Pursuit of Happiness

jeremiahj13

Rookie
Mar 7, 2014
27
0
1
Hello all. I failed this stupid BIOQ test 3 times now. The only career I ever dream about is doing ATC.... Currently I'm attending local university to get a degree in IT, but it's just for the sake of getting a degree and saving face. My true passion is ATC, and I am seriously thinking of just leaving my state (no colleges offer CTI in my state) to get my CTI so I can skip the stupid BIOQ.

I am 24 years and I can finish the CTI when I'm 26. Do you think that is the best route for me to go at this point?
 

corn4ahead

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2012
205
1
18
Seems like having a CTI degree is quite an advantage again. It might be your best bet. Maybe try inquiring about Advancrd ATC in GA. A guy at my facility went that route, worked in contact tower for a year then got picked up on prior experience bid.
 

slater

Epic Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,293
17
38
Outside your window
Join the service and try ATC that way you can get in and skip OKC all together for terminal route and possibly enroute route as well. Just an option. You'll start applying for FAA 12 months before getting out of service and walk right in with military time counting towards retirement. Look into it. Navy, Marines or Airforce ATC. Some have large bonus to join ATC as well.

Curgently prior military age for FAA is changing to 35.
 

jeremiahj13

Rookie
Mar 7, 2014
27
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1
Hmm slater. I guess it wouldn't hurt, but I did ask an Air Force recruiter if they would let me join and they said no because I served 3 years in the Army National Guard.
 

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
1,014
10
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You know where.
Hmm slater. I guess it wouldn't hurt, but I did ask an Air Force recruiter if they would let me join and they said no because I served 3 years in the Army National Guard.
Can you get back into the Army National Guard as a controller? Also, why would you not be allowed to change from prior Army National Guard to AF?
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
33
48
WV
Hello all. I failed this stupid BIOQ test 3 times now. The only career I ever dream about is doing ATC.... Currently I'm attending local university to get a degree in IT, but it's just for the sake of getting a degree and saving face. My true passion is ATC, and I am seriously thinking of just leaving my state (no colleges offer CTI in my state) to get my CTI so I can skip the stupid BIOQ.

I am 24 years and I can finish the CTI when I'm 26. Do you think that is the best route for me to go at this point?
First, which CTIs were offered hiring preference this time? Was it anyone with a CTI degree, or just people who started their degrees prior to the FAA saying that it would treat them like any OTS applicant? The only point in going to a CTI school is to get hiring preference, so that you can increase the odds of being selected.

Second, you might also want to wait to see how much of this pool of candidates will be retained for future bids. If 10,000 applicants are going to take an AT-SAT this time (which is the rumor I saw elsewhere on this page, 1,600 VRA, 2,400 CTI and 6,000 OTS), and 6,000 of them pass, that could be all the hiring the FAA will do for the next four or five years.

I can't recommend CTI because it's too much money for a degree that has absolutely no value other than hiring preference for the FAA. If I were you, I would go into any branch of service that will guarantee you an ATC training slot. In addition to being able to fill federal contract tower or DoD positions, prior-service military air traffic controllers can now be hired by the FAA through the date of their 36th birthday. And you'll be making money instead of borrowing it to go to a school which may not get you what you want.
 

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
1,014
10
38
You know where.
Put your best foot forward in your IT degree. Get a job that pays well. Reevaluate your options later. A lot can change in 7 years, but trying to change yourself for this hiring process is nearly impossible.

The agency also gives some degree of preference for those who have pilot certificates and instrument ratings. I'd consider getting a private pilot certificate and instrument rating with the money you make from an IT job. It'll cost around $20,000 but will be much more worthwhile than a CTI degree. There is additional preference if you log 300 hours of flight time.
 

moose

Rookie
Nov 28, 2009
51
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i'd say go active-duty air force, only signing if the recruiter can guarantee ATC. you'd be 30 after a 6-year enlistment and if you play the game correctly you'll leave with most likely a CTO and radar cert, plus maybe supervisor and automation credentials.
 

thirtythree

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
180
1
18
Put your best foot forward in your IT degree. Get a job that pays well. Reevaluate your options later. A lot can change in 7 years, but trying to change yourself for this hiring process is nearly impossible.

