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Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controller working in Stansted Tower

Air traffic controllers ensure that aircraft fly safely and efficiently through UK airspace. They guide and advise pilots at take-off, during the flight, as they approach the airport and when they land. They are sometimes called air traffic control officers (ATCOs).

The Work

You could be:

You could work as one of three types of air traffic controller:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Trainees on the NATS training scheme earn a basic salary of £19,842 a year while attending college and receive an annual accommodation payment equivalent to £7,769, which is paid monthly whilst you remain a trainee.

Once qualified, your salary rises to £42,991 to £47,915 a year. Experienced ATCOs at certain units (Swanwick Centre or Heathrow Tower) can earn from £100,000 a year (inclusive of shift pay).

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2024
1867
1.2 %
RISE
2029
1890
  United Kingdom
2024
29362
2.1 %
RISE
2029
29982

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

Video

Courtesy of NATS

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Civil Aviation Authority
Website: http://www.caa.co.uk
Twitter: @UK_CAA

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) Ltd
Tel: 01489 616001
Website: https://www.nats.aero/
Website (2): http://www.nats.aero/careers/
Twitter: @NATS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NATSaero

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)
Tel: 020 7670 4326
E-mail: careers@aerosociety.com
Website: http://www.aerosociety.com/
Website (2): http://www.careersinaerospace.com
Twitter: @AeroSociety
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalAeronauticalSociety/

The Royal Aeronautical Society has a website called Careers in Aerospace which provides a wide range of information on careers in the aeronautical industry.

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