26 year old guy wanting to become an ATC.

jtfly

New Member
Hi everyone. Just found this site recently. I've always been in love with aviation my entire life. I'm not happy with my 9-5 job and am very interested in becoming a controller. I have a few questions and concerns and would greatly appreciate some help! My first question is at 26 what kind of shot do I have at landing a job in the field being that the cut off age is 31? The only school in my state that offers the CT program is Western Michigan University which is a 4 year bachelors program. Ideally I'd like to go to a 2 year community college as my time is limited. Is there any chance at all at getting my name in the mix without having a degree or certification in ATC? The other issue at hand is that I used to be on and off anti depressants.Went through some heavy issues with insomnia for a while that I fixed on my own. Haven't taken any in over a year though. I am fully aware that with lives at hand they cannot risk putting someone who they think has issues in a tower and with the medication/ psychiatrist sessions in my medical history will that hurt my chances/disqualify me? Thanks for the time.
 

Huhhhh

LivingTheDream
Yes, it is possible for you to obtain a job in ATC, however you should start CTI school soon. The only people that can apply are Veterans, CTO or CTI graduates.
I'm don't know how your medical history will effect the process. Check out a website called: stuckmic.com it is full of helpful information concerning the process.
Good Luck!
 

KDoersom

Well-Known Member
Check out the community college of beaver county in PA. They offer a 2 year ATC program. Used to graduate with a tower operators license. Not sure if it is still that way or not.
 

KHanson

Well-Known Member
Check out the community college of beaver county in PA. They offer a 2 year ATC program. Used to graduate with a tower operators license. Not sure if it is still that way or not.
it's not. they use the tower as part of their CTI graduation course, and I think they're still the only school in the USA that does that, too. They call it a "Tower Internship" i believe. THey haven't done the CTO route for a bit now.
 

TheGirlinPurple

Well-Known Member
it's not. they use the tower as part of their CTI graduation course, and I think they're still the only school in the USA that does that, too. They call it a "Tower Internship" i believe. THey haven't done the CTO route for a bit now.
Umm they still show CTO as part of their tower program........
 

spades9048

Well-Known Member
Do you already have a bachelor's? If you do then you can do a four year program pretty quickly. If you don't then you definitely want to find a two year school out of state.
 

Bernoulli Fan

Controller
The other issue at hand is that I used to be on and off anti depressants.Went through some heavy issues with insomnia for a while that I fixed on my own. Haven't taken any in over a year though. I am fully aware that with lives at hand they cannot risk putting someone who they think has issues in a tower and with the medication/ psychiatrist sessions in my medical history will that hurt my chances/disqualify me? Thanks for the time.
If you are worried about being able to get a medical, you can find an aviation medical examiner near you and get the equivalent of a second-class pilot medical check. Probably cost you $60-$100, but you'd know for sure right away.

http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
If you are worried about being able to get a medical, you can find an aviation medical examiner near you and get the equivalent of a second-class pilot medical check. Probably cost you $60-$100, but you'd know for sure right away.

http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/
This. THIS.

Before you even start making a list of the best path to ATC, given your medical history, make an appointment with a flight surgeon. Determining if you can obtain and hold the required flight physical should be step one.
 

jtfly

New Member
Do you already have a bachelor's? If you do then you can do a four year program pretty quickly. If you don't then you definitely want to find a two year school out of state.
I didn't finish college. That's why I was looking into a 2 year option for sure.
 

jtfly

New Member
If you are worried about being able to get a medical, you can find an aviation medical examiner near you and get the equivalent of a second-class pilot medical check. Probably cost you $60-$100, but you'd know for sure right away.

http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/
I called an examiner in my area about the color blindness issue and he talked about the statement of demonstrated ability. I didn't tell him I was looking into becoming an ATC, just that I was looking into aviation, knew I had a red/green color issue and asked him what options I had. Does the dr. come out to the tower for the light gun test or does the FAA send someone to observe? Thanks for the help everyone.
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
I called an examiner in my area about the color blindness issue and he talked about the statement of demonstrated ability. I didn't tell him I was looking into becoming an ATC, just that I was looking into aviation, knew I had a red/green color issue and asked him what options I had. Does the dr. come out to the tower for the light gun test or does the FAA send someone to observe? Thanks for the help everyone.
Did you also discuss the anti-depressants and insomnia with the flight doc?

My suggestion to visit the doc first was based off that information in your OP. With the red/green issues coming up now that is also something that needs to be discussed.

Also, when speaking with them please do specifically mention ATC. There are enough differences in the requirements/waivers that qualifying for one may not necessarily mean you are qualified for the other.
 

GX

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone. Just found this site recently. I've always been in love with aviation my entire life. I'm not happy with my 9-5 job and am very interested in becoming a controller. I have a few questions and concerns and would greatly appreciate some help! My first question is at 26 what kind of shot do I have at landing a job in the field being that the cut off age is 31? The only school in my state that offers the CT program is Western Michigan University which is a 4 year bachelors program. Ideally I'd like to go to a 2 year community college as my time is limited. Is there any chance at all at getting my name in the mix without having a degree or certification in ATC? The other issue at hand is that I used to be on and off anti depressants.Went through some heavy issues with insomnia for a while that I fixed on my own. Haven't taken any in over a year though. I am fully aware that with lives at hand they cannot risk putting someone who they think has issues in a tower and with the medication/ psychiatrist sessions in my medical history will that hurt my chances/disqualify me? Thanks for the time.
You DO know that you need to be HIRED on or before your 31st b-day, correct? You are also aware that people are waiting 1-3 years right now to go to OKC for class start dates? You're not hired in the FAA until you start class. Just a couple of tidbits that haven't been addressed.

There are so many issues that you need to address before giving this a real shot. The military, however, is a viable option. I left for boot camp 3 mos after my 27th bday. Did 5 years of controlling in some of the coolest places on Earth. Had my fun though. You can PM me for more if you have questions. The FAA is not going to drop the age cutoff. That rumor has been swirling for decades.
 

UNDgrad06

Well-Known Member
GX is mostly right, however as long as you get your Tentative Offer Letter before your 31st birthday then you are good with the FAA, not when you start classes at the Academy. You can start class after that and many people do.

However you biggest problem, IMO, if going to be your medical. You say you fixed the problems yourself, well the FAA is going to need some kind of doctor to back that up. Throw in color blindness on top of that and you are going to be fighting an up hill battle. As has been mentioned above, go to a Aviation Medical Examiner and see if you can get a class 2 medical which is most similar to the ATC medical. Also ask him about your other problems.

Then I would get in school and hurry up. Just please don't put all your eggs in one basket. Even if every AME tells you that you are good for the FAA, you could get school finished and then have the FAA so NO. Then you have to decide how much you want to fight. Good Luck.
 
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