Question for you ATC guys and gals...career change

rostato

New Member
Ok, so I was dead set on being a pilot, but with the economy and the industry going to ####, I don't want to invest the rest of my savings into something that may not work out for me in the end.

Anyway, I still have about 2 years of college to finish and I only obtained my PPL, which I would have done regardless of occupation choice. I also got my A&P while in the Air Force.

Now, I am thinking of switching from Embry-Riddle to Middle GA College into their ATC program.

Good idea or bad? It would be a hour drive each way for me everyday to go to school, but there is not many choices here.

I have been looking around all over the net and there is not nearly as much info for ATC as there is pilots.

My fiance was in ATC while in the Air Force and she got washed out getting her last rating. She had a ton of life problems at the time so I think she would have made it if there was not so much going on at home.

Now, I am thinking of giving it a shot, but I don't know if it's for me. I love Aviation, as shown by my A&P and PPL. I just don't have a good idea how the training is in the civilian world or if ATC is for me.

Is it even worth it to get the college degree in ATC management?
I am 26, I have enough time right?
How easy or difficult is it to get a job?
After you get the job how hard is it to keep?
Is it worth it for me or should I try to get into a different career?

Sorry for all the questions. I looked everywhere...
 

mel4rock

New Member
From what I have gathered on this forum, CTI graduates get about the same consideration during the hiring process as OTS applicants. The only difference is that CTI grads don't have to go thru the 5 weeks of basics training at the academy. I'm 28 and I still have 40 hours of college left to complete my CTI program, so I decided to apply OTS to get the ball rolling (since it is such a long hiring process). However, it sounds like you would probably have time to get the degree and get hired before age 31, if you decide to go that route.

I think it is fairly easy to get the job right now, since the FAA is hiring aggressively right now to replace the many controllers who will be retiring in the next several years. As far as keeping the job, I'm not sure. I just know you have to pass a medical exam every year. Hope this helps.
 

rostato

New Member
Thanks, yes that helps.

How long is the hiring process?

I am not really worried about the medical. I already have a second class and could get a first if need be.
 

mel4rock

New Member
I applied OTS in Feb. and am just now attending a PEPC (this Thurs.). So it has taken several months for most of us. And it will likely be several more months before us FEBOTS get to start the academy--I have read maybe around Oct., or possibly January-ish.
 

rostato

New Member
Definatly. I guess my problem is that I am not absolutly sure I can do it. I am HORRIBLE at memorizing things like frequencies. Everytime I fly I look at the callsign plate while making radio calls so I don't forget which plane i am in...
 

Svirf

New Member
Wait time has gotten extremely shorter than what it was/is with the earlier applications. They have done really well with the PEPCI's etc. to shorten the application process. I always say hands on is the best way to find out if something is right for you. Now that you can be hired on OTS...that seems like the best route to get into ATC with prior aviation background.

If you had zero aviation background I would suggest trying some of the CTI courses before making the decision. This opinion is based on my experience...which does not include any CTI but does include an aviation degree and an A&P. So take it as you will. I feel that a degree in aviation management will serve you well enough, but even after that the stuff that really seems to count in our world is experience.
 

mel4rock

New Member
I agree with svirf. I have only taken one CTI air traffic management class, but it really reinforced my desire to be in ATC. If you take a class and it doesn't interest you at all, then you haven't lost much.
 

rostato

New Member
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I already have my A&P and PPL so I figured I would have a better shot at getting a job because of backround. I just need to finish up college.
 

Svirf

New Member
Actually, what you might consider doing is putting your name in the hat by applying to these new applications on ASAP. At the same time enroll in a few CTI classes starting this Fall. By the time you get through the application process you should be through with a semester of classes and you will be able to make a more educated decision concerning ATC & you. If the other option your considering is aviation management, then I would suggest the classes you take for CTI be as compatible with that degree as is possible. So, basically its going to be getting one foot in each door so you will be that much further along and more knowledgeable when you make the decision.
 

rostato

New Member
Well, I am going to my flying clubs safety meeting tomorrow and I think ine of the guys is an ATC on base. I am gonna ask him if I can get a tour and see what happens.
 

strykr

New Member
Definatly. I guess my problem is that I am not absolutly sure I can do it. I am HORRIBLE at memorizing things like frequencies. Everytime I fly I look at the callsign plate while making radio calls so I don't forget which plane i am in...
HAHA! I have my PPL as well and completely understand! Since you have two years of college completed and depending on how long you've been working prior to that you should be fine with the MIN requirements. I was also pursuing the pilot career and have a B.S. in Aeronautical Sciences and after a series of events I found the PUBNAT2 and have been completely excited about the prospects of ATC. Alot of my college friends are coming to grips with the term "Furlough" and starting to worry about it happening to them. I agree with Svrif and go ahead and throw your hat in the ring an hang out here, you'll find almost all the answers your looking for!
 

