Best Route for ATC

JLombardo

Newcomer
Sep 25, 2018
2
0
1
Hello,

So I've been looking through forums and articles for awhile now trying to figure out the optimal route for a position with the FAA. If there's one thing I've figured out for sure it's that it's not an easy process and there's truly no way of guaranteeing an ATC job with the FAA. That being said, It's a career I'm hell bent on getting into and want to do what it takes to give myself the best possible chances of doing so. It seems to me that my best options are either going into the ANG under an ATC position, serving my time until i get my experience and hoping to get deployed so that I can apply for the VRA bid. Or attending the Advanced ATC school in Georgia to obtain my CTO and then getting hired onto one of their four towers for the 52 weeks needed to apply for the previous experience bid. Thank you in advanced for any advice and or help.
 

jdatc624

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2010
161
2
18
Center/center/tracon
www.youtube.com
Hello,

So I've been looking through forums and articles for awhile now trying to figure out the optimal route for a position with the FAA. If there's one thing I've figured out for sure it's that it's not an easy process and there's truly no way of guaranteeing an ATC job with the FAA. That being said, It's a career I'm hell bent on getting into and want to do what it takes to give myself the best possible chances of doing so. It seems to me that my best options are either going into the ANG under an ATC position, serving my time until i get my experience and hoping to get deployed so that I can apply for the VRA bid. Or attending the Advanced ATC school in Georgia to obtain my CTO and then getting hired onto one of their four towers for the 52 weeks needed to apply for the previous experience bid. Thank you in advanced for any advice and or help.
Some of this depends how old you are, and how much money you have to burn.

If you are past the midpoint of your 20’s things are a lot different.

If you are really late 20’s and have lots of cash to burn, Advanced ATC makes more sense b cause of FAA hiring cutoffs...

if if you are 21, broke, and still want ATC, the military or waiting and hoping for an OTS bid makes sense....
 

JLombardo

Newcomer
Sep 25, 2018
2
0
1
I'm 24, I definitely don't have lots of cash to burn but if I can get a career in ATC I'd feel decent enough about paying off the loans for school. I don't want to do an active duty stint with the military but was looking more so into the Air National Guard. I do plan on applying to any of the OTS bids but from what I've read up on those it's more akin to playing the lottery than any actual chance of getting hired on. I just want to increase my chances with the other bids with the most logical choice of doing so.
 

freakfly23

Rookie
Aug 28, 2014
26
1
3
My friend is ATC for the Navy reserves and he doesn't actually do ATC. How can you get checked out in a tower and maintain proficiency one week a month? Advanced ATC is a viable option. I graduated back in November and now work for them. I will be eligible for direct hire early next year. I'm making a living in ATC right now, not possibly in the next few years if the FAA accepts my application. Call Monica Cunningham at 866-938-0398 for questions and to schedule a tour. What do you have to lose?
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
33
48
WV
If there's one thing I've figured out for sure it's that it's not an easy process and there's truly no way of guaranteeing an ATC job with the FAA.
I'm glad you get this. There will always be a lot more applicants than openings, so luck is a big part of anyone's path to the FAA.

It seems to me that my best options are either going into the ANG under an ATC position, serving my time until i get my experience and hoping to get deployed so that I can apply for the VRA bid.
It's nice work if you can get it, but according to my ANG friends when I hired in, that line is long and your deployment is uncertain.

If you really want to work as a 2152 in the FAA, I would give serious thought to one four-year, active-duty Air Force enlistment with 1C1 guaranteed. I do not suggest the Navy or the Marine Corps, because of how long you might have to wait to amass the certifications that FAA HR wants to see. With the Air Force, you will complete BMT in two months, ATC technical school in a similar period and then move on to a first assignment where you will have the opportunity to certify in either a tower or radar facility (or else move on to another career field if you are unsuccessful). There are non-RAPCON radar facilities in the Air Force which will be unhelpful to you from a FAA hiring perspective, but if you do well enough in your class at tech school, you should have enough choices to avoid that.

Doing this will do a number of things for you. One, it will cost you nothing but your time, which you will have to spend anyway to get where you want to be. Two, it will push back the point of aging out of an FAA job announcement to 36 from 31. Three, it will open up the possibility of DoD 2152 jobs, giving you the widest possible eligibility for ATC jobs if you can't get hired by the FAA on the timeline you prefer. Four, it gives you veterans' preference, and those points will be with you for every federal civilian job you apply to, even after you're in the FAA.

No matter what you decide, if you're going to do it, get started now.
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
I'm glad you get this. There will always be a lot more applicants than openings, so luck is a big part of anyone's path to the FAA.



It's nice work if you can get it, but according to my ANG friends when I hired in, that line is long and your deployment is uncertain.

