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Advice for getting hired into ATC (Pool 1 vs. Vet. vs. Pool 2)

DisBoi17

Lurker
Messages
2
Hey y'all! So I am a junior in High School and have been researching so much trying to figure out how to get into Air Traffic Controlling. I have read many forums, but many seem to be outdated so I just wanted to reconfirm some of my prior suspicious and ask y'all if Pool 1 or Pool 2 is better for hiring purposes. In 2021, I am led to believe that you must take the *ATSA in either pool and your FAA hiring odds are based on which score you get. You must have around 3 years of Aviation experience to take the *ATSA. If you are in Pool 2, you must also take a Biographical Assessment which is apparently not very friendly for many people, for only around 33% of people end up passing. I am also led to believe that however amount of people are taken in Pool 1, Pool 2 must take around that same amount (10% above or below). I am ready to go to college and do an AT-CTI program, but the more I am researching, the more I am realizing that Pool 2 may just be a good option, and if I were to fail the Biographical Assessment, do terrible on the *ATSA, or the FAA not having any openings during that time, then I could just major in commercial piloting (while getting experience for taking the *ATSA), instead of wasting money on an Air Traffic Management course. Anyway, which Pool should I go though to have the best odds, and are my facts correctly stated? Thank ya for reading! :)
 
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Your information is very dated... read the FAQ on this site. You only get Pool 1 by being a veteran or CTI grad. The test is the ATSA, not AT-SAT. The Biographical Assessment (Bio-Q) isn't a thing anymore. etc

Termine

⭐SuperStar
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
501
Your information is very dated... read the FAQ on this site. You only get Pool 1 by being a veteran or CTI grad. The test is the ATSA, not AT-SAT. The Biographical Assessment (Bio-Q) isn't a thing anymore. etc
 
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AnyTrafficPleaseAdvise

Trusted Contributor
Messages
362
Don’t go CTI. The advantages are minimal, and if you don’t make it to the academy or you fail the academy you’ll have a worthless degree that’s only useful for one career. Go to school for something aviation related like aviation management so you have an understanding of aviation and also have a fall back plan.
 

rlanger0828

Trusted Contributor
Messages
118
SO first of all: a lot of this information is outdated. Second of all: I guarantee all of your questions can be answered in the FAQ section.

The AT-SAT is no longer a thing, it's now the ATSA. You do not need any aviation experience, only 3 year of work experience, 4 years of college, or a combination of both. The BioQ is no longer a thing, either. I believe the 10% difference between the 2 pools has also been taken out of the equation recently, but they give preference to pool 1 applicants.

If you really want to go the CTI route, I suggest having a back-up plan. I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting a CTI degree because of all the reasons you listed OR if you fail the academy. It's ironic because I am CTI and I do think it helped me to some degree but it puts a lot more pressure and strain because of the fact that not everyone passes the academy. There are also some CTI schools that let you minor in ATC and you can major in something else or they have other programs that can help you have other options if ATC never works out.

I would either recommend going through with the military and getting your CTO because you are still pretty young or just live your life, go to college or get a good job and apply through the pool 2 bid every time a bid opens but who knows when the next one will even be.
 

CF

Assistant to the Regional Moderator
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
2,947
Took me 5 years from when I got my cti degree to when I got hired and that was during the prime of the hiring push. It worked out for me in the end but I know a lot of people who got a cti degree that never got hired.
 

Carole_Fn_Baskin

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
405
Facility
ZDV Denver Center
Hey y'all! So I am a junior in High School and have been researching my so much trying to figure out how to get into Air Traffic Controlling. I have read many forums, but many seem to be outdated so I just wanted to reconfirm some of my prior suspicious and ask y'all if Pool 1 or Pool 2 is better for hiring purposes. In 2021, I am led to believe that you must take the AT-SAT in either pool and your FAA hiring odds are based on which score you get. You must have around 3 years of Aviation experience to take the AT-SAT. If you are in Pool 2, you must also take a Biographical Assessment which is apparently not very friendly for many people, for only around 33% of people end up passing. I am also led to believe that however amount of people are taken in Pool 1, Pool 2 must take around that same amount (10% above or below). I am ready to go to college and do an AT-CTI program, but the more I am researching, the more I am realizing that Pool 2 may just be a good option, and if I were to fail the Biographical Assessment, do terrible on the ATSA, or the FAA not having any openings during that time, then I could just major in commercial piloting (while getting experience for taking the ATSA), instead of wasting money on an Air Traffic Management course. Anyway, which Pool should I go though to have the best odds, and are my facts correctly stated? Thank ya for reading! :)
Apply as OTS in an open bid while pursuing your commercial pilot license or join the military. Don’t wait on the FAA for anything. Apply and forget about it until you get an email.
 