The agency also gives some degree of preference for those who have pilot certificates and instrument ratings. I'd consider getting a private pilot certificate and instrument rating with the money you make from an IT job. It'll cost around $20,000 but will be much more worthwhile than a CTI degree. There is additional preference if you log 300 hours of flight time.
great advice here

moose said:
i'd say go active-duty air force, only signing if the recruiter can guarantee ATC. you'd be 30 after a 6-year enlistment and if you play the game correctly you'll leave with most likely a CTO and radar cert, plus maybe supervisor and automation credentials.


followed by some of the worst advice imaginable
 

DontCallMeShirley

Senior Analyst
Mar 31, 2012
838
22
18
Pushing Tin SUCKS
Worst advice imaginable would be get a CTI degree in the current hiring climate.

Both of those options are realistic ways to either A. Have a plan for success in another field while still being able to try for ATC, or B. Become a controller, leave with the qualifications nescessary to apply for an FAA prior experience bid, and if all else fails, work as a DoD or contract controller. Military has historically, and forever will be, the closest thing to a sure thing in the FAA hiring game. If people who are passionate about ATC really are as passionate as they say, why not become a controller instead of endless rejection by the FAA.
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
33
48
WV
I work with a half-dozen people who went through Riddle or Flight Safety Intl to be commuter airline pilots (e.g., Colgan, Compass, Republic, etc.). All of them owe much more than $20,000 for their flight certifications, some well over $100,000 in undergraduate debt. None of them want to go back to being pilots, because they are all making between twice and three times what they did working for the airline, and they're home every night.

The military option costs no money out of your pocket. You won't be making a lot, but it'll be enough to live on and you won't be borrowing any money to be repaid with interest later. You will get experience working with the rules you will use working for the FAA. I don't believe that former Air Force trainees are necessarily better than those of other services, but the Air Force is set up to train you for the one job they expect you to do, followed by you doing specifically that job working more fixed-wing jets than any other service. You will get tuition benefits if you think you might need a degree for your Plan B. And most importantly, you will extend your FAA hiring eligibility to 36 while simultaneously making yourself a candidate for contract tower and DoD controller jobs if the FAA isn't there for you right away.
 

ajmezz

Epic Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,811
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Slightly off topic, but any of you FAA folks heard anything in regards to the experienced bid that is supposed to be coming out? Other than the "within 60 days" like the OTS bid said.
 

eltors0

The Grog Man
Jun 25, 2011
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OH
Slightly off topic, but any of you FAA folks heard anything in regards to the experienced bid that is supposed to be coming out? Other than the "within 60 days" like the OTS bid said.

September 7th was a date given at a very recent NATCA meeting.
 

natasha723

Newcomer
Oct 21, 2011
3
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1
I've failed the Bio Q twice... I just turned 30 last month... so my time is running out... what would you recommend for me to get a ATC job?
 

rdyotz

Trusted Member
Feb 18, 2014
315
2
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Arizona
I've failed the Bio Q twice... I just turned 30 last month... so my time is running out... what would you recommend for me to get a ATC job?
You likely will not have the option to apply for another OTS bid (will probably be 1-1.5 years before the next one, and you will age out by then). I think most military ATC require a 6 year commitment (which you would age out before being able to apply for a prior experience bid). You can look into one of those schools that give you a CTO (Advanced ATC, etc), although I do not know much about those programs (might be able to apply before aging out on prior experience).

Of course, if you just want to work ATC, and not necessarily with the FAA, then you can go military or one of those CTO programs.

Ultimately, nothing is a guarantee, and you have to do the research and make your own decision.