If you really want to work as a 2152 in the FAA, I would give serious thought to one four-year, active-duty Air Force enlistment with 1C1 guaranteed. I do not suggest the Navy or the Marine Corps, because of how long you might have to wait to amass the certifications that FAA HR wants to see. With the Air Force, you will complete BMT in two months, ATC technical school in a similar period and then move on to a first assignment where you will have the opportunity to certify in either a tower or radar facility (or else move on to another career field if you are unsuccessful). There are non-RAPCON radar facilities in the Air Force which will be unhelpful to you from a FAA hiring perspective, but if you do well enough in your class at tech school, you should have enough choices to avoid that.

Doing this will do a number of things for you. One, it will cost you nothing but your time, which you will have to spend anyway to get where you want to be. Two, it will push back the point of aging out of an FAA job announcement to 36 from 31. Three, it will open up the possibility of DoD 2152 jobs, giving you the widest possible eligibility for ATC jobs if you can't get hired by the FAA on the timeline you prefer. Four, it gives you veterans' preference, and those points will be with you for every federal civilian job you apply to, even after you're in the FAA.

No matter what you decide, if you're going to do it, get started now.
6 year enlistment is the min ATC enlistment for the Air Force. There are no radar facilities in the AF that don’t qualify you for prior-experiences FAA bids that you can go to without having previously been at a facility where you would be qualified
 

JayTango

Junior Member
Feb 21, 2016
110
0
16
I'm glad you get this. There will always be a lot more applicants than openings, so luck is a big part of anyone's path to the FAA.



It's nice work if you can get it, but according to my ANG friends when I hired in, that line is long and your deployment is uncertain.

If you really want to work as a 2152 in the FAA, I would give serious thought to one four-year, active-duty Air Force enlistment with 1C1 guaranteed. I do not suggest the Navy or the Marine Corps, because of how long you might have to wait to amass the certifications that FAA HR wants to see. With the Air Force, you will complete BMT in two months, ATC technical school in a similar period and then move on to a first assignment where you will have the opportunity to certify in either a tower or radar facility (or else move on to another career field if you are unsuccessful). There are non-RAPCON radar facilities in the Air Force which will be unhelpful to you from a FAA hiring perspective, but if you do well enough in your class at tech school, you should have enough choices to avoid that.

Doing this will do a number of things for you. One, it will cost you nothing but your time, which you will have to spend anyway to get where you want to be. Two, it will push back the point of aging out of an FAA job announcement to 36 from 31. Three, it will open up the possibility of DoD 2152 jobs, giving you the widest possible eligibility for ATC jobs if you can't get hired by the FAA on the timeline you prefer. Four, it gives you veterans' preference, and those points will be with you for every federal civilian job you apply to, even after you're in the FAA.

No matter what you decide, if you're going to do it, get started now.
Im not calling you out I just want this guy/gal has the most accurate info.
1. The USAF requires a 6 year contract for guaranteed ATC. BMT is 8ish weeks, ATC tech school is 72 academic days which was 3.5 months if you get through with minimal waiting for classes.
2. The non-RAPCONs are the GCAs and from what I’ve been hearing is that the AF doesn’t send 3-levels overseas constantly and every stateside RADAR facility is going to be a RAPCON.
3. You don’t only have to do well enough in your class to get your choices of assignments. The only way you have an influence is if you graduate at the top of your class with an average block test score of 95% or better. THEN you give instructors your top 3 choices and they submit it to who ever and even then it’s not completely guaranteed.
4. The age bump from 31-36 is correct and it takes off the pressure of those who joined later in life to make the jump from the AF to the FAA.
5. Yes, it’ll open up DoD possibilities, but your best bet are the contracting gigs. They’re always desperate. The contract towers stateside and the contract RAPCONs overseas that pay well.

One thing I am unsure of is the veterans preference.. it’s a mix because my old coworkers say they don’t have vet pref because they don’t have any deployments/a VA disability rating and some say they have a 0-pt preference just for being a vet. I’ll try to research it, but right now idk because I have a VA rating and receive 10-pt vets pref.

this is just my opinion on joining the AF, as much as I hated it my last 3 years in and complained my salty ass off... I wouldn’t change it for anything, I would probably join at 18 if I could instead. It’ll give you the education and experience you want, you’ll meet great people, and the 6 years fly by and boom you have an opportunity at ATC with the FAA. Good luck!
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
One thing I am unsure of is the veterans preference.. it’s a mix because my old coworkers say they don’t have vet pref because they don’t have any deployments/a VA disability rating and some say they have a 0-pt preference just for being a vet. I’ll try to research it, but right now idk because I have a VA rating and receive 10-pt vets pref.”

so so long as you are within 120 days of separation or already separated, you get 5 points vet pref. Disabled vet makes it 10 points. Deployments don’t mean anything.