About Air Traffic Controller Salary

Before we delve into an Air traffic controller salary, we are gonna get an overview of who an Air traffic controller is.

Who is an Air traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are personnel that undertakes the duties of ensuring the safe and orderly movement of air traffic in the global air traffic control system,

They monitor the velocity, height, and position of aircraft from their operational Centre through radar and give directions to the pilot by radio.

Air traffic control is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It requires a high degree of specialization and skills.

They maintain considerable distance between aircraft to prevent collision and ensure all aircraft move safely and efficiently through their assigned sector of aerospace as well as the ground.

They make sensitive and real-time decisions daily about the position and safety of aircraft. It can be stressful to monitor and dictate guiding directions to pilot especially when the volume of traffic in the air is much. Their actions and decisions are always based on;

  • Weather conditions
  • Traffic type
  • Governmental policies
  • Several human factors


Many countries have institutions that provide training to people intending to become an air traffic controller. You don’t need to have any experience before you can be trained. After training, you will be granted an Air traffic control license. This license always includes ratings.

In the United States, controllers maybe train in specialties like the tower, Ground-controlled Approach (GCA), En-route control (both radar and non-radar), terminal radar.

This usually lasts for years.

A newly posted Traffic controller to a unit will need to be trained in that unit usually by controlling real aircraft in live positions, under the tutoring of a mentor or on the job training instructor.

This could last for months depending on the complexity of the sector. After been successfully trained, he/she will be allowed to control the aircraft position alone.


Due to the mental challenging nature of the job, they are required to a high degree of skills.

This includes;

  • A high degree of computational skill
  • Assertiveness
  • Decision-making skills
  • Composure
  • Must be able to work under pressure
  • Have situational awareness ability
  • Superior visual memory
  • Distinctive speaking skill
  • Analytical skill
  • Physical and psychologically sound
  • Must be good in the use of radiotelephony system to communicate with pilots

Salary Structure of Air Traffic Controllers

We have reached the main part of this article; “an air traffic controller salary”

Salary of Air Traffic controllers varies from states to states in the United States of America as can be seen below;

State Annual Median Salary $
Alabama 94, 370
Alaska 112, 260
Arizona 110, 370
Arkansas 93, 370
California 132, 300
Colorado 128, 210
Connecticut 83, 360
District of Columbia 75, 670
Georgia 136, 210
Hawaii 110, 050
Idaho 94, 910
Illinois 136, 390
Indiana 122, 470
Iowa 82, 460
Kansas 122, 510
Kentucky 104, 890
Louisiana 86, 070
Maryland 117, 610
Massachusetts 109,  430
Michigan 111, 830
Minnesota 131, 330
Mississippi 84, 240
Missouri 101, 280
Montana 77, 150
Nebraska 92, 720
New Hampshire 147, 350
New Jersey 118, 380
New Mexico 114, 890
New York 130, 840
North Carolina 109, 000
North Dakota 85, 760
Ohio 131, 1-
Oklahoma 109, 280
Oregon 95, 570
Pennsylvania 115, 040
South Carolina 92, 070
South Dakota 82, 580
Texas 133, 260
Utah 118, 410
Vermont 81, 630
Virginian 139, 520
West Virginia 79, 710
Wisconsin 100, 500


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