Does anyone want to be a professional controller?

I sorta do, considering I don’t want to be away from my possible family in the far future. I’m starting to self train myself on the FAA powerpoints, but it’ll be a few years until I have the possibility of going to a certified college to get a degree in controlling. (even though I don’t have to go that route, I prefer it)

Just curious on if there’s other people that would rather be a controller than a pilot.

1 Like

Me :) I do!

1 Like

Aparently it’s very boring. You only get to control the tower frequency when you have a lot of experience (15+ years), and the rest of the time you’re in a room staring at a visual display… Not as fun as it looks unfortunately


You’d be surprised as to how low the amount of fully certified controllers there are. It’s actually at very low percentage and getting lower. FAA is employing 1,400 controllers . The FAA has missed hiring goals for seven consecutive years. NATCA has said themselves that fully certified controllers are at an all time low. The demand is similar to the looming pilot shortage. It’s only going to grow. If they need controllers, they’ll want to train them and get them out there, not spend 15 years looking at visuals. ;)


I could care less about where I could end up at… I just like being able to say I helped control or controlled aircraft.

It doesn’t hurt to crack a few jokes too, just look at Philadelphia tower or Kennedy ground. :) #KennedySteve


It’d also help if they push in the technology that has already been available for 10+ years (CC screens) to open up even more workforce options for people like me. Eliminates frequency blocking, makes more departure corridors available, and a ton of other things reserved for a different discussion. ;)

But, of course, government bureaucrats control the money. Even Canada is about ten years ahead in implementing text to screen messaging. The FAA is notoriously slow in getting anything installed, which is sad. Privatization should be considered in order to eliminate total government control, which is what NAV Canada operates as, and look at them! Yes, salaries will most likely be cut for a while and uncertainty thrown around for the first few years, but will the payoffs in the future outweigh the costs? Congress keeps ducking around the issue and just pushing for temporary funding extensions.


@Nojerry: If you don’t want to move, you can kiss that idea goodbye. You won’t have much of a choice in the matter, as if you somehow get through the rounds of selection and pass the academy, you will be given a list of facilities who need controllers. Depending on ranking in the class, trainees will get first pick of where they want to go. Scratch off one by one until whatever is left will be the pot for the lower ranking classmates.

Be ready to brutally train. Such a low margin of people will slide through, and you have to aggressively pursue studying the material given. Remember, countless people, myself included, would kill for a spot. Years of evaluating the .65, weathering check evals, getting qualified for your facility, and so on, will do a number on your head if you can’t focus. There is no margin for error. People die if you do.

You can’t cruise off to college and expect to jump into a facility, btw. You need to go through the entire hiring process first and be trained properly. Apparently, revisions and favoritism have been modified to consider those who attend CTI schools, but it won’t help you much.


Believe me I’ve had to deal with getting certificates from the FAA and I can for sure agree with how slow they are implementing new technology. It’s slowly started to roll around at airports like Kennedy and such that have the money and traffic, but airports like Chicago, which is one of the largest airports in North America, are still doing pens and strips unfortunately.

1 Like

Yeah I know still have to take the AT-SAT but it’ll put you as recommended because of the degree. If you do the degree, you also get to skip the first five weeks of the training program. I also know that I know I’ll be moving around, but not as dramatically.

After the MMPI-2 I’m gonna go insane! ;)

Then all the medical stuff, background checks, interviews, etc.

1 Like

Pens and strips… at OHare?

Indeed. They may have updated to newer technology but last I checked they were still pens and strips


For the sake of balance, Nav Canada isn’t the poster child in ATC excellence either. The overflight fees they charge are not as bad as Russia, but still pretty high. Air Canada has a dedicated “navigation fee” to defray the cost of Nav Canada fees.

I am definitely consideringbeing a Commercial Pilot, or being a professional Air Traffic Controller.

I would really like to do the same route as you through Lewis University. If I somehow can’t get in there I’ll try for other colleges or the Military. I’m also interested in becoming a Flight Dispatcher if I can’t become a controller.

There are two universities south and east of Dallas that are about two hours away from me.

1 Like

Lewis is about 2 hours for me.

Let’s hit the books! :D

1 Like

I wanted to and got as far as the aptitude tests.

I did not get an interview for a month so i probably did not make it.

@Nojerry Where in the world are you from?

I am, and before I do that I’m building a full scale ATC simulator :) image


If you watch U.K. Documentaries about airports which there are quite a few they go into depth with NATS so you get a idea of ATC in the UK. It’s worth watching if your interested

1 Like