FAA plans to hire and train 6,000 new air traffic controllers during the next five years.

FAA Taking Applications for Air Traffic Controllers

Administrator Michael Huerta said the agency plans to hire and train more than 6,000 new air traffic control specialists during the next five years.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday began accepting applications for new air traffic controllers to fill positions across the United States, and it will accept them through at least March 28. "The Air Traffic Control Specialist's job isn't just any other day in the office. It's a career where you’ll have the chance to save lives through proactive approaches to aviation safety. You'll also operate new procedures that enhance efficiency and emissions, which help protect our environment," the agency's announcement stated.

It says this is "the most exciting time in FAA’s history. We operate the busiest and most complex airspace system in the world. . . . Every day of the year, and especially on holidays, more than 15,000 federal controllers at 315 FAA air traffic facilities are on the job, guiding more than 87,000 flights every day across our national airspace system. Do you have what it takes to help us control the skies?"

The job's minimum requirements are:

  • Being a United States citizen
  • Starting at the FAA Academy no later than your 31st birthday
  • Passing a medical examination
  • Passing a security investigation
  • Having three years of progressively responsible work experience, or a bachelor's degree, or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years
  • Passing the FAA air traffic pre-employment tests
  • Speaking English clearly enough to be understood over communications equipment

No previous air traffic controller experience or a specialized technical degree is require. "The FAA will provide rigorous, specialized training to ensure that qualified candidates are ready to perform capably and responsibly. Be sure to read the requirements for consideration. If you don't meet the minimum education or experience requirements at this time, know that we plan to hire and train more than 6,000 new air traffic control specialists during the next five years," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta wrote, adding that FAA recruiters will host a virtual career fair on March 25.

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