Monday, November 11, 2019
Articles USA FAA - Pilot Training and MORE How To Become an FAA Air Traffic Controller - Path 1

How To Become an FAA Air Traffic Controller - Path 1

Path 1: You have prior experience as an air traffic controller

The FAA values and hires men and women who already have air traffic control experience. We hire three types of experienced controllers:

  • Veterans with military air traffic control experience
  • Retired military controllers
  • Current and prior civilian air traffic controllers

At a minimum, experienced controllers must have:

  • 52 consecutive weeks of air traffic control experience in a military or civilian air traffic control facility that shows you have the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform air traffic controller duties
  • Comprehensive knowledge of air traffic control laws, rules, and regulations

Veterans with Military Air Traffic Control Experience

The FAA can use a Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) to hire veterans with military air traffic control experience. Some veterans with this experience can apply for a VRA appointment but they must be discharged from active duty or on terminal leave, and have not reached age 31. These types of veterans are eligible to apply for a VRA appointment:

  • Disabled veterans
  • Veterans separated from active duty within 3 years
  • Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded

Retired Military Controllers

The FAA hires former military air traffic controllers who retired from the United States armed forces. Retired military air traffic controllers can apply if:

  • They are on terminal leave pending retirement from active duty military service, or
  • They retired from active duty on or after September 17, 1999

Current and Prior Civilian Air Traffic Controllers

The FAA hires current federal air traffic controllers or individuals previously employed as air traffic controllers. You can apply if you are eligible to be transferred from another agency to FAA or can be reinstated to an FAA air traffic controller position. Note: If your experience was as a civilian air traffic controller with the Department of Defense (DOD), you must have been hired for that job before you reached the age of 31.

How to Apply


This article was published by Federal Aviation Administration. Please visit for current information - Reprinted with permission.

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