Air Traffic Control Schools

An air traffic controller focuses on the safety of the aircraft and considers factors like equipment, volume of traffic, weather patterns and communications. Learn about training and certification requirements. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Air traffic controllers will study at the undergraduate level via associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Online courses are available. Certification and licensure might also be required.

How Can I Find a Reliable Air Traffic Control School?

As an air traffic controller, you'll most likely end up as an employee of the FAA, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To ensure that you're properly prepared to apply for such a position, the FAA has developed a specific set of requirements before you're even considered for employment. Foremost among these is that you successfully complete an FAA Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program.

AT-CTI programs are non-engineering aviation programs leading to associate's degree or bachelor's degrees. As of February 2011, you can find such programs at 36 partnered, postsecondary institutions throughout the United States. These institutions are listed at the FAA website. AT-CTI programs are usually offered through an institution's school or department of technology, aviation, or aerospace technology or through a similar division.

What Are Some Common Degrees Available to Me?

A program leading to an Associate of Applied Science in Air Traffic Control can take you 2-2.5 years to complete. Typical courses include pilot ground school, instrument ground school, aviation meteorology, navigation, flight simulation and air traffic control. In addition, some schools require you to complete a period of full- or part-time employment in an air traffic control environment.

You may decide you want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management. This type of 4-year program consists of 120-124 credits. For the most part, the first two years of study consist of lower-division courses often included in an associate's degree program. Your final two years cover such subjects as public relations, airline management, airline operations and control tower operations. An internship is often part of many programs.

What Schools Offer Associate's Degrees in Air Traffic Control?

Associate's degrees in air traffic control are easily available. An online option exists, while other choices include those at community colleges.

  • Hampton University offers an online Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program in Aviation Management (Air Traffic Control)
  • Sacramento City College offers an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program in Air Traffic Control
  • Community College of Baltimore County offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Air Traffic Control

What Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Air Traffic Control?

Bachelor's degrees in air traffic control include accredited programs through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for those who are already licensed. Other programs include typical 120-credit hour majors.

  • Lewis University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Air Traffic Control Management
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Air Traffic Management
  • Thomas Edison State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology (BSAT) degree program in Air Traffic Control

Are There Online Courses Available?

Although rare, some schools offer you the opportunity to complete a certain number of courses online. In this scenario, the AT-CTI programs at these schools are hybrids, meaning that some courses can be completed online, while others require in-person participation. Some examples of online course topics include introductory air traffic control, accident investigation, aviation law, general aviation knowledge and aviation weather.

Once I Graduate From an AT-CTI Program, Am I Certified?

Graduation doesn't guarantee certification. Depending on your GPA upon graduation, your school may recommend you for employment with the FAA. You're then eligible to sit for the FAA Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT) battery of tests. In order to pass, you must achieve a score of 70%.

Once you pass security and medical clearance and drug screening, you may qualify for selection to attend the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, OK, for a 12-week training period. Graduation from an AT-CTI program may exempt you from the first five weeks of training. A number of courses you can take through the FAA Academy can qualify for additional college credit. Once you graduate from the FAA Academy, you can be assigned as a trainee or 'developmental controller' to an air traffic control facility. It can take an additional 2-4 years of on-the-job training for you to become a certified air traffic controller.

Air traffic schools are available through community colleges and 4-year institutions. Students who've already acquired their license in air traffic control can choose programs where credit is given from the FAA.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Alaska

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Anchorage
  • University of Alaska Anchorage

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Anchorage
  • Tulsa Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • Sinclair Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Dayton
  • Schenectady County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Schenectady
  • University of North Dakota

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Grand Forks
  • Sacramento City College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Sacramento