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How do I Choose an Air Traffic Control School?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Air traffic controllers are responsible for the guidance of planes and other aircraft. It is their job to direct and instruct pilots on oncoming traffic, stormfronts, landing conditions and other important information that is required for safely transporting goods and passengers. This is a great deal of responsibility, and therefore, it is necessary for these professionals to undergo extensive training in an air traffic control school to learn the skills necessary.

Education is both helpful and mandatory for any air traffic controller. Government-mandated procedures and classes are required in most locations to ensure that employees have the knowledge and experience necessary to safely guide aircraft through all conditions. They are also trained to handle emergency situations should they arise, including emergency landings and hijackings.

Choosing an air traffic control school can be a strenuous task. The school must be approved by any applicable government regulations to offer such courses, and must prepare students for the exhausting and often stressful job as an air traffic controller. To find schools that meet the requirements, the first step is to visit the nation’s aviation organization to get information on programs and courses available. These organizations are usually available by mail, phone, or through websites.

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Nearly all air traffic control school requirements begin with a four-year degree at an accredited university. Majors at these establishments vary, but can include aviation-related fields of study. Choosing the best four-year college can be accomplished by using online directories of schools around the country and by contacting school officials for information on enrollment. Crucial information includes tuition costs, high school grade requirements and test scores, and housing. Make a list of requirements for your perfect school, and match them with each institution to determine which one is the best fit.

Following the university, air traffic controllers are required to undergo strenuous training at a government-approved air traffic control school. These courses often accept a limited number of students per year and competition for entry is fierce. There are not usually many options in regards to the actual air traffic control school you will attend, with only a few locations being offered in many countries. This means that in order to complete the courses, you may have to travel to find a school who is accepting students.

After completing air traffic control school, it is necessary to take a pre-employment exam which gauges a potential employee’s ability to complete the job. This test can only be taken when there are openings available. If there are more applicants than positions, students will be chosen at random and invited to take the test. Only students attending a government-accepted school will be eligible to take the test. Upon passing, students will be eligible to work as an air traffic controller. There are some cases where air traffic control school may not be necessary. Those who have been in the Armed Forces, especially the Air Force, may only need to take the entrance exam to gain employment.

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