Turning Down ATC

Pdubs

Rookie
Sep 10, 2012
55
0
6
Does anyone know of people that end up turning down ATC? What were there reasons? Do they regret it?

This is something I've wanted for over 8 years, but life happens during the wait, and I am very settled in. Just interested to see if people have some stories.
 

siah1214

Rookie
Jan 5, 2011
59
0
6
Does anyone know of people that end up turning down ATC? What were there reasons? Do they regret it?

This is something I've wanted for over 8 years, but life happens during the wait, and I am very settled in. Just interested to see if people have some stories.
I'm at this crossroads myself. People that have turned it down probably won't be on this forum but I know a few in person. One quit after they got their FOL but before they got to the academy, another quit after the academy, another was CPC and left to manage a health food store, another is selling airplanes. None of them really regret the decision from what I can tell.
I'm deciding whether to turn down my TOL at this point, I can't afford the quality of life hit to work at the facility I've been assigned to and they rejected my request for a redirect. It's tough because it's something that I've been fighting for for almost 5 years. To give it up would feel like a major setback but when I step back I realize that I'm pretty well set up where I'm at in life right now.

If you're happy with your life where you're at, there's no guarantee you will be happier as a controller. I'll be curious to see other responses to this thread. Best of luck :)
 

Pdubs

Rookie
Sep 10, 2012
55
0
6
I'm at this crossroads myself. People that have turned it down probably won't be on this forum but I know a few in person. One quit after they got their FOL but before they got to the academy, another quit after the academy, another was CPC and left to manage a health food store, another is selling airplanes. None of them really regret the decision from what I can tell.
I'm deciding whether to turn down my TOL at this point, I can't afford the quality of life hit to work at the facility I've been assigned to and they rejected my request for a redirect. It's tough because it's something that I've been fighting for for almost 5 years. To give it up would feel like a major setback but when I step back I realize that I'm pretty well set up where I'm at in life right now.

If you're happy with your life where you're at, there's no guarantee you will be happier as a controller. I'll be curious to see other responses to this thread. Best of luck :)
Thanks - yea, I'm happy where I'm at, and dont want to uproot my life, but unfortunately, its the only way to do it. OKC for training is one thing, but not knowing where your going is tough.

The pay cut is going to be really hard too, my estimation is that it will take about 6 years to break even, assuming 3 years to check out at a center.
 

Romeo_Echo

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
153
1
18
FL
I'm undecided as well. My husband has a great job where we live. Although he says he'll give it up and start all over where ever we end up, I know he really doesn't want to go. So at this point, it's deciding who gets to have their dream job?
 

siah1214

Rookie
Jan 5, 2011
59
0
6
I'm undecided as well. My husband has a great job where we live. Although he says he'll give it up and start all over where ever we end up, I know he really doesn't want to go. So at this point, it's deciding who gets to have their dream job?
Haha yup my wife has an excellent job where we're at now, she loves it, loves what she's doing. I don't mind what I'm doing. She'd have to give it up for us to move. Don't think it's really fair to her.
 

c11anderson

Junior Member
May 6, 2012
77
0
6
Pittsburgh, PA
I went to CCBC for atc about 4 years ago.. I graduated and ended up getting on an oil and gas drilling rig. Best times I've ever had in my life and I loved that job so much. If I had not gotten laid off due to the crash in oil prices, I really would've had a hard decision on my hands as to stay in that or leave for air traffic. But since then I've realized my true dream has always been air traffic and I'm glad it worked out this way.
 

Skot51

Newcomer
May 2, 2014
4
0
1
I have the same dilemma; I’m a corporate pilot about to age out. Up rooting and moving for a couple years and trying to end up at ZOB sounds like a big hassle. But the overall benefits are most likely worth it.
 

c11anderson

Junior Member
May 6, 2012
77
0
6
Pittsburgh, PA
I have the same dilemma; I’m a corporate pilot about to age out. Up rooting and moving for a couple years and trying to end up at ZOB sounds like a big hassle. But the overall benefits are most likely worth it.
Give it a shot whats the worst that can happen? You don't like it and go back to being a pilot?
 

titanman2789

Junior Member
Jan 15, 2014
78
6
8
I am wondering the same thing. Although cpc pay is higher, I would take a pay cut until I get there at most facility levels. And the uncertainty of where I would end up after the academy really sucks. Would love to end up in Fort Worth and keep the house I own now. Who knows....
 

