Career and Education Opportunities for Air Traffic Controllers in Chesapeake, Virginia
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for air traffic controllers in the Chesapeake, Virginia area. The national trend for air traffic controllers 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.
The average wage in the general category of Air jobs is $23 per hour or $61,557 per year in Virginia, and an average of $30 per hour or $70,915 per year nationwide.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Chesapeake where you can study to be an air traffic controller, among thirty-six schools of higher education total in the Chesapeake area. Air traffic controllers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Chesapeake 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.
- Aircraft Inspector. Inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Air Traffic Controller Training
Hampton University - Hampton, VA
Hampton University, , Hampton, VA 23668-0099. Hampton University is a medium sized university located in Hampton, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has an admission rate of 45%. Hampton University has a bachelor's degree program in Air Traffic Controller which graduated one student 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: Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake is located in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 220,111, which has grown by 10.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chesapeake, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chesapeake are priced at $160,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-nine new homes were constructed in Chesapeake, down from seven hundred fifty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Chesapeake are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and transportation equipment. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 24.7% of Chesapeake residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chesapeake is 6.1%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.
Pleasant Grove Church, Refuge Mission Church and Saint Andrews Church are among the churches located in Chesapeake.
Chesapeake is home to the Jacks Camp and the Portlock Yard as well as Cascade Park and Ford Park. Shopping malls in the area include Great Bridge Shopping Center, Greenbrier Mall Shopping Center and Poplar Hill Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chesapeake can choose from Courtyard By Marriott, Chesapeake Travelodge Motel and Comfort Inn Bowers Hill for temporary stays in the area.