Air Traffic Controller in Australia


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Discussions on how to become an air traffic controller in Australia is slowly gaining grounds as more and more people are trying their fate in acquiring AVI50308 Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control). However, before you may even get your hands on $90,308 which is the entry level air traffic controller salary, you have to go through a tedious process.

Definitely, you need an air traffic controller training that can be achieved through the Airservices Australia or through the RAAF which stands for Royal Australian Air Force. You may only gain training and employment through these; they are the only training providers in Australia.

In the RAAF, there are two requirements before you may become an ATC. These are through entering the RAAF as an officer and completing the ATC training courses.

In Airservices Australia, however, you may become an ATC if you undergo training. You must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years old,
  • Be an Australian or have an Australian permanent residency status or a New Zealand citizen, and
  • Be a year-12 graduate in Australia with passing grades in English, Mathematics and Sciences especially Physics or equivalent, or
  • Be a tertiary diploma or degree holder from any recognized tertiary institution in Australia or equivalent.

Be reminded that Airservices Australia accepts two applications maximum. Nevertheless, the applicant must wait 1 year (12 months) before reapplying when he or she applies for the first time. This rule applies on applications on air traffic controller training and air traffic controller jobs.

Afterwards, the applicants must undergo the actual selection process. There are ten main elements of the process which are:

  • Online application,
  • Computer-assisted cognitive ability examination,
  • Computer-assisted aptitude examination,
  • Situational questionnaire,
  • Telephone interview,
  • Behavioral interview at the ATC assessment center,
  • Briefing exercise,
  • Group exercise,
  • Simulation, and
  • Referee comments.

You will be also subjected to medical exams, drug test and police checks.

If you passed all these, your application will be accepted and you now ready to undergo the training before you can become an air traffic controller. The training can be completed in 11 to 14 months, but this will depend on stream. The average is 12 months.

The training will commence in one of the Airservices Learning Academy campuses in Brisbane or Melbourne. The trainees are educated on different aspects of becoming an air traffic controller. The training will cover theoretical, conceptual and practical subjects. It will also include on-the-job instructions where trainees will be trained so that they will obtain their air traffic control licenses.

All trainees of Airservices are employed for a probationary period in one of the many locations of Airservices. The successful trainees will become permanent upon the course completion. However, while at the academy, you will receive $44,232 and when you are on you final field training, you will receive $66,349. Evidently, this is one of the highest paid trainings in Australia, so it is not surprising that the number of applicants is growing annually.

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