Air Traffic Controller | Ponder

Air Traffic Controller

What do they do?

Responsible for keeping aircrafts, flight crews, and airline passengers safe, Air Traffic Controllers work from control towers, approach control facilities, or route centres.

They instruct aircraft when to safely take off or land. Coordinate air traffic patterns to maintain safe distances from other aircraft. Monitor all aircraft to ensure they are in the right place at the right time, problem free. They are authorised to change flight paths if necessary.

Incredibly focused and able to concentrate for long periods? A quick thinker and great team player? Looking for a career that could take you anywhere in the world? Then consider a career in air traffic control.


  • Issue landing and take-off instructions to pilots
  • Monitor and direct the movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air, using radar, computers, or visual references
  • Organise flight plans and traffic management plans
  • Control all ground traffic at airports, including baggage vehicles and airport workers
  • Communications with pilots, airport staff, and other agencies, as required
  • Provide information to pilots, such as weather updates, runway closures, and flight path changes or directions to emergency landing fields for pilots traveling in bad weather or in emergency situations
  • Alert airport response staff, in the event of an aircraft emergency
  • Maintain accurate records and reports

Skills required:

  • Excellent decision maker
  • Good spatial awareness and strong mathematical skills
  • Work well under pressure
  • Exceptional computer skills
  • Confident, highly responsible and motivated
  • Fluent English speaker
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good forward planning but adaptable to changing situations
  • Willing to do shift work 24/7, 365 days of the year


You’ll need to be an Australian Citizen and aged 18+ and successfully complete training through Airservices Australia or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

You must also pass an aviation medical and meet security clearance requirements.

To be eligible for the Airservices course, you need to have completed (within the past 10 years) either: year 12 certificate, a degree or diploma from a recognised Australian tertiary institution, or have obtained a current commercial or private pilot licence

​To become an air traffic controller (mission controller) with the RAAF requires entry into the Royal Australian Air Force as an officer and completion of air force training courses in air traffic control. To successfully apply, you’ll need a Year 12 certificate with appropriate subjects, or complete a university degree at ADFA whilst undertaking military and leadership training.

Average salary  $133,016 per year (Source:

$74,001 per annum, immediately after successful training with ADF (Source:

Job growth in this area is moderate (source:

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