Pdubs

Rookie
Sep 10, 2012
55
0
6
I am wondering the same thing. Although cpc pay is higher, I would take a pay cut until I get there at most facility levels. And the uncertainty of where I would end up after the academy really sucks. Would love to end up in Fort Worth and keep the house I own now. Who knows....

The pay cut really sucks and makes the hassle of 4 months in OKC, and then 4-5 years in a random place until I can eventually transfer to where I want to be that much less appealing. It's a tough pill to swallow realizing that I may have "aged out" as I pursued other options.
 

Pdubs

Rookie
Sep 10, 2012
55
0
6
I have the same dilemma; I’m a corporate pilot about to age out. Up rooting and moving for a couple years and trying to end up at ZOB sounds like a big hassle. But the overall benefits are most likely worth it.
thats my dilemma, although I'm not a pilot
 

Trebork2

Rookie
Nov 24, 2012
39
0
6
I have the same dilemma; I’m a corporate pilot about to age out. Up rooting and moving for a couple years and trying to end up at ZOB sounds like a big hassle. But the overall benefits are most likely worth it.
Same boat as you. Big selling point for me is being able to be home at some point every day. No more hotels or two week trips with people I don't like. If I fail out or hate it I can always come back to flying.
 

siah1214

Rookie
Jan 5, 2011
59
0
6
Same boat as you. Big selling point for me is being able to be home at some point every day. No more hotels or two week trips with people I don't like. If I fail out or hate it I can always come back to flying.
That's the big thing for me, is I'm sick of being gone for a month to six weeks at a time, stuck with people that I don't enjoy spending time with and I can't get away from. Really that's the big draw for ATC right now. Meh. Tough choice. Still haven't decided yet.
 

62MAS

Rookie
Nov 13, 2015
70
0
6
Definitely in a tough spot too. I'm in upper management at a great company with really accelerated growth opportunities. I work in a field that I studied in, which is also a plus. My boss thinks it's rad that I'm shooting for ATC, which was a relief after breaking the news to him about my TOL. Still, I'm 28 and if I don't go for it, it'll bug the hell out of me for the rest of my life. The initial pay cut would be...brutal at first but it's worth it.

Everything worth while is a huge risk. Everyone told me to me to treat ATC as plan C and I did but now it's time to leave the comfort zone. I've met a lot of controllers and they all think it's the best job in the world. Either way, I've come too far to turn back now. I still see why people struggle with the decision though.
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
To y'all with doubts, all I can say is I've been controlling for 8 years now, only 1.5 years of it in the FAA, and I can't imagine doing anything else. I've done the corporate world and felt like my soul died a little bit more each day in that cubicle and I've done the blue collar thing as an auto mechanic for 3 years. Nothing compares to this gig so long as you thrive on stress and high responsibility. If you don't like that you'll be miserable.
 

password

Senior Member
Oct 19, 2011
184
0
16
Ultimately do what you think will make you and your family happy but I fought for this for a long time and finally got in and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Just passed 2 years in the FAA and loving every second of it.

Also, when you think about pay, yes it may be a pay cut short term but home many places do you get the retirement you will get in the FAA? Just another factor to look at down the road.

Good luck!
 

Pdubs

Rookie
Sep 10, 2012
55
0
6
To y'all with doubts, all I can say is I've been controlling for 8 years now, only 1.5 years of it in the FAA, and I can't imagine doing anything else. I've done the corporate world and felt like my soul died a little bit more each day in that cubicle and I've done the blue collar thing as an auto mechanic for 3 years. Nothing compares to this gig so long as you thrive on stress and high responsibility. If you don't like that you'll be miserable.
This was helpful...thank you