Twenty-five thousand men and women work as air traffic controllers in the United States. Every year between 400 and 500 new air traffic control positions become available. Working in aviation as an air traffic controller is a lucrative career with a median salary of over $100,000 per year.
In order to become an air traffic controller, one must earn a two or four year degree in aviation control or a closely related field, pass a medical exam, a security investigation, have related work experience and pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s pre-employment tests. The first test, the bio-data assessment, assesses a worker’s experience, general education, and work habits. The second test, the AT-SAT is an eight-hour computer-based test that assesses an applicant’s knowledge directly related to air traffic control.
Two-year air traffic control degree programs are developed specifically to help applicants acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the AT-SAT exam. They are intended to supplement a student’s prior experience in aviation and serve as a pathway to a qualifying to become an air traffic controller. Students with no prior aviation experience can also prepare for the FAA Academy via an accredited two-year program.
The Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative is a partnership between the FAA and thirty different colleges and universities designed to make high quality Air Traffic Control education available to students around the country. While earning a degree from a college or university within the program does not guarantee that an applicant will get a job in aviation, it
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