CTI Applicant Process

PapaGolf

Trusted Member
Jun 18, 2009
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A little something I created to help some of our CTI students & graduates understand the FAA-Air Traffic Control Specialist - Trainee application/employment process via a CTI announcement.

It is a generalized "Flow-chart" that shows an overview of the application process from AT-SAT to OKC/FAA Facility.. I tried to avoid going into too much detail, there could easily be an entire seperate flow-chart for the TOL paperwork process.. and training at OKC.. etc..

Attached image goes along with this textual description..

One avenue to become an air traffic controller within the Federal Aviation Administration is the Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) program.:p As of 2011 the FAA recognizes 36 schools throughout the nation in the CTI program. Once you are scheduled for graduation, you must take and pass the AT-SAT test.:p If you do not pass this test, you cannot work for the FAA.:p If you do pass this test and successfully graduate your respective CTI school, you may apply to the FAA via a CTI announcement. These job announcements are only available to applicants that attended and passed a CTI school and AT-SAT test.:p You may re-take the AT-SAT test once every year from the date you originally took the test on. If you fail the AT-SAT test a second time, you may not apply under a CTI vacancy announcement. You must apply via another means (if available) and retake the AT-SAT at the appropriate time. You will have three years from the time you graduate your CTI school or prior to your 31st birthday, to apply with the FAA under a CTI vacancy announcement.:p If you miss the three year timeline, you may request a one year extension within 60 calendar days of your three year timeline.:p You may continue to apply for one year extensions until your 31st birthday.

AT-SAT testing is generally conducted in the Spring and Fall of each year. The FAA contracts out this service to a private company who contacts you via e-mail near your projected CTI Graduation Date, in order to schedule your AT-SAT testing date and location. The test is paid for by the FAA.

The Federal Aviation Administration fiscal year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th of each calendar year.

Normally there will be what is called a “rolling” CTI vacancy announcement available for CTI applicants to apply to all fiscal year long (or for some extended period of time based on the needs of the FAA). Applicants select two geographic preferences (states) on their application. During this announcement’s availability Referral Lists for Centralized Selection Panels can be generated at any time, in order to collect Submitted applications for employment consideration. You may be referred for one, both, or none of your states based solely on whether or not the facilities within that state are projected to have a need for new controllers and whether or not your application meets the minimum requirements for the vacancy announcement.

Generally there are 2-4 Centralized Selection Panels scheduled each fiscal year. CSPs meet in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.:p The selection panel is made up of various FAA managers at facilities across the United States.:p A representative from Washington, D.C. for the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Workforce Hiring and Staffing will meet the panel of managers in Oklahoma City and give them direction on making selections.:p Over the course of one week the panel takes ALL the applications that were referred to the various states and starts making selections. This includes applicants from ALL available vacancy announcements including Veterans Readjustment Appointment Applicants (VRA), Retired Military Controllers (RMC), Current and Prior Civilian Air Traffic Controllers (REINST), Collegiate Training Initiative Applicants (CTI), Control Tower Operator Applicants (CTO), and Public Announcement/Off the Street Applicants (PUBNAT/OTS).
They base their selections on numerous factors, one being whether your AT-SAT score fell into the Qualified (70.0—84.9) or Well-Qualified (85.0—100.0) category.


AVIATOR WEBSITE: https://jobs.faa.gov/AVIATOR

Federal Aviation Administration
Aviation Careers Division
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73169
Phone: 405-954—4657
feel free to suggest changes, or point out errors to me.
Thank you.
 

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alzy

Senior Analyst
Jan 21, 2010
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The only suggestion I have is that you can take your AT SAT after graduation as well (for the flow chart). Great work though, thanks
 

PapaGolf

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Jun 18, 2009
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That's right Alzy, I guess I made it AT-SAT --> then Graduate as most are invited to take the test prior to their Projected CTI Graduation Date. I'll add that to the text description.. Thanks!
 

PapaGolf

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Jun 18, 2009
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^^exactly. :)

I also should update the "Accept" choice after Tentative Offer Letter to BLUE as you must ACCEPT the TOL and start your paperwork prior to 31st birthday, being offered one and denying it will not "freeze" your age. But that should be obvious.
 

PapaGolf

Trusted Member
Jun 18, 2009
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Also, on the Flow Chart...
I don't know why anyone WOULD Deny a Final Offer Letter after having coming that far in the process, but I believe if one does you don't have to go back to the TOL phase of the process? rather just go back to waiting for another FOL.. I should change that line on the flow chart to reflect this.

P.S. webmaster person.. I cannot edit posts? sends me to error with webpage. =(
 

alzy

Senior Analyst
Jan 21, 2010
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Also, on the Flow Chart...
I don't know why anyone WOULD Deny a Final Offer Letter after having coming that far in the process, but I believe if one does you don't have to go back to the TOL phase of the process? rather just go back to waiting for another FOL.. I should change that line on the flow chart to reflect this.

