Frequently asked questions about FAA academy

How long is the academy?

It depends on what track you are and whether you take basics or not.

  • Basics: 25 days
  • Initial Tower: 37 days
  • Initial En Route: 60 days
  • RTF: 25 days
  • TSEW: 21 days
  • TETRA: 20 days

What is per diem?

Per diem is an extra, untaxed pay to account for government related travel. The 2020 rate $101.60/day: $63 for housing, $38.60 M&IE.

For new hires: As of 1 June 2019, housing per diem will be paid directly to the housing provider. You do not have the option to keep it.

What is the pay at the academy?

Salary is $25,500 to $31,900. Combined with M&IE per diem (annualized $14,089), the annualized salary at the academy is $39,589-$45,989 (2020).

Where can I find the class schedule for the academy?

The FAA maintains a course catalog, here is each class' specific list:

  • Basics - Terminal (50043)
  • Basics - EnRoute (50143)
  • Basics - TRACON (50043001)
  • Initial Tower Cab (50046)
  • Initial EnRoute (50148001)
  • RTF (50034001)
  • TSEW (50056001)
  • TETRA (50070001)

Go to the course catelog page and look for the course numbers listed above.

What is the work schedule?

Monday - Friday. Class times vary depending on shifts, which you will rotate on (weekly). Shifts are 7a - 3:30p, 3:30p - 11:30p. Occasionally there are mid-shifts, but this only happens when MMAC is running at capacity.

Do we get holidays off?

The academy is closed on federal holidays.

Where can I find housing at the academy?

Please see our list of providers in the resources section.

The FAA also has some housing FAQ.

As of mid-2018, the FAA will no longer pay per diem for AirBnB rentals.

How are you graded?

You must complete each course at the academy with at least a 70% to pass. At the end of your track's class (enroute or terminal), facility selection takes place in order of highest-to-lowest score rank in class.

The grading is broken down by the following:

5 Block tests - 1% each.
End of course test - 5%.
Two Ground Control simulator evaluations - 15% each.
Two Local Control simulator evaluations - 30% each.
Map test - 2%
Aircraft characteristics - 4%
Knowledge test 1 - 4%
Knowledge test 2 - 5%
Checklist test - 5%
Two non-RADAR problems - 7% each
Three D-Side problems - 22% each

What is the pass rate?

Year 2016 2017 2018 2019
En Route 64% 50% 62% 77%
Terminal 78% 53% 68% 78%

What about Basics?

Not everyone is requried to attend basics. Prior experience hires and CTI graduates (hired under open bid pool 1) will not have to attend. However, you may have the option of voluntarily attending.

Basics is 25 days long. There are 5 block tests, and an end of course test where a 70% is required to pass. Please see the Overview of Basics thread for an summary of what to expect.

What is the dress code?

Neat, clean and will reflect a professional learning environment. Examples include casual slacks (e.g. khakis, cords), dress slacks, dresses, skirts, blouses, dress shirts, casual shirts with collars or banded/turtle necks and/or sweaters. Jeans will be permitted as long as they are not torn, frayed, patched or have holes of any kind. Shoes shall be neat and clean.

How much time do I get to report to my facility?

Dependant on the distance from the academy to your duty station. Each facility card on the site lists the alloted travel days. You also get 64 hours of change-of-station leave, which you may take prior to reporting to the facility upon approval from your facility's manager.

Change of station may be used anytime within two years of being assigned to a new facility.

How do I select my facility?

After passing evaluations, each class is given a list of facilities to choose from. The facilities are drawn from the priority placement lists, and number of slots offered will be match the number of graduating students. The selection order is based on your class ranking (highest score first).

OCONUS locations are sometimes offered as alternatives to the selection list. They will only be available if they are in the top 250 slots on the placement list.

TERMINAL: Assignments are level 7 or below facilities. Infrequently, Level 8 facilities may be offered.

Academy Student Services

New students should visit the Academy Student Services page for more information to frequently asked questions/

Updated 16-Jun-2020