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Air Traffic Controller

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Role Description

Air traffic controllers manage an aircraft through all aspects of its flight, taking responsibility for the aircraft’s safety and ensuring that it lands and takes off on time. You’ll use highly sophisticated radar and radio communication equipment to communicate advice, information and instructions to pilots.
The majority of air traffic controllers work within area control centres, with just some working from control towers at airports. The role carries considerable responsibility and requires excellent concentration.

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Starting training: £17,000. Completed training: £37,014 to £41,253. Senior controllers: around £97,866.

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Typically work 37 and 40 hour weeks, spread out over days, nights, weekends and public holidays. Shift work is used to ensure the control is manned 24/7.

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Limited progression between the specific disciplines of air traffic control as training undertaken is specific to the exact role and very expensive.

Skills Valued by Employers

  • Motivation and endurance
  • Conscientiousness and rule adherence
  • Decisiveness and confidence
  • Error and spatial awareness
  • Information processing capability
  • An openness to learning and development
  • Planning, decision making and problem solving
  • Team work
  • Candidates must also meet certain medical requirements
  • An ability to respond quickly in emergency situations
  • Good oral communication skills


Professional Institutes