employment 4 students - The UK's most visited student jobsite

Menu

Everything You Need To Know About How To Become An Air Traffic Controller

Introduction To Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships

If aviation is your passion and you have an aptitude for high levels of concentration then air traffic controller jobs could be the ideal career path for you. Once you become a trainee air traffic controller, you will be entering an exciting career where you can progress to further positions of responsibility and earn a generous salary.

If you have decided that going on to university is not the right path for you, then Apprenticeships can be a perfect alternative. With an Apprenticeship, you will set your career on the right path by receiving structured training, building relevant knowledge and - even better- you will also earn while you learn.

At the end of your Apprenticeship, once you have completed all elements of your programme successfully, you will be awarded with a nationally recognised qualification. As well as specific skills and knowledge attached to the profession or trade you have trained for, you will also have lots of transferable skills in your arsenal that you can use to develop your career in the best way forward for you.

If you are interested in how to become an air traffic controller, it is now possible to do Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships. As with other trainee air traffic controller jobs, you will be trained in all the necessary skills and knowledge for this important job but you will also be awarded with a qualification at the end of your Apprenticeship. 

What Does An Air Traffic Controller Do?

If you think you might want to become an air traffic controller, you need to know the air traffic controller job description. What does an air traffic do when they are on shift?

Because that’s the first thing you need to be aware of. Air traffic controller jobs are not for those of you who want to work weekdays, 9-5. You will be working shifts which will also include evenings, weekends and public holidays.

You might choose to follow a civilian air traffic controller career where you are working with passenger flights leaving from and arriving at airports around the UK. For some of you, however, a military air traffic controller might suit you. You might want to become an RAF air traffic controller, for example, or a Royal Navy air traffic controller.

Whether you want to work with civilian flights or you are looking to for a military career, Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships will give you the scope to specialise in your chosen field.

There are different types of air traffic controller jobs, depending on the direction you wish to take your career in but in general, the air traffic controller job description is to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of aircraft for all users, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. As you can imagine, you will need to be the type of person who can concentrate for long periods of time and remain calm in pressured situations. Some airports around the UK are very busy and you will be responsible for the safe take off, transit and landing of hundreds of flights.

Where Do Air Traffic Controllers Work?

You might think that all air traffic controller jobs are based in a watchtower at the airport you are working in but this is not actually the case. Depending on the direction you wish to take your air traffic controller career in, you could be working in:

  • Air traffic control centres
  • Commercial airports
  • Military bases
  • Aerodromes
How Do You Become An Air Traffic Controller?
There are different routes you can take to become an air traffic controller and the Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeship is one of those routes. 
How Do Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships Work?

The Air traffic Controller Apprenticeship Standard has been drawn up by those in the sector so these are the guys who really know the specific skills you will need to be able to carry out your work and ensure the safety of all flights and those onboard.

Employers involved in creating the standard are the RAF, the Royal Navy and NATS (National Air Traffic Services). So,if you are looking to become an RAF air traffic controller or a Royal Navy air traffic controller, you should receive structured training necessary for your particular specialism in military air traffic control.

NATS or National Air Traffic Services operate many airports around the UK and employ many trainee air traffic controllers. They are offering places on the Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships programme.

Whatever specialism you choose to focus on during your Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeship, you will learn a core set of skills and knowledge that will give you a broad understanding of the profession as a whole.

The beauty of Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships is that they are drawn up in such a way as to allow employers some flexibility for movement between specialisms. This could give you the opportunity to try out different air traffic controller jobs and give you more experience.

The different types of air traffic controller jobs you could specialise in whilst completing your Apprenticeship are:

  • Civil Area / Terminal Controller
  • Civil approach Controller
  • Civil Approach Procedural Controller
  • Civil Aerodrome Controller
  • Military Weapons Controller
  • Military Area Radar Controller
  • Military Terminal Radar Controller
  • Military Terminal Aerodrome Controller
Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships - Qualifications And Requirements

The Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeship is a Level 5 Apprenticeship. This is equivalent to an HND (Higher National Diploma) or a Foundation Degree.

The Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeship will take you between 15 and 18 months to complete.

Your employer will be responsible for setting the entry requirements for doing Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships but you will typically be asked for 5 GCSEs at Levels 4 - 9, at least. These must include Maths and English.

Although other qualifications or work experience in aviation jobs or similar might be beneficial, employers for air traffic controller jobs often look for particular traits in their candidates. NATS, for example, has a series of exercises and games for you to try and also an assessment centre so that both they and you can decide if air traffic controller careers are the right fit or you.

As well as qualifications and aptitude, because of the high level of responsibility when you become an air traffic controller, you will also need to:

  • Be 18 years of age or over.
  • Obtain an EU Class 3 Medical Certificate.
  • Be prepared to work anywhere in the UK.
  • You may have to undergo further medical tests such as heart rate tests and urine tests.
  • For NATS Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships, you will also need to obtain SC level security clearance as well as a police check, credit check, fraud check and counter terrorist check.
How Can I Further My Air Traffic Controller Career After I Complete My Apprenticeship?

Many people who become an air traffic controller choose to stay in the role they have specialised in and continue to develop their expertise. Air traffic controller jobs are not the types of jobs where you can opt to go freelance so it is likely you will remain with the same employer for a number of years.

Once you have completed Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships you will be qualified to work in civilian or military airports and control centres. As you develop your career, you might move to bigger airports around the UK that handle more air traffic. You can also take on more positions of responsibility.

If, in the future, you decide to change direction with your air traffic controller career, Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships equip you with a range of skills and knowledge that would lend itself well to other types of aviation jobs. These include consultancy, aerospace manufacturing or the global aerospace industry.

How Much Do Air Traffic Controllers Make?
As a trainee air traffic controller, you will earn a trainee wage but once you have developed your career further, your air traffic controller salary will compare well to those of other professions.
Apply For Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships In The UK

So, do you think you have got what it takes to be a trainee air traffic controller? Whether you want to dp military air traffic control or civilian air traffic controller jobs, it is a role that carried with it a lot of responsibility.

If you think you have the right attitude and aptitude, apply for Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships and you could soon be on the road to a rewarding career in the aviation industry.

If you are keen to do aviation jobs but have decided Air Traffic Controller Apprenticeships are not for you, then you might want to consider other types of Apprenticeships in the aviation industry. If your skills lie more in a customer service type of role, for example, take a look at Cabin Crew Apprenticeships. Or, if you love the buzz of the airport and you’d like to do airport Apprenticeships you could consider Aviation Operations On The Ground.

1-20 of 35 jobs

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Oxford

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Birmingham

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Bristol

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Cardiff

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Inverness

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Carlisle

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Stoke-on-Trent

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Bournemouth

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Exeter

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

London

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Newcastle upon Tyne

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Brighton

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Glasgow

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Leicester

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Belfast

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Medway

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Peterborough

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Gloucester

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Liverpool

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

Cyberspace Communications Specialist Apprenticeship

Royal Air Force

Nottingham

£18.6k starting salary, rising to £23.4k after....

1-20 of 35 jobs

Enter your email address and we'll email you jobs like this!