Air traffic controller

How To Have A Career In Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are required to maintain a safe distance between two or more aircraft. Air traffic controllers' primary concern is safety, though their efficient directions help to minimize delays too. Air traffic controllers are recruited for managing the take-off and landing of aircraft, guiding pilots, and monitoring aircraft while they are flying in the skies for security purposes. 

An air traffic controller mostly uses things like radar and computers to visually refer and direct the aircraft's movements in skies and lands. Air traffic controllers can be a great career choice for people who love meeting new people.

About The Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are known as those people who are not actively involved in the aircraft but maintain the safety, the timing of take-off, and landing of an airplane. During emergency situations, an air traffic controller informs the required authorities and alerts staff. 

An air traffic controller needs to be vigilant, and he/she must have the ability to complete multiple tasks at one time. There is no fixed time of working for an air traffic controller. Anyone who wants to become an air traffic controller has to study hard and keep patience as jobs in this field are tough. 

Eligibility To Become An Air Traffic Controller

  • The minimum educational qualification required for an aspirant to apply for the air traffic controllers' job is a bachelor's degree in science keeping physics and mathematics as compulsory subjects—other than these, people who have B. Tech. Or B. E. Degree in any field can also opt for a junior executive controller (ATC) job. To apply for an ATC position, an aspirant must have at least 60% in the bachelor's degree course. 
  • For undergraduate courses of air traffic controllers, one from the general category has to be at least 27 years of age. For the reserved candidates and OBC candidates, the age criteria are 32 years and 30 years, respectively to apply for ATC.
  • To apply for the postgraduate courses in air traffic controllers one has to have a bachelor's degree in the same field, and he/she must have experience in this profession.

How To Become An Air Traffic Controller

A person who wants to become an air traffic controller should opt for a science stream in two levels with physics and mathematics as compulsory subjects. After passing 12th, he/she can join the undergraduate courses to become an air traffic controller. You have to study hard and be vigilant. Completing the undergraduate course, you can even opt for the master's degree course. 

Top Air Traffic Controlling Institute In India

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
  • SRM University, Amaravati
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi
  • Amity University, Noida
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  • Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Air Traffic Controller Entrance Exam

To become an air traffic controller, an aspirant has to seat for a written test, a voice test, and a medical test. Ne must qualify for the civil ATC exam that is conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority. One must study hard to qualify for any exam related to air traffic control. 

Career Opportunities In Air Traffic Controlling

A person who has chosen air traffic control as his/her career can opt for a few jobs in this field. There are options like an air traffic controller, approach and departure controller, tower controller, en route controller, etc. 

  • Air traffic controllers are the ones who use radars, computers, and visual references to monitor and direct the movements of aircraft on land and in the skies. 
  • Approach and departure controllers use radars and monitor the paths of flight. They also provide information about weather and other important notices to authorities. 
  • Tower controllers' is to control the movement of vehicles that move on the runway, taxiways and check the plans of flights. 
  • During the take-off of an aircraft, a tower controller gives clearance to the pilots too. Once an airplane leaves the airport area, en route controllers start monitoring the planes. 

Employment Sector/Industry For Air Traffic Controller

The career of an air traffic controller stays within the aviation sector only. Though within this one sector, there are employment opportunities in the aviation industry, air force industry, armed forces, domestic airports, international airports, etc. 

Companies like Bengaluru International Airport, Octamec Group, Taneja Aerospace, and Aviation Limited, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, etc. recruit air traffic controllers. 

Jobs In Air Traffic Controller

  • Air traffic controller
  • Approach and departure controller
  • Tower controller
  • En route controller

Salary Of An Air Traffic Controller

Like every job available in India, to salary gets higher with a lot of experience in the case of air traffic controllers. The salary of an air traffic controller starts at 4 lakh rupees per annum while a senior in that same field can earn up to 9 lakh rupees per annum.

 Approach and departure controllers' salaries vary from 3 lakh rupees to more than 7 lakh rupees, and an en-route controller's salary ranges from 3 lakh rupees to 6 lakh rupees. 

Study Material For Becoming An Air Traffic Controller

  • Patrick R Mattson's "Air Traffic Controller."
  • Michael S Nolan's "Fundamentals of Air Traffic."
  • Paul E Gilman's "The Pilots Air Traffic Control Handbook."

Pros And Cons Of Becoming An Air Traffic Controller


  1. Highly enjoyable jobs
  2. Job satisfaction and utilization of problem-solving skills


  1. Stressful
  2. Responsibility for other people's life

FAQs about Air traffic controller