Air Traffic Controller - Federal Salaries of 2021
Pay Rates for "Air Traffic Controller"How much does an Air Traffic Controller in the federal government get paid? $135,628.81* *Based on the 2021 average.
Air Traffic Controller was the 19th most popular job in the U.S. Government in 2021, with 17,943 employed. The most common payscale was the federal aviation administration air traffic controller compensation plan payscale.
In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration hired the most employees titled Air Traffic Control, with an average salary of $135,629.
Government Air Traffic Control jobs are classified under the General Schedule (GS) payscale. Remember that the starting and maximum yearly pay listed above reflect base pay only - your actual salary will be higher based on the Locality Pay Adjustment for the area in which you work.
Air Traffic Controllers are professionals who direct and oversee the safe movement of aircrafts in airspace and on the ground. They are responsible for monitoring and controlling air traffic and the maneuvering of aircrafts to ensure the safety of these aircrafts and the passengers they carry. They make sure that safe distances are maintained between aircrafts both on and off the ground to avoid any collision or accident. They work in air traffic facilities such as flight service stations, air route traffic control centers, and air traffic control terminals.
Professionals in this occupation possess the necessary knowledge on aircraft separation standards and control techniques as well as the ability to apply them properly, often under conditions of great stress. In their line of work, maximum concentration is required at all times. They usually manage multiple aircrafts at the same time; e.g. directing one aircraft while taxiing on the runway for take off while coordinating with another aircraft on its landing approach or traffic pattern when there is no space available on the grounds yet.
Air Traffic Controllers assist pilots throughout all phases of a flight - pre-departure to taxiing on the runway after landing - by providing the necessary information, in a clear and concise manner, for pilots to conduct safe flights. They provide information on wind and weather conditions, potential hazards, visibility problems and takeoff and landing instructions among others. They must have excellent communication skills as they are required to communicate not only with pilots but also with other air traffic control towers and controllers in other countries.
They are also responsible for authorizing and regulating airline flights ensuring that all aircraft safely comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations as well as international treaties. They are tasked with developing, coordinating, and managing air traffic control programs being applied in their airspace. In line with this, they generally provide on-the-job training for trainees and developmental controllers in live traffic situations.
Air Traffic Controllers in the Federal Government are mostly employed in the FAA. In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities of Air Traffic Controllers, they provide flight data processing and communications service for the air traffic control system. They may also be involved in operating and maintaining a variety of air traffic operational computer systems. Their work in the Federal Government also includes processing and monitoring the input of proposed and active flight plans from military base operations, Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) sectors, terminal facilities, adjacent ARTCCs, flight service stations, and air carrier operations offices. They collect and distribute flight plans, traffic management restrictions, notices to airmen and a variety of other data related to flight safety.
Prior to working as Air Traffic Controllers, candidates need to complete the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program and earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Some positions in this occupation might require 3 years of progressively responsible work experience, or 4 years of college, or a combination of both.
Air Traffic Controllers are among the top 100 highest paid professionals in the Federal Government with an average annual salary of &137,380 in 2021. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Air Traffic Controllers is expected to grow at a slower rate of 4% from 2020 to 2030 compared with the average growth rate of 8% in all other occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 2,500 openings are projected each year for this occupation.
Agencies that have hired an Air Traffic Controller
|Agency||Employees Hired||Average Salary|
|Federal Aviation Administration||17,943||$135,628.81|
Air Traffic Controller Pay Distribution
The average pay for an Air Traffic Controller is $135,628.81. The highest paid Air Traffic Controller made $226,579 in 2021.
Common Air Traffic Controller Payscales
|Payscale||Number of Air Traffic Control Employees|
|AT - Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controller Compensation Plan||17,236|
|FV - Federal Aviation Administration Core Compensation Plan||486|
|FG - Similar To The General Schedule||221|
|Occupation Family:||2100 TRANSPORTATION GROUP|
Average Air Traffic Control Pay Trend from 2004 to 2021
In 2004, the average pay for an Air Traffic Controller was $110,459. Since then, the average pay has increased to $135,629 in 2021.
The information provided on these pages is sourced from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) dataset. Postal Service data is managed exclusively by the USPS . All information is displayed unmodified and as provided by the source agency.
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