Air Traffic Controllers and Related Workers

(NOC 2272)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Air traffic controllers direct air traffic within assigned airspace, and control moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports. Flight service specialists provide pilots with flight information essential to aviation safety. Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists are employed by NAV Canada and the Canadian Forces. Flight dispatchers authorize airline flights over assigned routes. Flight dispatchers are employed by airline and air services companies and by the Canadian Forces.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Air Traffic Controllers and Related Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 75% of Air Traffic Controllers and Related Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $89,285. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$75,030

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Air traffic controllers direct air traffic within assigned airspace, and control moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports. Flight service specialists provide pilots with flight information essential to aviation safety. Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists are employed by NAV Canada and the Canadian Forces. Flight dispatchers authorize airline flights over assigned routes. Flight dispatchers are employed by airline and air services companies and by the Canadian Forces.

Job duties

Air traffic controllers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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.
  • Maintain radio and telephone contact with adjacent control towers, terminal control units and other area control centres, and coordinate 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 service specialists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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.
  • Support 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 initiate communication searches when aircraft become overdue.
  • Observe, record, and report weather conditions at airports.

Flight dispatchers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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 conditions warrant.
  • Prepare and maintain flight plans, flight logs and other reports.

Sample job titles

  • air traffic control assistant
  • air traffic control chief
  • air traffic control officer
  • air traffic controller (ATC)
  • airline dispatcher
  • flight dispatch assistant
  • flight dispatcher
  • flight operations officer
  • flight service specialist (FSS)

Skills

For these jobs, you need good health and eyesight, good judgement, constant vigilance, and the ability to communicate effectively. The candidates who succeed in training are self-confident and mature team players who are highly motivated, decisive, and self-disciplined.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high 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.

Other considerations

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

By the numbers

Quick look

155

employed in 2016

87.5%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

34.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
65.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.3

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

59.4%

Halifax

37.5%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

64.5%

Transportation and Warehousing

32.3%

Public Administration

3.2%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

51.9%

45-54

39.0%

35-44

5.2%

25-34

2.6%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

45.2%

College certificate or diploma

$98,560 median annual income
29.0%

High school

$99,570 median annual income
12.9%

Bachelor's degree

$132,376 median annual income
12.9%

Trades certificate

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Air traffic controller

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to air-traffic management and control. These programs include courses in flight control; the use of radar and electronic scanning devices; plotting of flights; radio communication; interpretation of weather conditions affecting flights; flight instrumentation used by pilots; and maintenance of flight-control centre or control-tower log books.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Air Traffic Controller

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Transport Canada - Civil Aviation Services
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4K2
(800) 305-2059
Flight Service Specialist

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Transport Canada - Civil Aviation Services
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4K2
(800) 305-2059

Contacts

NAV CANADA
PO Box 3411, Station T
Ottawa, ON K1P 5L6
Tel: (800) 876-4693 ext.4
Fax: (877) 663-6656

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.