Air Traffic Controllers

Description

Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.

Tasks

  • Issue landing and take-off authorizations or instructions.
  • Monitor or direct the movement of aircraft within an assigned air space or on the ground at airports to minimize delays and maximize safety.
  • Monitor aircraft within a specific airspace, using radar, computer equipment, or visual references.
  • Inform pilots about nearby planes or potentially hazardous conditions, such as weather, speed and direction of wind, or visibility problems.
  • Provide flight path changes or directions to emergency landing fields for pilots traveling in bad weather or in emergency situations.
  • Alert airport emergency services in cases of emergency or when aircraft are experiencing difficulties.
  • Direct pilots to runways when space is available or direct them to maintain a traffic pattern until there is space for them to land.
  • Transfer control of departing flights to traffic control centers and accept control of arriving flights.
  • Direct ground traffic, including taxiing aircraft, maintenance or baggage vehicles, or airport workers.
  • Determine the timing or procedures for flight vector changes.
  • Maintain radio or telephone contact with adjacent control towers, terminal control units, or other area control centers to coordinate aircraft movement.
  • Contact pilots by radio to provide meteorological, navigational, or other information.
  • Initiate or coordinate searches for missing aircraft.
  • Check conditions and traffic at different altitudes in response to pilots' requests for altitude changes.
  • Relay air traffic information, such as courses, altitudes, or expected arrival times, to control centers.
  • Compile information about flights from flight plans, pilot reports, radar, or observations.
  • Inspect, adjust, or control radio equipment or airport lights.
  • Conduct pre-flight briefings on weather conditions, suggested routes, altitudes, indications of turbulence, or other flight safety information.
  • Analyze factors such as weather reports, fuel requirements, or maps to determine air routes.
  • Organize flight plans or traffic management plans to prepare for planes about to enter assigned airspace.
  • Review records or reports for clarity and completeness and maintain records or reports as required under federal law.
  • Complete daily activity reports and keep records of messages from aircraft.

Knowledge

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills

Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.

Work Activities

Monitoring and Controlling Resources
Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Interests

Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Air Route Controller
Air Route Traffic Controller
Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS)
Air Traffic Controller
Air Traffic Controller (Enroute Option)
Air Traffic Controller (Tower Option)
Air Traffic Coordinator
Air Traffic Supervisor
Aircraft Communicator
Airport Traffic Controller
Airway Controller
Airway Traffic Controller
Airways Control Specialist
Airways Operations Specialist
Certified Professional Controller (CPC)
Chief Controller
Communications Operator
Communicator
Control Tower Operator
Dispatcher
Flight Communications Officer
Flight Control Specialist
Flight Dispatcher
Flight Radio Officer
Flight Radio Operator
Flight Service Specialist
Flight Tower Dispatcher
Ground Control Approach Technician (GCA Technician)
Signal Tower Operator
Station Air Traffic Control Specialist
Tower Air Traffic Control Specialist
Tower Control Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$58.91 hourly, $122,530 annual.
Employment (2008):
23,260 employees