DOD vs FAA

"Y"-Code

Junior Member
May 18, 2017
88
0
6
I came from 3 years in the DOD to now 2 years in the FAA. I have made H band, and now I'm waiting for 1 year till I'm eligible for I. From talking to everyone I meet, the only way to make more money as an ATSS is to move up to an I band, or get an in and pay raise. As H's We are technically GS 12 equivalents, but in the beginning dont get paid as such.

My question is, in your opinion based on working for the DOD and the FAA, which do you feel is better?

5 people i know, myself included, coming from GS and WG in DOD think that the FAA is hands down way better in terms of quality of life, less bureaucracy, and union backing amongst other things.

Sometimes DOD has flashy overseas jobs which are GS-11 with housing and cola, but I worry that I will regret jumping the FAA ship and taking orders again.

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Flightcheck86

Newcomer
Nov 5, 2017
11
0
1
BLUF: FAA has better pay and more available promotions. Happiness at either really depends on coworkers opstempo and supervision.

I’m currently DOD (Air Force) as an 11 and I’m waiting for my start date with the FAA. I did spend several years while active duty in flight check at Mike Monroney working with the FAA daily.

Here’s my point of view. My current job for the Air Force is pretty freaking awesome. I’m in an all civilian work center in an almost 85% civilian OSS squadron. But you know, all bases are different.

Moneywise. I’m at 65yr. My negotiates starting pay with FAA is G band 78yr with locality which will put me at 85yr with H band.
(I specifically negotiated to the GS12 step 1 salary in the locality I’m going to.. but I also have have a lot of experience and a Masters, Bachelors and Associates degree.)

Air Force, the only way to promote to 12 is to be the supervisor. 13 you’d have to be a MAJCOM functional. FAA I’ll be at 13 pay range within 5 years.

Air Force has a huge problem keeping controllers and ATCALS guys Bc they all can leave and make 20% more money with the FAA.

What the Air Force does have though is the sense of “brotherhood” and the air craft are cooler. Plus no one on a base cares about a profit. Ie airlines.
 

"Y"-Code

Junior Member
May 18, 2017
88
0
6
BLUF: FAA has better pay and more available promotions. Happiness at either really depends on coworkers opstempo and supervision.

I’m currently DOD (Air Force) as an 11 and I’m waiting for my start date with the FAA. I did spend several years while active duty in flight check at Mike Monroney working with the FAA daily.

Here’s my point of view. My current job for the Air Force is pretty freaking awesome. I’m in an all civilian work center in an almost 85% civilian OSS squadron. But you know, all bases are different.

Moneywise. I’m at 65yr. My negotiates starting pay with FAA is G band 78yr with locality which will put me at 85yr with H band.
(I specifically negotiated to the GS12 step 1 salary in the locality I’m going to.. but I also have have a lot of experience and a Masters, Bachelors and Associates degree.)

Air Force, the only way to promote to 12 is to be the supervisor. 13 you’d have to be a MAJCOM functional. FAA I’ll be at 13 pay range within 5 years.

Air Force has a huge problem keeping controllers and ATCALS guys Bc they all can leave and make 20% more money with the FAA.

What the Air Force does have though is the sense of “brotherhood” and the air craft are cooler. Plus no one on a base cares about a profit. Ie airlines.
Nice! I'm happy for you. In my case I actually took a 3 grand a year pay cut from Air Force WG11 step 3 to G, then recouped my loss plus a few grand when I made H. The sad thing is my district seems to low ball. Even with my pay cut, I still make more then 2 of my fellow techs.

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SMS

Trusted Member
Oct 28, 2014
394
2
18
Hands down FAA. I left the FAA as a G 856 for a WG-11 in DoD and got out of there as soon as I got my offer to become a 2101.

Lots of the guys who bitch about our pay think everyone who touches electronics in DoD is a GS-12 but they are mistaken. Yeah it kinda sucks to top out as an H but there are opportunities to move up. It’s not like DoD hands out 13’s like candy lol.
 

chuckw

Rookie
Jul 30, 2015
35
0
6
Current DoD 11 about to max out next year...ZERO step increases for the remainder of my 16 years until my planned retirement date. My supervisor is a 12 and not much older than I am, so he'll be here a while. I'm looking at the FAA for more of a chance of upward mobility. I work in a great place and get paid well. Lots of "left hand not talking to right hand", everyone has built their empire and they don't speak to the other empires. Also my supervisor's supervisor seems to have it out for us for no apparent reason. I figure I will stay put and keep applying for what I want until it happens.
 

SOBS

Rookie
Sep 22, 2008
25
0
1
DOD if you like to Play with Weapon systems, attacking locations, coordinate seizing airports, train soldiers, separate and sequence missiles, attack aircraft, artillery and helicopter operations and just play with bang bangs all day. I'm prior Infantry that switched over to ATC in the early 90s after the 1st Gulf War so I'm addicted to Live Fire Operations. Besides that the FAA is a lot better overall and quality of life is a lot better. I have lots of friends who have gone to the Dark Side I could never give up the toys.

:)
 

SMS

Trusted Member
Oct 28, 2014
394
2
18
DOD if you like to Play with Weapon systems, attacking locations, coordinate seizing airports, train soldiers, separate and sequence missiles, attack aircraft, artillery and helicopter operations and just play with bang bangs all day. I'm prior Infantry that switched over to ATC in the early 90s after the 1st Gulf War so I'm addicted to Live Fire Operations. Besides that the FAA is a lot better overall and quality of life is a lot better. I have lots of friends who have gone to the Dark Side I could never give up the toys.

:)
Many civilian electronics tech type jobs in the DoD have nothing to do with the fun stuff you mentioned.