Air Traffic Controllers ensure the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in controlled airspace and aerodromes by directing aircraft movements.

    You need to complete training with either Airservices Australia or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to work as an Air Traffic Controller. To be eligible for the Airservices Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control) course, you must have completed either your year 12 certificate, a diploma or degree in the last 10 years or have a current pilot licence or a relevant international qualification. You must become an officer in the Air Force to undertake the RAAF air traffic control course.

    Tasks

    • Controls aircraft movements, and directs aircraft taxiing, take-offs and landings by radio.
    • Provides pre-flight briefings and aeronautical information services.

    All Air Transport Professionals

    • $2,558 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Air Traffic Controllers

    • 1,700 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 88% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 40 hours Average full-time
    • 42 years Average age
    • 16% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Air Traffic Controllers (in their main job) grew strongly over 5 years:
    from 1,600 in 2011 to 1,700 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Air Traffic Controllers work in many parts of Australia. Queensland has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Public Administration and Safety; and Manufacturing.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (88%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 16% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Transport, Postal and Warehousing80.0
    Public Administration and Safety19.0
    Manufacturing0.3
    Construction0.2
    Other Industries0.5

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateAir Traffic ControllersAll Jobs Average
    NSW16.531.6
    VIC29.725.6
    QLD34.720.0
    SA4.77.0
    WA8.310.8
    TAS0.92.0
    NT3.41.0
    ACT1.81.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketAir Traffic ControllersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-244.6-9.39.3
    25-3428.3-22.922.9
    35-4425.3-22.022.0
    45-5426.0-21.621.6
    55-5910.9-9.09.0
    60-642.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.9-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationAir Traffic ControllersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate7.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree33.3-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma47.1-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV2.7-21.121.1
    Year 127.8-18.118.1
    Year 110.4-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below1.3-12.512.5

    You need to complete training with either Airservices Australia or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to work as an Air Traffic Controller. To be eligible for the Airservices Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control) course, you must have completed either your year 12 certificate, a diploma or degree in the last 10 years or have a current pilot licence or a relevant international qualification. You must become an officer in the Air Force to undertake the RAAF air traffic control course.

    You must also be registered with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • an Australian air traffic control licence issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Aviation Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Air Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Transportation

      74% Skill level

      Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      71% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Education and Training

      70% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    4. Public Safety and Security

      64% Skill level

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    5. Geography

      63% Skill level

      Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2021.00 - Air Traffic Controllers.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Frequency of Decision Making

      99% Important

      How often do you make decisions that affect other people?

    2. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      98% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    3. Being Exact or Accurate

      97% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    4. Impact of Decisions

      96% Important

      What results do your decisions have on other people?

    5. Work With Work Group or Team

      96% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2021.00 - Air Traffic Controllers.

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