If you think that fixing critical communications equipment at an airport that lands 120 planes an hour is exciting, this is the job for you. In these positions you will be responsible for installing, testing, troubleshooting, repairing and certifying radar, communications equipment, navigational aids, airport lighting, backup power — everything air traffic controllers and pilots use for safe flight — to ensure that all systems are working properly. Duties also include maintenance of airway facility systems. You will work indoors, outdoors and travel throughout our nation connecting our systems to keep air travel safe.

Many Technicians and System Specialists work out of offices located at or near airports and service equipment located on airports, in open fields or even on remote mountaintops. It is often necessary to drive significant distances (100-200 miles) to reach facilities. System Specialists and Technicians also work in Air Route Traffic Control Centers maintaining equipment within the facility. Technicians normally maintain the electronics portion of facilities. System Specialists may be required to maintain entire facilities, including electronic equipment, electrical power distribution, emergency backup power, power conditioning systems, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); electronic equipment only; or power and HVAC only. Some positions require travel throughout the country installing new electronic equipment.


An ideal candidate may have experience as a technician, instructor, inspector, mechanic, computer specialist, engineer, or telecommunications specialist. FAA also looks for practical knowledge of electronic theory and a variety of power systems. A keen understanding of math, electronics and computer principles is also important.

Training Programs

The Technical Operations Collegiate Training Initiative (TO-CTI) Program was created to hire electronic engineering students from colleges and trade schools with FAA-approved curriculum.

The Hiring Process

Airway Transportation Systems Specialists are hired primarily from a national register or pool of qualified applicants. The ATSS register is open to the receipt of applications from the general public.

To be considered for employment, individuals must complete an application and be determined to be qualified. All applicants must Apply On-line via USAJOBS.gov for these positions.

Qualified individuals are placed on the National Register for a period of one year during which time they are available to be referred for employment consideration and to go through the selection process

ATSS/Electronic Technician Qualification Requirements

Applicants applying for these positions must possess experience as technicians, instructors, inspectors or mechanics (civilian or military) which shows progression in theoretical and practical knowledge of electronic theory and of characteristics, function, operation and capabilities of a variety of types of electronic equipment, electrical power distribution systems, emergency backup power systems, power conditioning systems, or HVAC systems. This experience must have included the use of schematic diagrams, varieties of test equipment, and the application of appropriate electronic/electrical-mechanical formulas involved in such duties as testing, troubleshooting, modifying, designing, calibrating, installing, maintaining, repairing, constructing, developing and/or instructing on the above listed systems/equipment, or similar functions.


Experience that provides a basic knowledge of the principles of electronics, mathematics, computers, aeronautics, or related areas, and/or an understanding, both theoretical and practical, of automated systems operations, integration, management, and maintenance. Experience may have been gained in one or more occupations including, but not limited to computer specialist, electronics technician, telecommunications specialist, engineer, etc.


Experience in developing policies, standards and procedures for maintenance, installation, or similar functions provided the work clearly shows that the applicant applied specialized knowledge of the theories and principles of a variety of electronics systems/equipment, electrical power distribution systems, emergency backup power systems, power conditioning systems or HVAC systems.

Airway Transportation System Specialist/Electronic Technician FAQs

What are the qualification requirements?
How do I apply for these positions?
The announcement is open to the receipt of applications. If determined eligible, you will remain on the inventory for 1 year during which time you can be referred for employment consideration.
Who makes the decision on which individual to hire?
Selecting officials within the hiring region make the determination(s) based on their vacancy requirements.
What is the salary for these positions?
FAA's Airway Facilities Service adopted a new pay system for Airway Transportation System Specialist and Electronic Technician positions. Positions formerly at the FG-5/7/9 grade levels are now in the AF Specialized job category. See the vacancy announcement for current salaries. Eligibility for grade level/starting salary is based on length, level, and quality of specialized experience. Salary will also be adjusted to include locality pay based on the duty location of the position.
Is my eligibility good indefinitely?
Your eligibility for employment consideration is for 1 year. After your eligibility expires you may reapply as long as the announcement is open.
Will FAA train me?
Yes, training is provided based on specific work assignments.