P.S. webmaster person.. I cannot edit posts? sends me to error with webpage. =(
I have a friend who denied their FOL this past year (November if I remember correct) for Kansas. They'd held a TOL for almost two years and when they got the FOL they'd moved onto a new career and were happy doing what they were doing so they denied the FOL and retracted their application.
 

alzy

Senior Analyst
Jan 21, 2010
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Our CTI class took the ATSAT prior to our graduation.
I certainly agree with the statement that most (probably greater than 95%) of those who take the ATSAT as a CTI student take it prior to graduation. However, it is not always done prior. I was merely pointing out this fact so that the chart could be more accurate. I don't think that it is imperative that this is changed, just thought it may give one or two of those out there who are wondering if the can get the ATSAT done after graduation their answer. Sometimes there are students who transfer into the CTI late into their program or studies and are able to graduate before the chance to take the ATSAT occurs. This at least lets them know that they can transfer, graduate and then take the ATSAT without worrying about a major delay to their graduation date. They will not recieve the CTI recommendation before they take the ATSAT of course, but they will still be able to earn a degree and go out into the job market with that knowledge so that they can find a job to hold them over for the 2 or so years that would most likely be needed before they land an ATC position.
 
Feb 9, 2009
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Has anyone ever been invited to take the AT-SAT, passed it, and then not finished the CTI program, and gotten hired by the FAA? Where do they actually check to see that you are a CTI graduate?
 

alzy

Senior Analyst
Jan 21, 2010
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Has anyone ever been invited to take the AT-SAT, passed it, and then not finished the CTI program, and gotten hired by the FAA? Where do they actually check to see that you are a CTI graduate?
I believe (though I haven't been picked yet) that you are required to show your transcripts during the clearances portion (TOL - FOL)
 

N813JB

Trusted Member
Feb 22, 2010
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Has anyone ever been invited to take the AT-SAT, passed it, and then not finished the CTI program, and gotten hired by the FAA? Where do they actually check to see that you are a CTI graduate?
CTI grads apply under CTI announcements. The only way to apply under a CTI announcement is to enter the right CTI code for that announcement. The only way to get that CTI code is via email from the FAA. The only way to get that email from the FAA is if your school sends a letter of recommendation to the FAA. Finally, the only way the school will send a letter, is obviously passing the program and graduating.

Alzy is also right.

Now there is the other scenario where those who took the ATSAT while CTI, applied OTS and were hired.
 

lmh9888

Newcomer
Feb 1, 2010
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CTI grads apply under CTI announcements. The only way to apply under a CTI announcement is to enter the right CTI code for that announcement. The only way to get that CTI code is via email from the FAA. The only way to get that email from the FAA is if your school sends a letter of recommendation to the FAA. Finally, the only way the school will send a letter, is obviously passing the program and graduating.
That's exactly how my process worked last year. Your school must contact the FAA to let them know you are recommended as a CTI graduate. This is also why we can't apply in our last semester with a projected graduation date, even with the AT-SAT already completed. My school requested that after graduation we email a staff member who is an FAA coordinator and tell her that we still wish to be recommended, and in turn she forwarded our information on. I have been told by my school that our official transcripts will be requested after selection but prior to interview, and can only be sent by the university which is another means for them to verify actual graduation.
 

kmpotere

Newcomer
Jan 11, 2011
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Boston, MA
Hey... new here and wasn't sure where to ask this. I've filled out the CTI application a few times, now, updating my jobs and whatnot, and I don't remember a section or a question asking a preference for Terminal or En Route facilities. I also don't remember a comment section asking for facility preferences within the selected state. I'm not being picky, I was just curious. I saw somewhere (and for the life of me, I can't find it now) a picture of what they see during the panels for if the applicant is Q or WQ, etc. and it looked like both the Terminal or En Route question and preferences within the state were on there. I was just wondering. I'll take the first thing they offer me, of course... anything to get me out of retail and my mom's basement! :) Thanks for the help!
 

Charlie_Foxtrot

Trusted Contributor
Jan 11, 2011
534
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Chicago
Hey... new here and wasn't sure where to ask this. I've filled out the CTI application a few times, now, updating my jobs and whatnot, and I don't remember a section or a question asking a preference for Terminal or En Route facilities. I also don't remember a comment section asking for facility preferences within the selected state. I'm not being picky, I was just curious. I saw somewhere (and for the life of me, I can't find it now) a picture of what they see during the panels for if the applicant is Q or WQ, etc. and it looked like both the Terminal or En Route question and preferences within the state were on there. I was just wondering. I'll take the first thing they offer me, of course... anything to get me out of retail and my mom's basement! :) Thanks for the help!
There isn't a section on the CTI application to choose your preference or leave comments. The picture you are referring to is from an old OTS panel. We just have to take what we can get!
 

atcer7787

Rookie
Jul 8, 2010
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If you fail the AT-SAT you can retake it after a year. If you don't fail it, you cannot retake it. It's a really stupid rule, but the CTI schools are trying to change it.

Also, I've been left with the understanding that the panels do not actually see your score, but the WQ's and Q's are in order from best score and on down. They have to pick a WQ over a Q, unless they can provide a good reason for not doing so.

Since I am not a member of the panel, this information is not guaranteed, but this is what I have been told by many people at school and at various facilities.

Thanks PapaGolf for the good info!
I guess it depends on who you talk to in the agency because many say that Q scores can be replaced by retaking the atsat. I have heard the opposite as well, so maybe its a case by case basis.