- ZAU Chicago Center
The girl who was first in my class had 0 experience. She studied her ass off and killed it. They’ll be more than willing and able to take any questions. Ask them all. You start off as basic as you can get.I have zero experience- don't even know the pheonetic alphabet 100%. I just hope the instructors have the time to answer questions because I like to be very thorough and understand everything.
How long is it taking you to advance/train? Did you land where you want to be or are you transferring in the future? Has being low-seniority been an issue for you? Is someone training you so you can become a CPC?
From the start date to D school it was a 7 month wait, including the gov shutdown, filled with maps, LOAs and SOPs, powerpoints, etc. But it was nice to have all that time to learn it. I placed decently in my class, so I like where I ended up.
When you’re in training, we only bid schedules with the other trainees. I’m in a group of three academy grads who got here around the same time, but I got here two weeks before them so I have somewhat of a choice in schedule for now.. After certifying, I’ll bid with all the controllers and be at the bottom of the barrel for while.
Speaking from enroute, you have a training team with three CPCs that match up with your schedule. You’re assigned with one of them per day to train on position with, or a different CPC can train you if none of them are available. I started training in mid March, got D1 mid June, and am on my 3rd sector now. Even with a decent number of trainees, I’m still getting a good amount of training and am on pace, if not a little ahead, of schedule. Still expecting around 3 years to fully check out.
There’s a lot of variables that go into it all, and they’ll all vary from facility to facility, but it’s going smoothly so far. Just have to put effort in to show your trainers you want to work, take criticism, learn from mistakes, and accept the slow process. I’d put all my energy into focusing on passing the academy first. You can worry about everything that comes after later. It’ll be worth it in the long run.