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Air Traffic Controller Major

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Air Traffic Controller

187 Associates's Degrees Annually
82 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#112 in Popularity (Associate's)
$56,760 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Air Traffic Controller Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many air traffic controller graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 187
Basic Certificate 103
Bachelor’s Degree 82
Undergraduate Certificate 1

What Air Traffic Controller Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to air traffic controller were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Air Traffic Controller Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in air traffic controller should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Air Traffic Controller Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to air traffic controller:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Air Traffic Controller Majors

As you progress with your air traffic controller degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Air Traffic Controller Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with air traffic controller:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Air Traffic Controllers 3.6% $124,540
Airfield Operations Specialists 9.0% $52,200

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Air Traffic Controller?

187 Associate's Degrees Annually
17% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 83% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of air traffic controller majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 11
Black or African American 18
Hispanic or Latino 29
White 90
International Students 20
Other Races/Ethnicities 19

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Air Traffic Controller. About 10.7% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Air Traffic Controller Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $56,760 to $120,830 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to air traffic controller. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Air Traffic Controller Major  ( 56760 to 120830 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with air traffic controller may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to air traffic controller have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 26.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 17.1%
Some College Courses 6.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 16.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.5%

Online Air Traffic Controller Programs

In 2018-2019, 28 schools offered a air traffic controller program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 20 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 3 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Air Traffic Controller Worth It?

The median salary for a air traffic controller grad is $56,760 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 42% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $337,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to air traffic controller.

Major Number of Grads
General Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science & Technology 3,517
Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot & Flight Crew 2,009
Aviation/Airway Management & Operations 1,306
Other Air Transportation 343
Airline Flight Attendant 71
Flight Instructor 51

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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