Changing Specialty

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  1. #1
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    Changing Specialty

    I appreciate this is probably a silly question, but I just received my firm offer letter today, and I am wondering if there is any way or someone to talk to that can change their specialty? I was an active duty controller for 5 years and did much better in the tower than in the radar room (had ground, TD/CD, and CC in the tower with only RFC and RFD in the radar room). And if you cannot change your specialty before the schoolhouse, what are the odds of being able to change it as you near the end? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    If you already have your FOL it is highly unlikely that you can change. You definitely cannot change at the end of the Academy... Enroute and Terminal are two completely separate courses. However should you pass the Academy and certify at your facility you can then request a transfer to any facility you want.

  3. #3
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    People have sometimes been offered a switch, usually if they have been kept waiting for some time as a way of expediting their entry to the Agency while allowing HR to fill its quota for one side of ATC or the other. But it's much more frequently the case that they aren't.

    One of the worst things a prior-service hire can do for himself in training is to assume that his previous training and experience are all that relevant to what he will end up doing in the FAA. You didn't have all that much experience in your RAPCON. But even if you had, the en route environment is not much like it. Frankly, the busiest military towers or radar approaches would probably be ATC-7s or ATC-8s at most. The en route training program is set up for people with zero experience, and if you treat yourself as such and work hard, you can do well.

  4. #4
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    I appreciate the input, my only defense of my tower experience is it was at MCAS Miramar, which is an ATC-7 equivalent, which is why I figured my tower experience would be more applicable, but I do agree there is a lot that I have yet to learn on both sides of the terminal/enroute split.

  5. #5
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    When I was called and offered a FOL, since I was picked for en route I was given the option to switch to tower


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    Expand your horizon. En route has some really neat decision support technology (URET) that is far ahead of tower/tracons. Tuck your terminal experience away and open your mind.

  7. #7
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    Re: Changing Specialty

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDATM View Post
    Expand your horizon. En route has some really neat decision support technology (URET) that is far ahead of tower/tracons. Tuck your terminal experience away and open your mind.
    URET is no longer the system used since the upgrade to ERAM.
    It's now called EDST (or EDSTS?).

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