Career and Education Opportunities for Air Traffic Controllers in Cambridge, Massachusetts
For those living in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area, there are many career and education opportunities for air traffic controllers. The national trend for air traffic controllers sees this job pool growing by about 13.1% over the next eight years. 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.
Air traffic controllers earn approximately $42 per hour or $88,110 per year on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $53 hourly or $111,870 yearly. Incomes for air traffic controllers are better than in the overall category of Air in Massachusetts, and better than the overall Air category nationally.
There are 149 schools of higher education in the Cambridge area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree to start your career as an air traffic controller. Given that the most common education level 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
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 Cambridge 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
Daniel Webster College - Nashua, NH
Daniel Webster College, 20 University Dr, Nashua, NH 03063-1300. Daniel Webster College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,022 students and an admission rate of 76%. Daniel Webster College has a bachelor's degree program in Air Traffic Controller which graduated twenty 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
For more information, see the Federal Aviation Administration website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.
Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.