"Because of the serious nature of this work and zero margin for error, the training regimen and proficiencies needed to become an air traffic control specialist, are demanding," according to the FAA's website.
No experience in air traffic control is required to apply for the entry-level positions, but the job does require U.S. citizenship and applicants must be age 30 or under. They must also pass an air traffic skills assessment exam, a medical exam, a security investigation and pre-employment tests.
The job also requires three years of “progressively responsible work experience” or a bachelor’s degree, or three years of a combination of post-secondary education and work experience. And among the requirements is the ability to “Speak English clearly enough to be understood over communications equipment.”
Also required is a willingness to relocate. Air traffic controllers at large facilities may rotate between day, evening and night shifts, as well as weekends and holidays.
Those selected will undergo several weeks in an “intensive training program” at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. Those who do not successfully complete the paid training will not get the job.
For those who miss this hiring window, the FAA expects to open the hiring window again in the future.