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Career and Education Opportunities for Air Traffic Controllers in Simi Valley, California

Air traffic controller career and educational opportunities abound in Simi Valley, California. About 2,400 people are currently employed as air traffic controllers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 2,800 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for air traffic controllers are expected to grow by about 13.1%. In general, air traffic controllers control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies.

Income for air traffic controllers is about $59 hourly or $122,800 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $53 per hour or $111,870 yearly. Earnings for air traffic controllers are better than earnings in the general category of Air in California and better than general Air category earnings nationally.

The Simi Valley area is home to 175 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Simi Valley where you can get a degree as an air traffic controller. The most common level of education for air traffic controllers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be an air traffic controller if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Air Traffic Controller

Air Traffic Controller video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, air traffic controllers control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. They also authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.

Air traffic controllers monitor aircraft within a specific airspace, using radar, computer equipment, and visual references. They also inform pilots about nearby planes as well as potentially hazardous conditions such as weather, speed and direction of wind, and visibility problems. Equally important, air traffic controllers have to maintain radio and telephone contact with adjacent control towers, terminal control units, and other area control centers so as to direct aircraft movement. They are often called upon to alert airport emergency services in cases of emergency and when aircraft are experiencing difficulties. They are expected to monitor and direct the movement of aircraft within an assigned air space and on the ground at airports to minimize delays and maximize safety. Finally, air traffic controllers transfer control of departing flights to traffic control centers and accept control of arriving flights.

Every day, air traffic controllers are expected to be able to split focus between different tasks. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for air traffic controllers to initiate and direct searches for missing aircraft. They are often called upon to issue landing and take-off authorizations and instructions. They also compile data related to flights from flight plans and observations. They are sometimes expected to direct pilots to runways when space is available, or direct them to maintain a traffic pattern until there is space for them to land. Somewhat less frequently, air traffic controllers are also expected to initiate and direct searches for missing aircraft.

They also have to be able to relay to control centers such air traffic data as courses and expected arrival times and furnish flight path changes or directions to emergency landing fields for pilots traveling in bad weather or in emergency situations. And finally, they sometimes have to examine and control radio equipment and airport lights.

Like many other jobs, air traffic controllers must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Simi Valley include:

  • Air Cargo Supervisor. Direct ground crew in the loading, unloading, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. Determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures.
  • Airline Pilot. Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Air Traffic Controller Training

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has an associate's degree program in Air Traffic Controller which graduated eighty-one students in 2008.


Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot

LOCATION INFORMATION: Simi Valley, California

Simi Valley, California
Simi Valley, California photo by Happyme22

Simi Valley is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 120,543, which has grown by 8.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Simi Valley, 131, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Simi Valley are valued at $451,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, nineteen new homes were built in Simi Valley, down from one hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Simi Valley are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 24.9% of Simi Valley residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Simi Valley is 9.2%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Simi Valley residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Alliance Church, Grace Brethren Church of Simi Valley and Valley Bible Community Church are some of the churches located in Simi Valley. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Simi Valley is home to the Simi Valley Historical Society Archives and the Simi Civic Center as well as Stargaze Park and Atherwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mountain Gate Plaza Shopping Center, Royal Plaza Shopping Center and Regency Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Simi Valley can choose from 4 Hotel Now Com and 5 Star Linens for temporary stays in the area.