Air Traffic Controllers
If you're looking for an exciting, challenging and rewarding aviation career, become an FAA Air Traffic Controller.
Every day of the year, and especially on holidays, more than 15,000 federal controllers at 315 FAA air traffic facilities are on the job, guiding more than 87,000 flights every day across our national airspace system. Do you have what it takes to help us control the skies?
To be an Air Traffic Control Specialist, you must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Start at the FAA Academy no later than your 31st birthday
- Pass a medical examination
- Pass a security investigation
- Have three years of progressively responsible work experience, or a Bachelor's degree, or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years.
- Pass the FAA air traffic pre-employment tests
- Speak English clearly enough to be understood over communications equipment
All vacancies for air traffic control specialist positions will be announced via USAJOBS. This is not an official vacancy announcement.
Air Traffic Controller Employment FAQ
- General Qualifications
- Hiring Process
- Pay, Benefits, and Training
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The FAA plans to hire and train more than ten thousand air traffic control specialists over the next decade, read the eighth annual update to the Air Traffic Controller Workforce Plan 2013-2022 (PDF) for more information.
Are you curious about some of the basic aviation knowledge many of our applicants learn from prior experience or education? Do you want to test yourself on the fundamental knowledge we expect our controllers to master while in initial training? We developed a self-paced study guide and self-assessment based on the Air Traffic (AT) Basics course we teach at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, and we're making the study guide available to the general public. Check it out at http://atbasics.faa.gov.
Technical Operations Specialists
If you're looking for an exciting, challenging and rewarding aviation career, become an FAA Technical Operations Specialist. Technical Operations Specialists support the delivery of safe and efficient flight services through installation and maintenance of electronic equipment and lighting aids for facilities and services needed for aviation navigation. And as we develop the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), the demand for these services will continue to increase. In this role, you will:
- Work with radar, communications, computers, navigational aids, airport lighting aids and electrical/mechanical support for facilities on and off airports within the National Airspace System
- Perform periodic maintenance (inspection/analysis/adjustments), certification, troubleshooting and repair/replace malfunctioning equipment
- Assist with facility maintenance on electronic equipment, electrical power distribution and emergency backup power, power conditioning, and HVAC systems
You'll work at offices on or near airports and on service equipment throughout airports, air traffic control towers, automated flight service stations, air route traffic control centers, or even in open fields or on remote mountain tops. It is sometimes necessary to drive significant distances (100-200 miles) to reach these facilities.
Ideal candidates have experience as technicians, instructors, inspectors, mechanics, computer specialists, engineers or telecommunications specialists. We also look for practical knowledge of electronic theory and a variety of power systems. A keen understanding of math, electronics and computer principles is also important. Applicants may use a combination of approved education and relevant work experience to qualify.
As an electronics technician with FAA, you will install and maintain electronic equipment and lighting aids for aviation navigation facilities and services to ensure a reliable, safe and smooth flow of air traffic. Learn more about FAA Technical Careers.
Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI)
FAA employs aviation safety inspectors in a variety of roles, each with a specialized area of responsibility. The main ASI roles are operations, airworthiness, avionics and maintenance safety. The responsibilities and qualifications for each are based whether you will be working with air carriers, general or military aviation. In any of the ASI positions, you will need to have broad knowledge of the aviation industry; understand general principles of aviation safety, and Federal laws, regulations and policies affecting aviation; and have in-depth technical knowledge and skill in aircraft operation and maintenance.
As an air carrier or general aviation operations inspector, you will evaluate airmen, their training programs, equipment and facilities; and investigate incidents/accidents involving both general and air carrier industries which violate Federal Aviation Regulations. Knowledge and skills typically acquired as airmen (pilots, navigators, flight instructors, etc.) are used to develop and administer regulations and safety standards pertaining to the operation of aircraft. Your primary responsibilities will include:
- Examining airmen for initial certification and continuing competence.
- Evaluating airmen training programs, equipment and facilities.
- Evaluating the operational aspect of safety programs for air carriers and similar commercial and general aviation operations with regard to adequacy of facilities, equipment, procedures and overall management.
- Various other inspections, investigations and advisory duties.
As an airworthiness inspector (avionics or maintenance), you will develop and administer regulations and safety standards pertaining to the airworthiness and maintenance of aircraft and related equipment. You will apply knowledge and skills typically acquired as a repairman of aircraft, aircraft parts or avionics equipment, to the following assignments:
- Evaluating mechanics and repair facilities for initial certification and continuing adequacy.
- Evaluating the mechanics' training program.
- Inspecting aircraft and related equipment for airworthiness.
- Evaluating the maintenance aspects of air carrier programs and similar commercial operations which may include the adequacy of maintenance facilities, equipment and procedures; competence of employees; adequacy of the program or schedule for periodic maintenance and overhauls; and airworthiness of the aircraft.
- Various other inspections, investigations and advisory duties.
As an avionics inspector, you will be responsible for evaluating avionics technicians and applicable training programs and repair facilities. You'll investigate violations involving incidents/accidents violating FAA regulations, including general aviation and air carrier industries, as well as inspect aircraft and all related equipment.
Our maintenance inspectors evaluate aviation mechanics, their facilities and training programs as well as inspect aircraft and related equipment for airworthiness. You will investigate incidents/accidents involving both general and air carrier industries which violate Federal Aviation Regulations.
FAA regulates and oversees all aspects of our nation's civil aviation. FAA employees work in a variety of occupations across the nation to provide the safest, most efficient aviation technology and airspace in the world.