Air Traffic Controllers

Military Career

General Information

Description

Air traffic controllers direct the movement of aircraft into and out of military airfields. They track aircraft using navigational aids. They coordinate and communicate aircraft movement information as well as weather and airfield conditions. They also provide critical information to direct the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations.  

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Work Environment

Air traffic controllers work in land-based and shipboard control centers.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Comparable Industries

  • Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
  • Support Activities for Air Transportation
  • Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required
  • Officer
    • Managerial/professional
    • College degree required

Military Workforce

Air Traffic Controllers in the Military

20,792

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Salary

Average Salary

$65,492

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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • High school 36%
  • Bachelor's degree 20%
  • Post-secondary certificate 20%
  • Associate's degree 14%
  • Some college 5%
  • Post baccalaureate 1%
  • Less than high school 1%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

Military training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Air traffic controllers will gain skills through classes and on-the-job experience. Training content varies by specialty (e.g., those stationed on aircraft carriers), and may include: Air traffic control fundamentalsVisual and instrument flight proceduresTake-off, landing, and ground control proceduresAircraft recognitionCommunication and radar procedures

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Knowledge

  • Transportation
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Geography

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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