Air Traffic Controller job description

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Air Traffic Controllers are required to work in the National Airspace System to coordinate the movement of air traffic and ensure that planes stay at a safe distance from each other. Their primary duties have to do with safety issues, but they are also responsible for minimizing plane delays efficiently. Some of these controllers regulate air traffic through designated airspaces, while others regulate departures and arrivals at the airport. They may work for the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense or for private air traffic control companies.

Air Traffic Controllers usually perform many of the following tasks:
• Being in constant touch with pilots to give them guidance.
• Monitoring machines and equipment for radio communication.
• Examining weather conditions.
• Notifying to higher authorities in case of emergency.
• Keeping records of flights which they have handled.


• Being able to work under pressure.
• Having high levels of concentration.
• Being able to make quick decisions.
• Having good verbal and written communication skills.
• Being detail-oriented.
• Having math skills.
• Being able to work with a team.
• Having interpersonal skills.
• Being calm and patient.
• Having good memory.


Persons who want to be Air Traffic Controllers for the Federal Aviation Administration must meet basic qualification requirements in accordance with Federal law and have a qualifying score on the pre-employment tests. There are three ways to enter to this field. One is having three years of work experience in this sector, having a four-year college degree, or a combination of both requirements. The other way is for applicants who had previous experience working in the Department of Defense as veteran or civilian or in the Federal Aviation Administration. The last alternative is for candidates who completed an aviation-related program through the Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative from the FAA.

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