SierraMike

Active Member
Messages
106
Ditto to the outdated information, and to some of the CTI things that the other users said.

I'm currently a student attending a CTI school on my 2nd out of 4th semester. Currently taking the lab simulation classes, I quickly found out that I have a knack for air traffic control. The 3rd day in, the professor asked me to help other students who were struggling. I'm not in the CTI program to get into Pool 1, which might or might not be better chanced, we'll see. I got into the CTI program because I had absolutely no aviation experience to backup learning ATC, and thought that I could use the knowledge I gain in CTI school to reinforce the FAA Academy. Instead of trying to understand the basics and struggling at the Academy, I can focus on the more complex tasks. That's the thought, anyway.

Although I'm in the CTI program, my degree is not Air Traffic Control. It is an Associate's in Aviation Administration, a management degree. From where I'm at in the program, I could go to flight school if I desired, as I now have a ground school endorsement and can take the FAA Knowledge Test to start my private pilot.
 

SierraMike

Active Member
Messages
106
It took you 3 days to become an ATC savant? Those are rookie numbers my man ( or woman I don't judge)
Actually, it's two. First day, we just goofed off...Does that bump my numbers up?? Lmao, but on an honest note, I have a lot to learn and I know that. But it did feel good for someone who was concerned about picking up on the knowledge
Jeez an outsiders reference. That’s obscure even for this place.
What can I say? I'm a classy man
Hey y'all! So I am a junior in High School and have been researching my so much trying to figure out how to get into Air Traffic Controlling. I have read many forums, but many seem to be outdated so I just wanted to reconfirm some of my prior suspicious and ask y'all if Pool 1 or Pool 2 is better for hiring purposes. In 2021, I am led to believe that you must take the *ATSA in either pool and your FAA hiring odds are based on which score you get. You must have around 3 years of Aviation experience to take the *ATSA. If you are in Pool 2, you must also take a Biographical Assessment which is apparently not very friendly for many people, for only around 33% of people end up passing. I am also led to believe that however amount of people are taken in Pool 1, Pool 2 must take around that same amount (10% above or below). I am ready to go to college and do an AT-CTI program, but the more I am researching, the more I am realizing that Pool 2 may just be a good option, and if I were to fail the Biographical Assessment, do terrible on the *ATSA, or the FAA not having any openings during that time, then I could just major in commercial piloting (while getting experience for taking the *ATSA), instead of wasting money on an Air Traffic Management course. Anyway, which Pool should I go though to have the best odds, and are my facts correctly stated? Thank ya for reading! :)
In all honesty, and on a serious note, do what you believe is best for you, while being reasonable about your choices (primarily financially). I chose CTI school because I needed a foundation to build aviation knowledge. I learn better when I'm exposed to similar things, so if I have a basis to learn ATC from (like Pilot Ground School and Intro to Air Traffic), then I do better in my studies. I may not have what it takes, but I have a passion for it and I'm doing the best I can to be as successful as I can. If ATC doesn't work out for you, whether it's the fact you don't have a passion for it, you age out, or don't have what it takes, have a backup. You stated you could just major in commercial piloting (ATP), and that's honestly a good choice, IMO. Whatever it is that you end up doing, just be happy doing it :)
 

redsphanatic

Trusted Contributor
Messages
146
Hey y'all! So I am a junior in High School.....
Take it from someone who has been in and out of the hiring process for the last 7 years... get a degree you can use. A straight up "Aviation" degree will get you much further than CTI. Use your time after graduation to get into the industry either flying or into the management side with the airlines or an airport. You can use the progressive work experience and bachelors to meet the minimum requirements for the application. I won't speak explicitly about what is on the AT-SA but use some time to do research here and I'm sure you can get an idea. I took it with 45 minutes sleep from the day before and got Best Qualified... it's honestly a crapshoot. The FAA doesn't really care about what you know about ATC before you get into the Academy since they will train you there better than any CTI school. The only surefire way to boost your chances is to get ATC experience in the military or go through the military to get a 10-point Veterans preference, but even then it isn't guaranteed.
 
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