F Slade

New Member
Rosato,
Please, do your self a favor and don’t spend a dime on your college education to become an air traffic controller!!! DO NOT GO THE CTI ROUTE! BTDTGTTS! (Been there, done that, got the t-shirt).
Go the OTS (off the street) route, job openings are being posted almost every other month… there is one posted right now…. http://jobs.faa.gov/asap_detail.asp?vac_id=107019
Do your self a favor and get an education that can make you money doing or do something that you have a desire to pursue, i.e. nursing… work PRN on the side to support your slave labor wages until you certify as a CPC, or Art History and become a docent at the local Museum of Fine art in your community. Do not, and I repeat, do not go to college and rack up thousands of dollars in debt with the expectation that the FAA has made a “commitment” to hire you. You would be better off joining the military as an ATC, seeing the world and let the FAA offer you thousands of dollars to make the jump to their side… Plus you have the option to contract (Midwest, RVA, etc.), DOD…. Or go overseas and make some serious coin…
The FAA is hiring right now because their management isn’t the brightest. They didn’t see the wave of retirements coming (duh!)…. Trust me, B scale doesn’t affect the hundreds of FPL that are retiring every day, they are walking away from an agency that doesn’t value their service! The idiots that are in charge of the FAA never saw the wave coming, and it’s not fair to the new hires, B-scale employees!
Good luck.
Frank
 

Prino

Well-Known Member
yeah dude...you can get an ATC job 'OTS' as they say....meaning, "off the street"...so you dont necessarily have to have a specific degree to become a controller. if you are going to college, then get a degree is something that is broad and marketable....not something highly specalized and expensive.....if things dont work out you always have a plan b...or as F slade said, go military..those guys were getting a 20k signing bonus (which equals what the current pay SHOULD be).....long story short...at this point, CTI schools are NOT worth it
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
Ok, so I was dead set on being a pilot, but with the economy and the industry going to ####, I don't want to invest the rest of my savings into something that may not work out for me in the end.

Anyway, I still have about 2 years of college to finish and I only obtained my PPL, which I would have done regardless of occupation choice. I also got my A&P while in the Air Force.

Now, I am thinking of switching from Embry-Riddle to Middle GA College into their ATC program.

Good idea or bad? It would be a hour drive each way for me everyday to go to school, but there is not many choices here.

I have been looking around all over the net and there is not nearly as much info for ATC as there is pilots.

My fiance was in ATC while in the Air Force and she got washed out getting her last rating. She had a ton of life problems at the time so I think she would have made it if there was not so much going on at home.

Now, I am thinking of giving it a shot, but I don't know if it's for me. I love Aviation, as shown by my A&P and PPL. I just don't have a good idea how the training is in the civilian world or if ATC is for me.

Is it even worth it to get the college degree in ATC management?
I am 26, I have enough time right?
How easy or difficult is it to get a job?
After you get the job how hard is it to keep?
Is it worth it for me or should I try to get into a different career?

Sorry for all the questions. I looked everywhere...
I guess the guys didn't read into this. I was (still technically am) a controller in the Air Force. If your wife is out, she could land a job too. She has more experience than 90% of the people getting picked up which says a lot. You want to go OTS, believe me. You don't want to go the military route, well because you were already in the Air Force. I'm not trying to start an argument, but you DO NOT need a degree to become an air traffic controller. Sure at first you don't get paid much, but the both of you together could very well make some great money and have an awesome job on the sillyvilian side of it where you don't have to deal with all the BS of the military. If you love aviation you will love this job. It is like aviation on crack, and you don't run the risk of death like when flying. As an AF comrade, I would advise you and your wife to apply ASAP, no pun intended. There is a lot of waiting, but the pay off will be worth it in about 5-10 years. If you need help on the way to go about doing it, private message me and I will help you out as much as possible.
 

GeorgeM

New Member
Apply now, take the AT-SAT aptitude test when it's offered. If you do well, go for it. If you score less than 85%, maybe ATC isn't for you.
 

rostato

New Member
Wow, seriously, thank all of you for the replies! My fiance is now an RN nurse with her BSN degree. She is not doing the air traffic thing at all.

I guess I will look into applying.

Go to the FAA website for that?
 

rostato

New Member
HAHA! I have my PPL as well and completely understand! Since you have two years of college completed and depending on how long you've been working prior to that you should be fine with the MIN requirements. I was also pursuing the pilot career and have a B.S. in Aeronautical Sciences and after a series of events I found the PUBNAT2 and have been completely excited about the prospects of ATC. Alot of my college friends are coming to grips with the term "Furlough" and starting to worry about it happening to them. I agree with Svrif and go ahead and throw your hat in the ring an hang out here, you'll find almost all the answers your looking for!
What the hell is PUBNAT2
 
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