Air traffic controller

Alternative titles for this job include Air traffic control officer

Air traffic controllers give information and advice to airline pilots to help them take off and land safely and on time.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become an air traffic controller

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • a trainee scheme

Apprenticeship

You could do an air traffic controller higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

You can apply for a place as a trainee with National Air Traffic Services.

You'll need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent qualifications, including English and maths.

You'll be expected to relocate to Fareham in Hampshire while training. Once you qualify, you could work anywhere in the UK.

Initial training takes up to 1 year and further training may continue while working.

You may also be considered for training if you have relevant aviation experience as a military air traffic controller, or military or commercial pilot.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an air traffic controller from National Air Traffic Services.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • concentration skills
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You should be eligible to work in the UK.

You must be prepared to work anywhere in the UK.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will vary depending on which type of controller you become. There are 3 types:

  • area controller – in a regional control centre, tracking and guiding aircraft through your sector
  • approach controller – managing aircraft as they approach the airport
  • aerodrome controller – in a control tower, helping pilots land and park, and line up for take-off

Working environment

You could work in an airport control tower.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into training and assessing new controllers, or become a supervisor or unit manager.

You could also move into operations management.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an air traffic controller right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Aviation Operations on the Ground Certificate level 2

  • Provider: LEICESTER COLLEGE
  • Start date: 07 January 2020
  • Location: Leicester

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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