Air Traffic Control Instructor Job Description [Updated for 2024]

air traffic control instructor job description

In an era defined by the rapid growth of aviation, the role of Air Traffic Control Instructors is becoming increasingly critical.

As air travel continues to expand, the demand for skilled professionals who can guide, mentor, and safeguard our air traffic systems also soars.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an Air Traffic Control Instructor?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker aiming to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager seeking to define the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricate operations of air traffic control,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a comprehensive Air Traffic Control Instructor job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Air Traffic Control Instructor Duties and Responsibilities

Air Traffic Control Instructors are primarily responsible for teaching, guiding, and evaluating aspiring air traffic controllers.

They have an in-depth understanding of air traffic control techniques, procedures, regulations, and equipment.

Their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Designing and delivering air traffic control courses for trainee air traffic controllers
  • Utilizing simulator technology to create real-world air traffic scenarios for training purposes
  • Assessing and evaluating students’ knowledge and understanding of air traffic control procedures and regulations
  • Providing constructive feedback to students to facilitate their learning and improvement
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of air traffic control procedures, equipment, and regulations
  • Ensuring compliance with all safety regulations and standards during training sessions
  • Preparing and administering written and practical tests to assess students’ competence
  • Assisting in the development and revision of training materials and curriculum


Air Traffic Control Instructor Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking an experienced Air Traffic Control Instructor to prepare and implement comprehensive training programs for our new and existing air traffic control officers.

The successful candidate will have significant hands-on experience in air traffic control and excellent teaching abilities.

The Air Traffic Control Instructor will be responsible for developing curriculum, conducting practical and classroom-based training, and evaluating trainees’ performance.

Ultimately, the role aims to ensure our air traffic control officers have comprehensive knowledge and the practical skills to perform their duties effectively and safely.



  • Design and implement comprehensive training programs in accordance with FAA regulations and guidelines
  • Conduct classroom and simulation-based training sessions
  • Monitor trainee performance and provide feedback and assistance to improve their skills
  • Review and assess trainees’ progress
  • Stay up-to-date with new training methods, operational procedures and regulations
  • Help trainees improve their skills with personalized training plans
  • Ensure compliance with all internal and external training standards
  • Develop training aids such as manuals and handbooks



  • Proven work experience as an Air Traffic Controller
  • Previous instructional experience in air traffic control training is preferred
  • Familiarity with FAA regulations and air traffic control guidelines
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to use different training methods and tools
  • Ability to monitor and assess trainee performance effectively
  • FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist Certificate



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Air Traffic Control Instructor
  • Work Environment: Mostly indoors in a classroom or simulator setting. Some travel may be required for training seminars or conferences.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Training Manager or Director of Training.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $50,000 minimum to $85,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Air Traffic Control Instructor Do?

Air Traffic Control Instructors are highly specialized professionals who educate and train individuals for the critically important role of air traffic controllers.

They often work for aviation schools, military institutions, or federal agencies, where they teach students the principles of air traffic control and the skills needed to manage the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic.

Their job responsibilities include developing course curriculum, delivering lectures, demonstrating air traffic control procedures, providing hands-on training in real or simulated environments, and assessing student performance.

They are also responsible for staying updated on the latest advancements in aviation technology, air traffic control systems, and federal aviation regulations.

In addition to teaching, air traffic control instructors may also have to mentor students, helping them to enhance their decision-making skills, increase their spatial awareness, and improve their ability to work under high-stress situations.

In this role, instructors must ensure students gain a deep understanding of aviation language, aircraft separation standards, weather patterns, navigation, emergency procedures, and more.

They may also play a role in preparing students for certification examinations.


Air Traffic Control Instructor Qualifications and Skills

An effective Air Traffic Control Instructor should possess a mix of technical and soft skills, which align with the demands of the role.

These include:

  • Proficiency in air traffic control regulations and procedures: Able to effectively teach students about the rules and regulations involved in air traffic control, as well as the various procedures used in the management of air traffic.
  • Strong communication skills: This role involves imparting complex technical knowledge to students. Therefore, having the ability to communicate effectively and clearly is critical.
  • Instructional skills: Able to create a curriculum and lesson plans that effectively teach the skills and knowledge required to become an air traffic controller. This includes the ability to assess and adapt to the learning styles of different students.
  • Understanding of emergency procedures: Capable of teaching students how to respond appropriately and calmly in emergency situations.
  • Technical aptitude: Ability to understand and teach navigation systems, radar systems, and other technologies used in air traffic control.
  • Interpersonal skills: Being able to establish and maintain a positive learning environment that encourages student engagement and participation.
  • Problem-solving skills: Ability to identify issues that students may be having with the material and provide effective solutions to overcome these obstacles.
  • Patience: It is essential to have the patience to guide students through the learning process, which can be challenging and complex.


