Asked in Job Training and Career QualificationsSalary and Pay RatesAviation Careers
How much are air traffic controllers paid?
November 03, 2007 4:37AM
Air traffic controllers earn relatively high pay and have good benefits. Median annual earnings of air traffic controllers in May 2004 were $102,030. The middle 50 percent earned between $78,170 and $126,260. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $139,210.
The average annual salary, excluding overtime earnings, for air traffic controllers in the Federal Government-which employs 90 percent of the total-in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions was $106,380 in May 2004. The Air Traffic Control pay system classifies each air traffic facility into one of eight levels with corresponding pay bands. Under this pay system, controllers' salaries are determined by the rating of the facility. The higher the rating, the higher the controller's salary and the greater the demand on the controller's judgment, skill, and decision making ability.
Depending on length of service, air traffic controllers receive 13 to 26 days of paid vacation and 13 days of paid sick leave each year, in addition to life insurance and health benefits. Controllers also can retire at an earlier age and with fewer years of service than other Federal employees. Air traffic controllers are eligible to retire at age 50 with 20 years of service as an active air traffic controller or after 25 years of active service at any age. There is a mandatory retirement age of 56 for controllers who manage air traffic. However, Federal law provides for exemptions to the mandatory age of 56, up to age 61, for controllers having exceptional skills and experience.