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What can I do in high school to prepare me for the college classes for air traffic controlling?

Im a high school student who is wondering what he can do to prepare himself or get ready for the college classes for air traffic controlling. I would like to know if I could do anything to help me out so by the time I start practicing to become one in college I have somewhat of a clue of what im doing? #high-school #high-school-students #student #advice #classes

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Sendil’s Answer

In the United States, there are few requirements to becoming an air traffic controller. Very simply: (1) you MUST be a US citizen (no cannot be a green card holder or any other pseudo or non-citizen resident), (2) you must be at least 18 years old, however on your first day of work/training you cannot have reached your 29th birthday, (3) you must have either a 4 year college degree, a 2 year air traffic control training program (available at between 5 and 10 Junior/community colleges or 3 years work experience (that can be anything from a paper route on up). That’s it. No courses of any special training or area of specialization, they will fully train you.

However (and this is speak from personal experience about 30 years ago, and as I understand it, it hasn’t changed much)… to get in: first you apply, then you take the entry test (which is mostly spatial aptitude tests (you see a pattern and have to determine the next one in the pattern from 4 choices), and general knowledge… if you score high enough (which when I applied the cutoff was a 91.7%-I got a 9.31%), if you were in the military you get an extra 5 points. Then you go for a personal interview, a medical exam, the FBI does a security check, and a polygraph test… if you pass all these then you get put on a list based on your test score, when they have openings they start calling and asking if you can go for training to Oklahoma City (paid training and expenses)… that call can be MUCH later (for me it was 13 months after all the interviews and tests were done), and the call was on Friday morning asking if I could be there Monday morning (3 days later), I said no, not enough notice, I had my own business, 30 days notice, etc. So I declined. I was called again 2 months later and offered another slot that I had 3 weeks to get to so I said yes, and off to OkCity I went.

This was very very helpful thank you so much! Matthew M.