Career and Education Opportunities for Air Traffic Controllers in Richardson, Texas
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for air traffic controllers in the Richardson, Texas area. There are currently 2,710 jobs for air traffic controllers in Texas and this is projected to grow by 26% to 3,420 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for air traffic controllers, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.1% over the next eight years. Air traffic controllers generally 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 $56 hourly or $118,400 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $53 hourly or $111,870 yearly. Earnings for air traffic controllers are better than earnings in the general category of Air in Texas and better than general Air category earnings nationally.
There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the Richardson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Richardson 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, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Richardson 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
Mountain View College - Dallas, TX
Mountain View College, 4849 W Illinois, Dallas, TX 75211-6599. Mountain View College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,126 students. Mountain View College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Air Traffic Controller.
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: Richardson, Texas
Richardson is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 101,589, which has grown by 10.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Richardson, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Richardson are priced at $210,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Richardson, down from one hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Richardson are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 47.7% of Richardson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.2%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Richardson is 7.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Richardson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Baptist Church, Richardson East Baptist Church and Richland Bible Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Richardson. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Richardson is home to Canyon Creek Park and Berkner Park. Visitors to Richardson can choose from Comfort Inn, Best Western Dallas Telecom Area and Champ Restaurant Equipment Supplies for temporary stays in the area.