Please HELP!!!! I need Insight


Well-Known Member
Ok here is my situation. I took the ATCer test off the street about a year ago. I passed everything went through I received a job offer at ZNY (new york center – level 12 facility). I am currently a police officer with 3yrs on the force, right now where I am top pay is 100grand, I also receive unlimited sick time, benefits for life (after I retire as well), 20yr retirement at 50%. If I should ever get sick and I’m out for a yr lets say I will be at home getting paid because of my unlimited sick no questioned asked. So now I have a decision to make do I take this ATC job and try it out or not. I love aviation as well, I been flying airplanes since I been 14yrs old. But my main concern is I know the wash out rate is very high at ZNY and that could be me (lets just say its that possibility) and I could lose everything I have now just for trying out this new job. Also what would happen lets say I have 10-15yrs on as a Air Traffic Controller and I can no longer pass an FAA medical, do they fire me am I out of a job, do I get a pay cut, etc. I guess what I’m asking is any insight on what you would do if you were in my shoes, etc. If anyone is out that that is an ATCer and was a former police officer your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again…
Good Luck with the choice, Stability is important but would you be happy being an officer for 20 years (17? Left) and then doing something else, like getting your CFI and then entertaining the aviation interest while not being dependant on income. It’s a choice that is going to be hard but if your changing careers and your close to the cutoff age for the ATC play it safe, if not go big or go home.
That is a good question about the medical. what happen if for some reason you can't pass the medical? Are the ATC medicals like the airmen pilot medicals? Once a year? Are they done my a AME?
If you can no longer pass the medical, in some rare instances, they will find you a job either in staff or somewhere else, IE. becoming someones secretary (happened to me for 5 months back in 2001). Most likely, especially with the current glut of management and staff that the Obama administration says they WILL trim buy a great deal, you will be terminated.

Sounds like you have a great deal where you are. Personally if it was me, I'd stay right there and just keep flying when you could. This job is not all that it is cracked up to be. Screwed up schedules, forced OT,constant missed family gatherings, documented 10 years less life expectancy (CAMI), 4 hours sick leave per pay period never to increase, etc.
this is one of those situations where you have to just go with what you want and asking anyone else for opinions isn't going to help you out a whole lot.
I know that, but I guess i'm trying to see if there is anyone out there that had a good decent job and left it for ATC knowing that they might not make it all the way. If there are any police officers out there that switched over please let me know, tomorrow i'm going to visit the facility to try and make my decision a little easier
I know that, but I guess i'm trying to see if there is anyone out there that had a good decent job and left it for ATC knowing that they might not make it all the way. If there are any police officers out there that switched over please let me know, tomorrow i'm going to visit the facility to try and make my decision a little easier

I can't speak to leaving a good job, my job was up and down, but such is the car biz. My question to you is, and you don't have to answer this I just want you to think about it, regardless of the center you are going to, would you rather be an Air Traffic Controller, insuring the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic, or would you rather maintain your current role to serve and protect? Then ask, if money was not an opinion, would you make the same choice?
You have to be a total mouth breather to get fired if you are a cop. If you want better pay, promote to a higher position where you can get the better pay. Thats my $.02 .
Personally, since i have a interest in Law enforcement and contemplated/contemplating becoming a LEO i understand what you mean. ZNY is a very difficult facility, to give up your career to pursue a MAYBE is a very tough pill to swallow.

What i would say is to your advantage is that you're already a sworn officer, and you've completed the academy (over here, it's being POST certified) so i think if you were to wash out from ZNY you could still get hired again (possibly not same location) since you have prior experience and you hold your certifications.

Have you talked to your brass about this scenario? In LE, i've noticed they always push you to try stuff and to pursue your goals whatever they entail.

Do you wanna try ATC a shot, or do you want to live your entire life saying "what if." That's what would be my determining factor....
I have spoken to some brass and they tell me to leave the job its only getting worst, yet i speak to current air traffic controllers they say they love there job but what I have is good and they probably wouldn't leave if they were in my shoes, yet they say with Obama as president things in ATC will probably get better. I have been offered previous classes with ATC but because of the line of work i'm in I would need 8 weeks in advance to tell my job I need a leave of absence for me to have my job (within a year if things don't work out). Everyone thank you very much for your input and if any others out there have something to say please mention it
just wanna add that ZNY's fail rate isn't really that high. I know a lot of people there and they pass way more people than fail.
Are you an officer in Nassau or Suffolk? I'd assume with the 100K top pay it isn't nypd. My father is retired from the job and I have uncles and cousins on suffolk. I got called for the suffolk job but they froze hiring..So damn close.

From my research and family experience, you reeeeeeally have to love aviation to leave one of the Island police forces to go into ATC. If I were in your shoes I'd try to make rank and/or get a nice detail before considering atc. 30,000 people took the last suffolk police test for maybe 200 openings in 5years, with a similar showing in Nassau... so I'd venture that there is a reason for that.

Good luck with it all.. Heck if I get ZNY I'd be happy to trade you radar screen for radio car ;-)
Well actually i'm a city police officer and we just got a nice raise which put us just under 100grand. So now what would you do? LOL
100 grand for a city cop?
here in baltimore city they dont pay nowhere near that, but the state police and bridge police make a lot of money

im kinda thinking the same thing. i can either do ATC or my cousin works for transit police here and he said he can get me right in. im very undecided in what to do and worried ill make the wrong choice and be unhappy