Overseas Benefits

flyin316

Newcomer
Nov 21, 2010
9
0
1
I've heard that working as a controller overseas carries with it a great number of benefits, financially speaking. Can anyone expand on this?
 

dfiantii

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2009
156
0
16
Depends on where you go. Financially speaking the pay is good with some companies and great with others. PM me if you want specifics on wages.
 

MikeATC

Retired FAA, NATCA Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,230
3
38
Nashville TN
I've heard that working as a controller overseas carries with it a great number of benefits, financially speaking. Can anyone expand on this?
Do you mean other than the 6 day work weeks and 8 to 10 hour days, 110 degree weather, dust storms, and often over cooked food?

The pay can range from $70K to over $140K depending on where you work, as for taxes, to enjoy the $92K of tax free income you must be out of the States for 330 days out of the year. If your 330 consist of two years (ex. April 2010 to April 2011) then the tax free income is pro-rated by the amount of time in each year you were out of country. If your 330 days is all in the same year then you enjoy the full $92K, BUT if you have any other income they then tax you at the higher income rate (they total all you income then determine your tax rate).

Depending on the company you may only get one R&R per contract year or you may receive 2 or more R&R periods.
 

flyin316

Newcomer
Nov 21, 2010
9
0
1
Thanks so much for the information. I am in the CTI program at beaver right now, and will apply for the FAA when I graduate, but I'm obviously considering overseas as well. I've tried doing a little bit of research on the subject but I can't seem to find much on how one goes about even getting started with the application process for overseas. I've heard the names ITT, WCG, DynCorp, KBR, and Midwest tossed out in other forums. Are these contractors that one would apply for in order to work as a controller overseas? I also get the impression that you need military experience to apply, which I do not have. Any word on that?
 

mikecoyne34

Senior Analyst
Nov 19, 2009
818
0
16
D10
Not necessarily military experience, but they do require you having held a CTO for a certain amount of time. The time required varies by company.

With just a CTI I think you're only bet for ATC is going to be with the FAA.
 

flyin316

Newcomer
Nov 21, 2010
9
0
1
I won't get too caught up in the politics of it all (frankly, because I don't know much of it) but beaver used to give all the terminal students their CTO before graduation. Now they have stopped, but are waiting on some other issues to get it started again, or so I'm told. Beside the point, what say you if I get a job with the FAA and put in a good five years at a facility in the US. Would it be possible to hop over to a contractor then?
 

mikecoyne34

Senior Analyst
Nov 19, 2009
818
0
16
D10
Sure it's possible, and if that's what you want go for it. Personally I think I'd work for the FAA until retirement then chase the contract money, if it's still there.
 

MikeATC

Retired FAA, NATCA Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,230
3
38
Nashville TN
The majority of the contractors require you to have at least three years experience working traffic with a CTO, so it would be about impossible for you to get hired with only completing a CTI program.

On another note, the majority of the Afghanistan and Iraq controller jobs are going to be gone within a few years as things start winding down over here.
 

deon

Junior Member
Dec 27, 2008
100
0
16
Kuwait
The Mikes are spot on. If you get into the FAA, the benefits package is so much better so you would want to stay with them. Also, if you are decent and can get moved to a high level facility the money is almost as good anyway plus you build towards retirement.

If you can't go FAA and get a stateside contract gig that you don't like then you can chase the money.
 

mjh55404

Senior Analyst
Jul 3, 2009
996
0
16
OKC
ZOA had a guy quit this 160K gig to go contract overseas and came back less than 6 months later.... Got sent to new area so now he has to train in a whole new area as punishment.
 

MikeATC

Retired FAA, NATCA Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,230
3
38
Nashville TN
Not everyone can handle/put up with, incoming rockets, mortars, or once in a long while ground attack, let alone the high paced tactical enviroment, austere living conditions, 110 degree constantly dusty conditions, and over cooked military meals all for a measly $140K.

And to think I retired for this.