How to become an air traffic controller
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- a trainee scheme
You could do an apprenticeship to get into this career, for example:
- Aviation Flight Operations Co-ordinator Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
- Air Traffic Controller Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship
You may be able to get into a similar role through an armed forces apprenticeship:
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
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.
Senior air traffic controllers' salaries can rise to between £70,000 and £100,000 at larger airports.
You can find out more about becoming an air traffic controller from National Air Traffic Services.