Air traffic controllers and related occupations (NOC 2272)

About this job

Air traffic control and related occupations:

  • direct air traffic within assigned airspace, and control moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports
  • authorize airline flights over assigned routes
  • provide pilots with flight information essential to aviation safety
  • work for NAV Canada , the armed forces and airline and air services companies
Common job titles
  • air traffic control chief / officer
  • air traffic controller (ATC)
  • controller, tower - air traffic
  • flight service specialist (FSS)
  • officer, flight operations
  • air traffic control chief / officer
  • air traffic controller (ATC)
  • controller, tower - air traffic
  • flight service specialist (FSS)
  • officer, flight operations

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$102,132

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

Duties

Air traffic controllers:

  • control flow of air traffic within assigned airspace using radar monitors, radio and other communication equipment and visual references
  • issue aircraft takeoff and landing instructions to pilots, and relay meteorological, navigational and other information to pilots in flight
  • keep radio and telephone contact with nearby control towers, terminal control units and other area control centres, and co-ordinate movement of aircraft into adjoining areas
  • alert airport emergency services when aircraft are experiencing difficulties and report missing aircraft to search and rescue services
  • direct activities of all moving aircraft and service vehicles on or near airport runways

Flight dispatchers:

  • analyze environmental conditions and assess aircraft for load and fuel capacity, and other factors to determine flight routes
  • brief flight crew before takeoff on weather conditions, status of navigational facilities and airports en route
  • co-sign flight authorization with aircraft captain
  • monitor progress of flight and communicate as required with aircraft during flight
  • delay or cancel flights if necessary
  • prepare and maintain flight plans, flight logs and other reports

Flight service specialists:

  • provide pre-flight information concerning current and forecast weather conditions, radio frequencies, terrain, airports and related data to assist pilots in preparation of flight plans
  • check flight plans for completeness and accuracy, and forward flight plans to air traffic services facility
  • respond to radio calls from aircraft preparing for takeoff or landing, and supply information such as weather conditions, wind speed and direction, and presence of local air traffic
  • help air traffic control operations by relaying radio requests for flight clearances, arrival and departure information, and position reports
  • alert airport emergency services of aircraft experiencing difficulties and start communication searches when aircraft become overdue
  • observe, record and report weather conditions at airports

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in a structured environment, such as an office.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • A basic radio telephone operator's licence is required.
  • Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists require completion of a NAV Canada training program which includes structured in-class and on-the-job training.
  • Air traffic controllers require an air traffic controller's licence.
  • Flight dispatchers may require experience in air traffic control or flight operations and may require a private pilot's licence.

Skills

  • Spatial Perception
  • Innovative
  • Numerical Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
View skills definitions

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
30
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
650
Average annual employment growth:
-0.2%
Expected number of job openings:
130
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
20
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
30
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
150
Average annual employment growth:
2.9%
Expected number of job openings:
100
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
140
Average annual employment growth:
-0.6%
Expected number of job openings:
20

N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Air traffic controllers with experience and appropriate NAV Canada endorsements may move to units with higher volumes of air traffic.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.