or is a veteran, the final step before becoming an air traffic controller is to pass stringent security checks and to pass medical examinations. Security concerns and medical problems can potentially derail employment if the issues are serious enough.

William Hauselberg - About Author:
The author has an immense knowledge on air traffic controller school. Know more about air traffic control training related info in his website.

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