An air traffic controller is an individual who helps to direct aeroplanes in the sky, and on the runway during take-off and landing of aircrafts. Most aircraft control towers operate 24/7 without breaks as people travel all the time. Therefore, an air traffic controller requires working in shifts and having facilitation of overtime, night and weekend as well as breaks. Air traffic controllers are in charge of providing weather information for pilots, controlling ground traffic, authorizing flight paths, directing grounded aeroplanes using a radar device and handling all on-going communications between planes and ground control. The job is very rigorous and has tough schedules
Majority of air traffic controllers work for the Federal Aviation Administration and hence enjoy the federal pay scales and benefits. According to salaries hub, the average annual wage for an air traffic controller in the US is $82,292. An Air traffic controller’s salary is dependent on a number of factors such as employment rate, industry, local policies and experience. The starting salary for air traffic is low, but they are given benefits that have significant value, for instance, a trainee is offered a starting package of $17775.28 that includes a contributory pension scheme, an annual leave, voluntary benefits and family-friendly policies as well as a weekly upkeep fee. Air traffic controllers enjoy quite a number of benefits such as
- Most aircraft controllers have the job satisfaction of witnessing their work making air traffic more efficient and protects lives. This makes them take pride in the work done. Air traffic controllers may work as tower controllers supervising runways, aircraft landing and take-off, or as approach and departure controllers as well as en route controllers, that guides planes safely to the destination.
- Newly hired aircraft controller trainees and former military or FAA controllers hired are given a training pay computed on annual basis, and when they pass, their salary is increased at every stage of completion. They also receive a daily allowance for food, lodging and personal expenses.
- Air traffic controllers also receive federal benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, health and life insurance policies, and federal retirement benefits. They are also participants of the governments Thrift Savings Plan and retire as early as at age 50 to 56 years.
- Air traffic controller has been ranked among the top paying jobs in the US. An air traffic controller is entitled to an overtime pay for work done on weekends, during holidays and night shifts that incredibly boost their average income.
- Unlike other high paying careers, admission into air traffic controller’s career requires that one must be a US citizen. Members of FAA and US military can accept into an air traffic controller’s course at any age. Those without military and FAA experience must be below 31 years of age and pass a pre-employment examination. However, schools that offer FAA’s Traffic Collegiate Training offer bachelor’s degrees and associate degrees that students have to be enrolled in before taking the pre-employment examination.