Air Traffic Controllers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Access Control Specialist
  • Aircraft Communicator
  • Airline Dispatcher
  • Airport Tower Controller
  • Airport Traffic Controller
  • Air Route Controller
  • Air Route Traffic Controller
  • Air Traffic Controller (ATC)
  • Air Traffic Controller, Center
  • Air Traffic Controller (Enroute Option)
View All

What They Do

  • Inform pilots about nearby planes or potentially hazardous conditions, such as weather, speed and direction of wind, or visibility problems.
  • Issue landing and take-off authorizations or instructions.
  • Provide flight path changes or directions to emergency landing fields for pilots traveling in bad weather or in emergency situations.
  • Transfer control of departing flights to traffic control centers and accept control of arriving flights.
  • Alert airport emergency services in cases of emergency or when aircraft are experiencing difficulties.
  • Monitor or direct the movement of aircraft within an assigned air space or on the ground at airports to minimize delays and maximize safety.
  • Direct pilots to runways when space is available or direct them to maintain a traffic pattern until there is space for them to land.
  • Monitor aircraft within a specific airspace, using radar, computer equipment, or visual references.
  • Direct ground traffic, including taxiing aircraft, maintenance or baggage vehicles, or airport workers.
  • Contact pilots by radio to provide meteorological, navigational, or other information.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: EC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Enterprising interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Working Conditions and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2018, the average annual wage in Kansas City, MO-KS was $125,140 with most people making between $65,320 and $163,300

Outlook

4.85%
avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 103 people in Kansas City, MO-KS. It is projected that there will be 113 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 5 openings due to growth and about 5 replacement openings for approximately 10 total annual openings.



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