Air Traffic Control Instructor Experience Requirements

Air Traffic Control Instructors generally require several years of experience in air traffic control operations.

This experience is often gained through a career as an Air Traffic Controller, which includes significant on-the-job training and practical experience.

Entry-level instructors may have 3 to 5 years of experience, often through various roles in air traffic control operations.

This experience can include work as an Air Traffic Control Specialist, Air Traffic Control Supervisor or Operations Manager.

Candidates with more than 5 years of experience often have a deeper understanding of air traffic control systems and procedures.

They may have also gained experience in teaching or training roles, which is highly beneficial for an instructor role.

Those with over 10 years of experience often have extensive knowledge and experience in air traffic control operations and safety protocols.

These candidates may have held senior or supervisory roles in air traffic control operations and may have already had experience in training or mentoring roles.

In addition to operational experience, Air Traffic Control Instructors also need to have strong communication skills and the ability to effectively impart their knowledge and skills to others.

They may also require certification or licensing from aviation authorities.


Air Traffic Control Instructor Education and Training Requirements

Air Traffic Control Instructors typically need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Air Traffic Control, Aviation, or a related field.

They must have a thorough understanding of air traffic control operations and need to have in-depth knowledge of aviation regulations and procedures, along with a deep understanding of weather patterns, navigation, and radar systems.

Most employers prefer hiring instructors with previous air traffic control experience, often requiring a minimum of three years of experience in the field.

Certification is also necessary, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offering the Air Traffic Control Operator Certificate.

To achieve this, individuals must pass a series of tests and simulations, as well as a medical examination.

For those aspiring to become senior instructors or to hold managerial roles, a master’s degree in Aviation or Education could be beneficial.

Additionally, some instructors may choose to pursue further certifications or courses to enhance their teaching methods and knowledge of emerging aviation technologies.

Maintaining professional development through ongoing education and training is crucial in this role due to the rapidly evolving nature of the aviation industry.


Air Traffic Control Instructor Salary Expectations

An Air Traffic Control Instructor can expect to earn an average salary of $75,760 (USD) per year.

However, this figure can fluctuate depending on factors such as years of experience, the complexity of the training program, and the geographical location of the job.


Air Traffic Control Instructor Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Air Traffic Control Instructor need?

Air Traffic Control Instructors should have outstanding communication skills to convey complex information to students effectively.

They need a deep understanding of air traffic control systems and procedures.

They should have excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, along with an ability to make quick decisions.

They should also be patient, as teaching air traffic control concepts can be challenging.


Do Air Traffic Control Instructors need a degree?

Most employers require Air Traffic Control Instructors to have a bachelor’s degree in aviation or a related field.

Prior experience as an Air Traffic Controller is often mandatory.

In addition, some employers may require instructors to have a Certified Professional Controller (CPC) certificate.


What should you look for in an Air Traffic Control Instructor’s resume?

When hiring an Air Traffic Control Instructor, look for a solid background in air traffic control, including practical experience.

Look for any teaching or training experience as well.

Certifications, such as a Certified Professional Controller (CPC) certificate, are a plus.

The candidate should also demonstrate a sound knowledge of aviation regulations and procedures.


What qualities make a good Air Traffic Control Instructor?

A good Air Traffic Control Instructor is patient and can communicate complex concepts in a manner that’s easy to understand.

They are adaptable, able to adjust their teaching methods to cater to the learning styles of different students.

They should also be detail-oriented, ensuring that students grasp the intricacies of air traffic control systems and procedures.


Is it difficult to hire Air Traffic Control Instructors?

Hiring Air Traffic Control Instructors can be challenging due to the specific skill set and experience required for the role.

Candidates not only need to have a solid background in air traffic control but also need to possess teaching or training skills.

However, offering competitive salaries and benefits can attract qualified candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve given you a bird’s eye view of what it genuinely means to be an air traffic control instructor.

Surprise, surprise?

It’s not merely about managing air traffic.

It’s about designing the future of air travel, one instruction at a time.

With our readily available air traffic control instructor job description template and real-life examples, you’re fully equipped to soar higher.

But why settle for just that?

Take flight with our job description generator. It’s your next stride to precision-guided listings or fine-tuning your resume to the top-notch.

Keep in mind:

Every instruction you give is part of a grander scheme.

Let’s navigate this airspace. Together.

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