Career outlook for air traffic controller
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would calmly and carefully guide aircraft pilots during their take off, their flight and landing
You'd help them avoid other aircraft and deal with difficult weather conditions so the crew and passengers arrive safely and on time.
You'd be responsible for giving clear instructions to make sure that aircraft travelling through UK airspace are kept a safe distance apart.
You'd also respond to emergency distress calls, working under pressure to help the aircraft land safely. For example, this might include instructing and guiding a light aeroplane that has lost its way in bad weather.
There are three specific roles for air traffic controllers.
If you work as an area controller you'd be based in a regional control centre where you would track and guide aircraft safely through your sector.
As an approach controller, you'd manage aircraft as they get close to the airport and arrange them into the correct landing order.
As an aerodrome controller, you'd work from a control tower and give pilots instructions for landing as they descend. You might also have ground control duties. For example you'd direct the aircraft on the runway after landing and before take off, and guide them to and from parking stands and holding areas.
This is a responsible job where you'd need to concentrate. You'd receive and need to interpret and check a lot of information quickly.
UK employment status
Search course options
Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.Find courses
Search job opportunities
If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.Find a job
Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.
- Verbal communication
- Working with technology
- Problem solving
- Working with numbers
- Developing a plan
- Taking responsibility
Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.
Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.Use the Skills Explorer tool
Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.