Chief Controller

Supervise an air traffic control tower.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $166,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Chief Controllers do?

Air travel is more popular than ever with thousands of flights crisscrossing the globe every day. In order to make sure each of those planes (and its cargo) arrives safely at its destination, Air Traffic Controllers monitor everything from the taxi down the runway to cruising altitudes. And the Chief Controller is in charge of making sure each Air Traffic Controller does their job well.

As Chief Controller, you have a lot of responsibility. Not only do you make sure that your employees are trained and following FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations, but you also have the added task of overseeing every flight that leaves or arrives at your airport. When everything runs smoothly, you get all the credit. Of course, when turbulence strikes, you also get all the blame.

To avoid accidents and incidents, you carefully monitor the actions of the Ground Controllers, En Route Controllers, TRACON Arrival Controllers and TRACON Departure Controllers under your command. You hold meetings to discuss protocol, create data reports, and verify accuracy of reports submitted by employees.

As part of your Chief Controller job, you understand the responsibilities of each Air Traffic Controller both in and out of the tower. You’re familiar with radar, visual aids, and radio communications, and you make sure each piece of equipment is properly maintained.

Beyond the everyday ins and outs of monitoring flights, you also know how to respond to nearly every type of emergency, from missing planes to crashes on the runway.

Should I be a Chief Controller?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Certified Professional Controller, Chief Controller, Center, Chief Controller, Station, Chief Controller, Tower

    How to become a Chief Controller

    Most Chief Controllers have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9ltqab&chl=no+college+%2845%25%29|certificate+%2827%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2812%25%29||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,45,45
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