US Air Traffic Controller Application Process Guide [2023]

Air traffic control is a quirky process, and a lot goes into making it easy. The credit goes to the air traffic controllers who control it day and night, making it seem like nothing was done at all while landing and taking off. It would thus be great to know the different roles and responsibilities associated with air traffic controller jobs. Also, if you love to be in the driver’s seat for controlling air traffic, read this post on what will make you eligible and what the application requirements are for the position. You can also learn how to apply for an air traffic controller position in the United States.

Roles and Responsibilities of Air Traffic Controllers

Here are the roles and responsibilities of an air traffic controller and below you can find the details.

air traffic controller application guide
  • An air traffic controller needs to monitor their air traffic and also regulate the ground traffic.
  • If there are any emergencies or there seems to be any kind of safety issue, the responsible teams need to be informed.
  • They are also the people who would provide details about the weather, flight pathways, delays related to air traffic, wind directions, and possible delays associated with air traffic.
  • The team would need to inform pilots about the opening and closing of runways.
  • The entire takeoff and landing process needs to be explained by them to the pilot.
  • When required, transferring control of departing flights to other air traffic controls and receiving control of any of the arriving flights.
  • Help the missing aircraft search teams with positional details.
  • Preventing delays means knowing the best possible ways and devising plans around them.

Who is eligible for Air Traffic controller in US?

If you want to become an air traffic controller, you must meet the below-mentioned eligibility criteria.

  • You must have experience in an air traffic control role through training or previous work experience. You could also be in a similar position when transitioning to air traffic control.
  • Decision making and communication skills need to be amazing.
  • Task and time management skills play a crucial role in the selection process.
  • Analysing data and coming to firmer conclusions is also essential for a person willing to apply for an air traffic controller role.
  • You will need to have strong task management skills and will have to learn to work under stress at times.
  • People must also have good time management skills.
  • Technological familiarity with radio and different computer equipment is also a must.

What are the Application Requirements?

Those who want to apply for air traffic controller jobs need to meet the following essential application requirements.

  • An individual needs to be a US citizen.
  • They need to be 31 years or less in age.
  • Individuals must pass their physical or psychological tests.
  • They must have a corrected vision of 20/20.
  • Air traffic controllers need to possess a college degree and, if possible, an aviation-related coursework degree.
  • An individual must be willing to relocate to an FAA facility as per their needs.

How to Apply for Air Traffic controller in US?

An air traffic controller job role can take up to six months for the entire application process to be completed.

Every step needs to be completed first, and then one must move on to the next step.

  1. First, you must complete all your basic qualification requirements.
  2. Next, you will need to apply for the Air Traffic Skill Assessment (ATSA) test. Only when a certain percentage comes in, can you move on to the next step, and it will take three and a half hours to complete the test.
  3. Next will be passing different screenings like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI2), Class II medical exams or physical exams, fingerprinting, and a federal background check.
  4. It will be followed by several months of training while staying at the FAA facility.

The application window for 2023 opened on May 5, 2023.

Also Read: Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program Application

Click on the link to start your application.

  • Next, you must click on the “Apply” tab to start the application process.
Air Traffic Controller
  • You will need to create an account with them and then login to start the application process.
  • Every personal, educational, and eligibility-related piece of information must be meticulously entered in the application.
  • Every personal, educational and eligibility related information must be entered meticulously in the application.

Salary/pay per hour

A person with experience of four to six years can earn around $47,806 for a whole year. People new to this profession would start at a much lower scale, though.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are there any specific physical or medical requirements to become an air traffic controller?

The specific physical or medical requirements for an air traffic controller involve 20/20 vision requirements, medical and psychological health strengths.

One must complete a whole lot of training before one can apply for an air traffic controller position. People need to have good mathematical and analytical skills.

How competitive is the job market for air traffic controllers?

Most people have tough competition, as in the US alone, there are 2400 new air traffic controllers every year. However, the number of applicants each year is exploding at a manifold rate.


If you want to control airline traffic in the sky, you must know more about the air traffic control process. If you wish to know more about what it will take to become an air traffic controller, you can read the following article to understand it better.


  • I am Raj Singh and I am the author of handlewife website. I am a blogger and also a digital marketer. Contact me through the contact us page.

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