Air Traffic Controller Jobs Salary | United States

In every form of transportation, safety is of utmost priority as several passengers’ lives depend on protective measures that ensure a safe departure and arrival. Unfortunately, air transport is the riskiest means of transportation, considering the risk of collision and other factors that can result in a significant amount of life and property. To curtail and prevent air transport disasters, the United States Federal Aviation Administration has enacted laws that regulate air traffic space. 

Who is an traffic controller

An air traffic controller is an aviation safety personnel positioned in the air traffic control towers to ensure the safe and orderly flow of air traffic on the global control system. Furnished with this responsibility, air traffic controllers discharge their duties with skills geared toward certifying passengers’ safe transit.

Roles of air traffic controller

For every flight that departs and arrives safely, there is an air traffic controller behind the wheel of safety, taking precautions that guarantee the security of aircrew staff and passengers. This makes these spectacular human beings earn payments that foster an undeterred commitment to their jobs. The salary of air traffic controllers varies globally because each country has a payment structure reflecting its economic strength. 

The role of air traffic controllers is quite existential as their functions are based on a preventive approach rather than repair. A troubled car might survive a crash, but an airplane might not share the same fate, which is why the adoption of precision and apt skills in the control of air traffic is adopted. Here are some roles of air traffic controllers

  • An air traffic controller monitors the transition of aircraft. They control the departure of airplanes, provide directives when airborne, and maintain safety procedures when they hit the tarmac.
  • They supervise all the traffic operations that occur at the airport runways.
  • The air traffic controller works with the pilot to coordinate landing and take-offs by providing instructions that serve as a guide.
  • They also ensure a simultaneous departure and arrival information transfer between traffic control centers across the board.
  • The air traffic controller is responsible for transmitting alerts to pilots in an emergency.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an air traffic controller is USD 120,830 annually, with a median hourly pay of USD 59.87, a statistic higher than the national average salary of other careers. 

Career opportunities for air traffic controller

Tower controller

A tower controller monitors the airport vicinity within a 5-mile radius of the airport. They utilize visual tools and digital inclined devices to supervise the tower’s airspace. This supervisory role allows the close examination of departing and arriving flights so that technical issues can be addressed most appropriately. The salary of an air traffic controller that has chosen to toe the path of a tower controller is USD 74,075.

Terminal radar approach controller

The terminal radar approach controller links a network of airport operations, especially the one connecting one or more airports. Interfacing between landing and take-offs, terminal radar approach controllers operate by transmitting messages from radar data to ensure that regulatory air traffic standards are observed.

En route center controller

The en-route center controller is an air traffic controller whose duty is also based on monitoring airspace surroundings. Each en-route traffic controller is assigned a location based on the geographical setting because they are not located directly within the airport premises. They control the aircraft from different air routes in various parts of the city. The salary of an air traffic controller who has chosen the field of the en-route center controller is USD 92,000, and it varies from state to state.

Certifications of air traffic controller

Certified aviation manager

A certified aviation manager is an aerospace technician licensed to lead flights and coordinate companies that utilize aircraft for their businesses. This certification connotes professionalism and enhances the chances of employment as it borders on skill and experience.

Air traffic control tower operator

These individuals have passed the statutory requirement for becoming air traffic control tower operators. They are tested on parameters such as tower flight data analysis, ground control, and tower radar supervision. These individuals have passed the statutory requirement for becoming air traffic control tower operators. They are tested on parameters such as tower flight data analysis, ground control, and tower radar supervision.

Certified tower crane operator

They are tower-rated air traffic controllers who have been evaluated and certified by assigned authorities to manage the job of operating a crane within the airport environment. To receive this certificate, the air traffic wardens are supposed to attend the FAA traffic control academy and earn a certificate on completion.

Osha safety certificate

The OSHA SAFETY CERTIFICATE is highly significant to safety procedures because it is an official certification in line with the tenets of the United States occupational safety and health administration. Safety is paramount in every sphere of life, especially in air transportation. There is zero tolerance for mistakes, and enforcing compliance is enhanced through acquiring certifications that embrace the guiding principles of aviation.

This certification ensures that workers uphold safe work practices. For air traffic controllers, this certificate is compulsory because it promotes strict adherence to stipulated regulations and safety procedures for a safe flight.

Aircraft dispatcher

This certification is pivotal to the entire air traffic process as they are responsible for ensuring that all the activities within the airport are done with safety in view. From the flight schedule to the entire assemblage of tasks in the airport vicinity, the aircraft dispatcher supervises the flight process to promote safety compliance. 

 They are also responsible for reviewing the plane’s crew and assessing any things that might threaten a flight. The aircraft dispatcher is concerned with the safety of the airline operations as the lives of crew members, and passengers are based on safe aviation practices.

First aid, cpr, and aed instructor

So many people have been given another shot at life through the help of first aid. According to aviation statistics, airports across the globe receive almost two million passengers every day and close to one billion per annum. There is an estimate of about 70,000 flights per day around the world, and with this figure, the possibility of a medical emergency is quite imminent, thus the need for first aid instructors.

 For onboard medical emergencies, the AER instructor provides essential medical attention to injured or ill passengers, conscious and unconscious passengers, and crew members. In addition, they administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other basic medical aid as these treatments gives the victims a fair chance of survival before proper medical diagnosis.