Air Traffic Control Specialists
Every minute, every hour, every day, there are men and women working to ensure the safety and efficiency of our national airspace system.
This elite group of more than 14,000 FAA air traffic control specialists provide a vital public service to guide pilots, their planes and 2.7 million daily passengers from taxi to takeoff, through the air and back safely on the ground.
The 2022 application window is now closed. Check back for future announcements!
Pay, Benefits, Hours
The approximate median annual wage for air traffic control specialists is $127,805. The salaries for entry-level air traffic control specialists increase as they complete each new training phase.
The annual salary for more advanced controllers who have completed on-the-job training varies with the location of the facility, the complexity of the airspace, and other factors.
As a federal employee, air traffic control specialists 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. Learn more about benefits.
Most air traffic control specialists work full time, and some work additional hours. Larger air traffic control facilities operate continuously, and employees may rotate among day, evening, and night shifts, along with weekends and holidays. Smaller facilities have more standard dawn to dusk operating hours.
I have the greatest job in the world, and there is absolutely nothing else in the world I would rather be doing.— Jeffrey Vincent, Vice President of Air Traffic Services
Because of the serious nature of this work and zero margin for error, the training regimen and proficiencies needed to become an air traffic control specialist, are demanding. Initial selection does not guarantee placement into federal civilian service. Entry-level applicants must complete required training courses at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and gain on-the-job experience before becoming certified professional controllers.
The FAA offers employment opportunities for individuals with previous air traffic control experience, as well as entry-level trainee air traffic control specialists, through separate job vacancy announcements posted for a limited time throughout the year.
Get answers to your frequently asked questions about air traffic control specialist requirements.
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Airway Transportation Systems Specialists
We're currently recruiting for entry-level positions at locations nationwide. Learn more.
The following five specialties encompass the duties of an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist (electronics technician):
Technicians maintain and repair the following types of equipment: Lighted Navigational Aids Systems, Engine Generators (with or W/O Transfer Switches), Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning Systems and Power Sources/Power Conditioning Systems.
Technicians maintain and repair the following types of equipment: Airport Surveillance Radar, Air Route Surveillance Radar, Air Traffic Control Beacon Indicator, Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Terminal Doppler Weather Radar.
Technicians maintain and repair the following types of equipment: Instrument Landing Systems, Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VORs), Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Directional Range (DVOR), Tactical Aircraft Control and Navigation (TACAN), and Distance Measuring Equipment (DMEs).
Technicians maintain and repair the following types of equipment: Motorola, ITT, or General Dynamics radios, Radio Communications Link Repeater, Low Density Radio Communications Link Repeater, Small Tower Voice Switch, Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch, Rapid Deployment Voice Switch, Digital Voice Recorder System, Digital Audio Legal Recorder.
Technicians maintain and repair the following types of equipment: Automated Radar Terminal System, Direct Access Radar Channel, En Route Automation Modernization.
Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI)
FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors are involved in developing, administering, or enforcing regulations and standards concerning civil aviation safety. This includes the airworthiness of aircraft and aircraft systems; the competence of pilots, mechanics, and other airmen; and the safety aspects of aviation facilities, equipment and procedures.
A broad knowledge of the aviation industry (including general principles of aviation safety and the regulations and policies affecting aviation) is applied. In addition, an extensive technical knowledge and skill in the operations, airworthiness (maintenance and avionics), or manufacture of aircraft and aircraft systems is needed.
Join our Team
- Now Hiring: Aviation Safety Inspectors
- Alternative Hiring for Operations Aviation Safety Inspectors
- Application Helpful Hints
- Aviation Safety Organization (AVS)
- Aviation Safety Inspector (1825 series) OPM Basic Qualifications and Classification
Offices and Locations
Flight Program Operations - FlyFAA
We're currently recruiting for a variety of positions at locations nationwide. Learn more.
Flight Program Operations is the part of the FAA responsible for all aspects of program safety, administration, operations, training, and maintenance. We conduct multiple missions in FAA aircraft – whether it is owned, leased, rented, drones and more -- to provide aviation safety training; flight inspection; research, development, test and evaluation support; and critical event response/transportation.
The following positions encompass the unique duties of this team.
In order to conduct flight inspections, our pilots take off and land, but they also make multiple passes at very specific altitudes in order to assess their targets. Pilots also fly as part of the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) support and critical event response/transportation missions.
Mission specialists have the opportunity to learn and use the highly specialized flight inspection and RDT&E equipment that is housed in the Flight Program Operations fleet. They take the measurements, record the observations, and file the daily flight log at the end of the day.
Scheduling and Dispatch
The Operations Control Center (OCC) is definitely the nerve center that keeps the rest of the Flight Program Operations body working at its best. OCC team members manage aircraft flight hours flown in support of our flight operations, improving scheduling processes and increasing scheduling efficiencies.
Our mechanics are constantly called upon to solve hard problems and ensure the availability of aircraft to fly missions when needed.
Safety and Training
Operating and maintaining aircraft are highly specialized and highly technical, which requires safety and training staff to be on point to ensure team members always have the required certifications and qualifications. We have an FAA safety management system that helps us turn safety data into information, and information into increased safety and targeted training.