Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that aircraft stay safe distances apart.
Air traffic controllers work in control towers, approach control facilities, or route centers. Their work can be stressful because total concentration is required at all times. Night, weekend, and rotating shifts are common.
A prospective air traffic controller must be a U.S citizen. In addition, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree, or work experience, or a combination of education and experience totaling 3 years. There are medical and background checks to pass, along with exams and a course at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) academy.
The median annual wage for air traffic controllers was $122,950 in May 2015.
Employment of air traffic controllers is projected to decline 9 percent from 2014 to 2024. Most employment opportunities will result from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation.
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