Be ATC - FAA Hiring Air Traffic Controllers
The 2023 general application window is now closed. Applicants can check back here for more information on next steps in the application process.
The FAA is hiring entry-level air traffic controllers for our facility on Long Island. The application period is now closed, but applicants can learn more about next steps in the application process.
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (Required for males born after 12/31/1959)
- Be younger than 31 years old before the closing date of the application period (with limited exceptions)
- Have either three years of general work experience or four years of education leading to a bachelor’s degree, or a combination of both
- Speak English clearly enough to be understood over communications equipment
- Be willing to relocate to an FAA facility based on agency staffing needs
It’s a tough job. Got what it takes?
Think you've got what it takes to be an Air Traffic Controller? Keep reading to learn what you can expect from the application process and training to the hours, pay, and benefits of an exciting new career.
The 2023 application window is now closed.
The application process can take 6 months or longer. Applicants must complete these steps in the following order and cannot continue unless the previous step is met:
- Meet the basic qualifications mentioned above.
- Pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) and achieve a score within a certain percentile. You will have up to 3 1/2 hours to complete the test in person at an approved testing facility.
- Pass medical and security clearance, including:
- Drug testing
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI2)
- Class II Medical Exam/Physical
- Federal background check
Entry-level applicants must complete required training courses and spend several months at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. After graduating the academy, individuals are placed in locations across the country and must gain 1-3 years on-the-job experience before becoming a certified professional controller.
Trainee controller Lillian told Secretary Pete she wanted to be a controller when she was 12 years old. She fulfilled her dream. You can too.
Controllers work full time and some work additional hours. Many of our facilities operate continuously (24/7/365), where employees work day, evening and night shifts, along with weekends and holidays.
While attending the academy, trainees receive $34,135 - $35,273 pay and the Oklahoma City per diem for living expenses. After FAA Academy training, and assignment to a facility, developmental ATCs receive a minimum annual wage of $43,727 plus locality pay for the facility assigned to them.
The salaries for entry-level air traffic controllers increase as they complete each training phase. The annual salary for more advanced controllers varies with the location of the facility, the complexity of the airspace, and other factors.
As a federal employee, air traffic controllers receive a benefits package that rivals, if not surpasses, those offered in the private sector - with a variety of insurance, retirement, leave, and flexible spending options for employees and their families.
- Interested applicants should visit www.usajobs.gov to build their application profile.
- Collect the following documents. You will need to upload these on USAJobs when you apply:
- All applicants: Resume
- I’m applying based on education: Copy of official/unofficial transcripts.
- I’m applying based on a Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI): Copy of official/unofficial transcripts and recommendation letter or endorsement certifying they have met the CTI requirements.
- I’m applying based on previous experience as a federal employee: Copy of a Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) that verifies original appointment and any ATC certifications/ratings.
- I’m claiming veterans’ preference: Submit either a DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or a document from the armed forces certifying that you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions within 120 days.
- If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must also submit a completed SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran’s Preference, and supporting outlines in the SF-15.
Still interested in an aviation career but not sure this position is right for you? Learn about more career opportunities at the FAA here.
Go to the Be ATC Campaign Toolkit to find graphics, videos, sample social media posts, and more hiring content you can share with your community.
We've created a series of videos to help you build your resume and navigate the application process.
- Check out The Air Up There podcast episodes to hear about the job first-hand from Air Traffic Controllers.