CTO Schools?

DFlight94

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Feb 19, 2013
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Just curious to see if anyone knows if there are any CTO schools out there other than the 3 I know of.

- Community College of Beaver County (PA)
- Advanced ATC (GA)
- Schenectady Community College (NY)

I'm thinking if I don't get in on this bid then going to one of the schools and earning my CTO or going and applying to a ramp tower position. I know the 52 week rule but there is always a chance to work at the institutions tower for the time you need before applying for another position with a contract tower.

23 years old
- CTI Graduate
- Took the BQ once
- Have taken the AT-SA 2 times
- Hoping this third time is the charm...
 

Genot

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Feb 7, 2010
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A Dark Dark Room
Just to clarify, CCBC is CTI school that offers CTOs to it's terminal option students. Things may have changed, but when i went through it wasn't a big program. Maybe 16 slots for terminal and 16 for enroute. Banking on a CTO from there is a huge gamble. Even then the only people from there i know who got contact jobs were hired as graduate instructors in the tower there before moving to he real contact towers.
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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AATC currently has 3, soon to be 4, towers that they staff with their graduates (VLD, GYI, TME, EDC). I wasn't a student, but I did work at one of their towers and we had a steady stream of graduates come through in the two years I was there. I believe the program cost is around $50k, but as long as you can do the job, you'll get offered a position at one of those locations. Put in your time and then go FAA or federal contract.
 

DFlight94

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Feb 19, 2013
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AATC currently has 3, soon to be 4, towers that they staff with their graduates (VLD, GYI, TME, EDC). I wasn't a student, but I did work at one of their towers and we had a steady stream of graduates come through in the two years I was there. I believe the program cost is around $50k, but as long as you can do the job, you'll get offered a position at one of those locations. Put in your time and then go FAA or federal contract.
how did you get a spot in one of their towers if you weren't a student? i thought students only got offered the positions. I went through Kent state and got my bachelors degree and all of my CTI requirements done, I wonder if they will take me and get me in as a CTO in training to get my cert and go contract so I am out of their hair? I already have my debt to college and do not need more :D
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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I went to a similar type school back in 2010 at the same tower and I knew a couple of the controllers that were leaving and the ATM at the time, so I kind of lucked into the spot honestly. I doubt they would go for something like that bc at the end of the day it's a business that the guy is running. He's not getting a whole lot of ROI with that method. If you already had a CTO, it would be an easier task with a little networking, but with just the CTI degree, it'll be an uphill battle. It doesn't hurt to call the managers and chat with them about it though, you never know. I had been trying to get into a tower since 2010, but unfortunately didn't have the required time post certification that all the federal contractors want. I lucked out in 2015 when the FAA started putting out the prior experience bids and everyone was getting hired, so I was able to snag a spot. Now I'm in the FAA. Just takes time. If you can't/don't want to go into more debt and depending on your age, maybe check out the air guard or active duty air force/navy/marines. I'm sure they have some school debt repayment you can take advantage of. You could also look into ramp controller positions or get your dispatch certification. Friend of mine worked (dispatcher) at a regional for 1 year, then got hired on at SWA and he loves it. The perks, pay and schedule is actually really nice and sometimes I wonder if I should have just pursued dispatching after I got my cert back in 2012. Any other questions, feel free to ask.
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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I think it differs by location but it's not much. High teens? One guy I worked with sucked it up for about 6 months and then left for serco, so it just depends on how bad you want it and your situation (family, etc). He was a single guy so it was easy for him to just hop around.
 

DFlight94

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Feb 19, 2013
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I think it differs by location but it's not much. High teens? One guy I worked with sucked it up for about 6 months and then left for serco, so it just depends on how bad you want it and your situation (family, etc). He was a single guy so it was easy for him to just hop around.
Honestly, that's probably what I would do as well. Suck it up for the time I need and then apply with the contractors and see who has the best option for location. Also, while working there for those weeks, have a part time job to have some extra income to make sure I have things paid that need to be.
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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You’re looking at mid 20’s for experienced controller. Unless you’re dead set on the area, you’re much better off going federal contract. They’re overall meant to be stepping stone towers for their students, so the pay is going to be low no matter what. That keeps the revolving door spinning and opening spots for new grads. I think the atm’s were only getting $28-30/hr.
 

NayNay

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Feb 27, 2018
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Did you end up getting any other information on this? I am curious to hear more about Schenectady..
 

NovemberEcho

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Dec 8, 2010
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Long Island
There’s a guy that used(?) to be on here that got his CTO from here. I haven’t heard from him in a while but last I knew he was applying to OTS bids cause just having a CTO with no post cert experience wasn’t getting him anywhere.
 

freakfly23

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Aug 28, 2014
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I am a recent grad and current employee of Advanced ATC in Valdosta, Ga if you guys have any questions.
 

FL_CTI

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Oct 8, 2009
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Colorado
I am a recent grad and current employee of Advanced ATC in Valdosta, Ga if you guys have any questions.

The CTO schools have received a bad rep on these boards in years past. I am already in the Agency so I don't have a dog in this fight, but can you outline your experience with the school? Are you currently working as a controller somewhere? What can you tell us?
 

freakfly23

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Aug 28, 2014
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Advanced ATC runs the tower at Valdosta regional. after graduating with my CTO, I was offered a job both working the tower and doing table tops at the school. More experienced instructors work with students on the 1 shift in the morning and early afternoon and I close the tower working independently. My experience was an overall positive one as I received my CTO and am now making a living as an air traffic controller. That said, I don't plan to stay here longer than is necessary to get picked up by the FAA or offered a contact job elsewhere.