Career memes of the week: air traffic controller

7 Oct 2014

This week’s career memes take off with air traffic controllers, those professionals who are responsible for moving air traffic safely and efficiently around airports and airspaces.

An air traffic controller works with radar and computer systems to monitor aircraft and ensure a safe distance between them. They also check flight paths and weather conditions, make calculations, instruct and direct pilots, and respond to emergency or distress calls.

A education that includes computers, maths and physics will be of benefit to an air traffic controller, as will excellent spatial vision, and solid communication, problem-solving and team-working skills, along with the ability to work well under pressure, make decisions quickly, and absorb and interpret information from several sources.  

Typical employers of air traffic controllers are aviation authorities or aviation services.

Air traffic controllers may be required to work all manner of hours, including weekends and holidays, but the basic starting salary for fully qualified air traffic controllers is nearly €51,000, according to

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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