How Can I Find an Aircraft Control School?

Get info on locating a school with an air traffic control program. Explore what you'd learn in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in this field. Check the additional requirements for becoming an air traffic controller, such as passing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Aircraft control studies are available at the undergraduate level. In these programs, you'll learn about the tools used in the profession, federal regulations and the business of professional flight, among other topics.

What Sort of Aircraft Control Schools Are Available?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you're most likely to find work as an air traffic controller with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has some specific requirements for employment in such a position. If you have prior experience with the FAA or Department of Defense, a 4-year degree, or a combination of both responsible work experience and college study, you may qualify for FAA employment. Coming with no experience, your best bet is to complete an FAA Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program at an accredited school.

As of 2011, the FAA listed 36 schools offering approved AT-CTI non-engineering aviation programs. The Aviation Accreditation Board International also provides a list of schools that may offer acceptable programs. A number of schools give you the opportunity to complete a portion of the air traffic control requirements online.

What Degrees Are Available to Me?

Community colleges and a number of 4-year schools may provide you the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Air Traffic Control. A 4-year school is also the source of a program leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). These programs are usually located in the institution's Department of Aviation Sciences, but may be located in another department, college or school, such as those for technology or engineering.

Many 2-year programs leading to an A.A.S. consist of 62-64 credits. Typical courses can include pilot ground school, flight theory, aviation meteorology, aeronautics, instrument flight, approach control, air traffic control procedures and radar.

You may be able to specialize and become an en route traffic controller or a terminal traffic controller. The terminal controller has authority over aircraft traveling in an airport's airspace and may also specialize as a ground controller, tower flight data controller or clearance delivery controller. En route controllers work at route traffic control centers around the country. They handle planes after or before they leave the airspace within 50 miles of their originating or landing terminals.

Commonly, you can earn a B.S. in Air Traffic Control or Aviation Management. This program usually takes four years to complete and consists of 120-122 credits. The training includes but expands upon what's learned in a typical A.A.S. program. These topics can include aviation management, airport management, tower operations, aviation legislation, flight safety and terminal operations.

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees in Aircraft Control?

Associate's degree programs in aircraft control include coursework in areas like aerodynamics, meteorology, and radar fundamentals.

  • Broward College offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Air Traffic Control
  • The Community College of Baltimore County offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Air Traffic Control
  • Thomas Edison State University offers an Associate in Science in Applied Science and Technology (ASAST) in Air Traffic Control

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Aircraft Control?

Programs at this degree level expand upon fundamental concepts to include coursework in aircraft operations, business and management skills, and aviation.

  • The University of North Dakota offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aeronautics with a major in Air Traffic Control
  • Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aeronautical Management Technology (Air Traffic Management)
  • Le Tourneau University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Air Traffic Management

Does Graduation Qualify Me to Become an FAA Air Traffic Controller?

Graduation from an approved AT-CTI program qualifies you to apply for a position as an air traffic controller. It also makes you eligible to sit for the 8-hour FAA pre-employment test. Once you pass the test, you are eligible for employment as an air traffic controller. If you meet other minimal qualifications--such as U.S. citizenship and the ability to speak English--you may be selected to attend the FAA Academy.

At the academy, you learn FAA regulations, performance characteristics of different aircraft and the equipment used as a controller. While the program normally lasts 12 weeks, graduation from an AT-CTI course exempts you from the first five weeks. You may also be able to receive college credit for courses pursued at the FAA Academy. Following graduation from the FAA Academy, you are assigned to an air traffic control facility.

Study aircraft control through various air traffic control degree programs. Some other available options include aeronautics.

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

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

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  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

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  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Edmonton
  • Georgia State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Louisiana Tech University

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: Ruston
  • University of North Dakota

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Grand Forks
  • Northern Kentucky University

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Highland Heights