Value of Degrees in Air Traffic Control ATC & ATM Air Traffic Control

Jcabral35

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Apr 10, 2014
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Hello Everyone,

My name is James. With these new hiring rules the F.A.A has put in place, just how value is a degree in ATM & ATC . I not just talking ATC but the world of aviation as well. Your thoughts? ATM meaning meaning Air Traffic Management. My apologies.
 

StuSEL

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Aug 23, 2009
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You know where.
Unless the FAA reverses its decision to group CTI graduates into a general public hiring pool, the degree will be absolutely worthless unless it enables you to check a box that says "Yes, I have a 2/4-year degree" on an employment application. It's not going to prepare you for jobs outside of ATC or aviation.
 

ATCchiver

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Mar 8, 2014
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Initially getting hired as a controller, esp under the current (new) system, it won't make a difference. If your career goal is to eventually end up in management (more money, but off "the floor") it'll make you more competive. Essentially, the same as any other job - hands on (controller), doesn't make too much of a difference; management positions, degree is >= experience.
 

Ram_Tough

Trusted Contributor
Jul 5, 2010
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In 5 years they will have a new study that says they don't have enough controllers with college degrees and bring the program back.
 

StuSEL

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Aug 23, 2009
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In 5 years they will have a new study that says they don't have enough controllers with college degrees and bring the program back.
My bet, if what you're saying comes true, is they'll ask the CTI schools to start submitting information on students taking CTI classes again. Then the CTI people like me who graduate between January 2014 and then will be asking to have our information submitted as well. That'll be a great show.
 

ATCchiver

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Mar 8, 2014
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I should've qualified my statement. I was referring to people w/ comparable time in the agency. But yes, it's important that James, and others, understand that an 11/12 CPC w/ 10+ yrs in has a good chance of making more than a new/relatively new FLM/ATM/other mgmt position.
That being said, if a new hire's 5-10 yr goal is to make the most money possible, mgmt is an option (along w/transferring, if not already at a 12 facility); & a degree makes you more competive.
 

lowapproach

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Oct 29, 2010
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Hello Everyone,

My name is James. With these new hiring rules the F.A.A has put in place, just how value is a degree in ATM & ATC . I not just talking ATC but the world of aviation as well. Your thoughts? ATM meaning meaning Air Traffic Management. My apologies.
For the time being, your education and experience are meaningless to the FAA unless you pass the Biographical Questionnaire. A degree in "air traffic management" probably gives you little or no advantage in being hired over someone with any other type of bachelor's degree for the rest of the aviation industry, unless you manage to acquire some kind of technical certifications (e.g., instrument rating/CFI, dispatcher's license) along the way. Once you're in the FAA, degrees convert to a point value for bidding other jobs and promotions, but not enough that they are essential (e.g., a doctorate is worth 20 points, and being area/facility-certified at an ATC-12 is worth 36 points).

For a degree as narrow as air traffic management, I would not borrow more money than it would cost to get a degree in business management from your state's best public university.
 

jcabral

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Jan 10, 2014
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Thank You all for your advice & feedback. What are your thoughts towards Aviation Management?
 

Piper-Driver

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Sep 12, 2013
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My bet, if what you're saying comes true, is they'll ask the CTI schools to start submitting information on students taking CTI classes again. Then the CTI people like me who graduate between January 2014 and then will be asking to have our information submitted as well. That'll be a great show.
Wouldn't it suck if the FAA then said, "We're sorry, the CTI degree you earned in May 2014 (prior to the reinstitution of CTI bids) doesn't meet our updated specifications. In order to be considered, we'll need to you re-accomplish your CTI degree"??? Not that they'd actually DO that, mind you!
 

Piper-Driver

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Sep 12, 2013
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Thank You all for your advice & feedback. What are your thoughts towards Aviation Management?
A degree in Airport/Aviation Management will definitely give you a leg-up if you go the Airport Manager route, especially at a non-FAR Part 139 certificated airport (an airport not certified for scheduled airline service). Many, many municipal airports are managed by non-degree holders, and quite a few municipal airport managers have zero aviation experience. The money isn't bad (depending on location), but the hours can be long. And there is a LOT to figure out when managing a municipal airport: finances, ALPs, FAA grants & grant assurances, environmental compliance, landlord/tenant relationships... oh, and probably the biggest part is politics.

If, on the other hand, you're looking at working your way up the corporate ladder at a larger airport, I'd recommend a program that will also encourage you to obtain accreditation by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE.org), either through the school or independently.
 

radams328

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Mar 7, 2014
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I have an Aviation Management degree, and I have worked in Airport Operations at 3 Part 139 certificated airports. If you want to break into the airport world you should have some sort of degree and at least some aviation experience (FBO/Military). In the new airport world, you won't get a look without a degree. I, also, have a CM and an ACE designation from AAAE that were all paid for by the airports I have worked for. You need to be willing to move around to get hired and move up the ladder...unless you want to be paid pennies your whole career. Let me know if you want to know more about Airport Management.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
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I would be very surprised if a good deal of FAA facility ATMs even had college degrees...
 

Jcabral35

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Apr 10, 2014
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Radams 328 yes please. If you could post some links or PM with more that would be greatly accepted. Thanks everyone for the info you all have confirmed my fears. Daniel Webster College has been bull shiting us into believing us our degree still means something. In the end they just want my tuition money. I am currently exploring my options carrier wise in the world of aviation.
 

StuSEL

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Aug 23, 2009
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A degree in Airport/Aviation Management will definitely give you a leg-up if you go the Airport Manager route, especially at a non-FAR Part 139 certificated airport (an airport not certified for scheduled airline service).
Just to add a correction here, there are many airports certified under Part 139 that do not have scheduled airline service. It's not a requirement for certification.
 

Piper-Driver

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Sep 12, 2013
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Just to add a correction here, there are many airports certified under Part 139 that do not have scheduled airline service. It's not a requirement for certification.
Exactly. Unless an airport is certificated under Part 139, there can't be any scheduled air carrier service to that airport. What I was telling the OP is that his chances of getting an airport manager's job at a non-Part 139 airport with an Airport Management degree were pretty darned good, considering there are a bunch of municipal airports with managers that have zero aviation experience. To ramp it up to a Part 139 airport (where you have "directors" instead of "managers"), I suggested a AAAE endorsement.
 

ATC727

Junior Member
Apr 2, 2010
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If you are not a VETERAN - Airport Operations is almost impossible to get into; due to preference. They will give all Veterans pref. regardless if they have aviation experience or not.

So, if you have a degree in Aviation Management, internship through an airport conducting runway checks, airport advisory circulars, airport operations, familiar with ATC ...etc. It will be useless! The best bet is to look for DOD contractor jobs that have openings regarding aviation background skills. Unless you apply at an airport that has little competition (but you will only make $9/hour in those locations).

Good luck if you have not defaulted on your student loans in which you cannot afford because you will most likely need a Security Clearance.