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Hiring Bid Air Traffic Control Specialist - Trainee: FAA-ATO-18-ALLSRCE-57792

Rallan

Member
Messages
35
If I could give you guys any advice, it would be to get the phraseology DOWN. Repetition, repetition, repetition. You can’t be fumbling on how to spit out a point out, manual handoff, emergency steps, etc. I’m a more visual learner, so non radar was more difficult for me, but I did enough to survive to give myself a good chance going into radar.

Know the SOP’s, LOA’s, and airspace without question. It’ll give you a small, small taste of what they’ll be like at your facility lol.

Most importantly, find a way to relax. Mine was chewing gum during the problems for some reason. Just find a way to get over those first 5 min jitters and get in a groove. If you prepare yourself right, you can go into evals, rock the problems, and land an awesome career. I’m a year out of the academy, and I couldn’t be happier with this. Ya training sucks and you feel like a idiot learning, but I absolutely could not picture myself doing anything other than this.

Put in the work and you all will do just fine.
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?
 

BAS92

Forum Sage
FAA
Messages
243
Facility
ZAU Chicago Center
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?
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.

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.
 

AMD

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
205
Facility
ZOA Oakland Center
If I could give you guys any advice, it would be to get the phraseology DOWN. Repetition, repetition, repetition. You can’t be fumbling on how to spit out a point out, manual handoff, emergency steps, etc. I’m a more visual learner, so non radar was more difficult for me, but I did enough to survive to give myself a good chance going into radar.

Know the SOP’s, LOA’s, and airspace without question. It’ll give you a small, small taste of what they’ll be like at your facility lol.

Most importantly, find a way to relax. Mine was chewing gum during the problems for some reason. Just find a way to get over those first 5 min jitters and get in a groove. If you prepare yourself right, you can go into evals, rock the problems, and land an awesome career. I’m a year out of the academy, and I couldn’t be happier with this. Ya training sucks and you feel like a idiot learning, but I absolutely could not picture myself doing anything other than this.

Put in the work and you all will do just fine.
Lmaooo I did the same thing chewing gum while running nonradar problems. It definitely helped me focus.

As far as difficulty goes, we've had several instructors tell us that initial is like drinking from a firehose and they were right, but as long as you put in the effort, running practice problems as much as you can, not spending every waking moment partying, you'll be fine. I struggled all through nonradar practice but got great scores on my evals. We're in the middle of the book work part of radar right now and half of it is a repeat of basics and the other half is brand new info that seems really complicated and confusing right now but will get easier with practice. Also, as a class, rely on each other! Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so getting together to study is really helpful.
 

Termine

Member
Messages
21
don't even know the pheonetic alphabet 100%
I would definitely get it down 100% before you go. Practice: read off license plates to yourself, read street signs, spell your friends' names. That's one thing you can't really get wrong studying on your own (as long as you study the NATO version) and it's one less thing to worry about at the academy. Get to where you can spit letters out without thinking.

Don't worry too hard about specific pronunciation, especially the weird pronunciation for the numbers, except "9" is always "niner".
 
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Hyooz

Member
Messages
14
I would definitely get it down 100% before you go. Practice: read off license plates to yourself, read street signs, spell your friends' names. That's one thing you can't really get wrong studying on your own (as long as you study the NATO version) and it's one less thing to worry about at the academy. Get to where you can spit letters out without thinking.

Don't worry too hard about specific pronunciation, especially the weird pronunciation for the numbers, except "9" is always "niner".
Yeah, "tree" and "fife" are technically things, but nobody will ever call you out for saying "three" or "five" unless you're reaaaaaally on their bad side.
 
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Marcus Miller

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
21
Facility
ZHU Houston Center
Lmaooo I did the same thing chewing gum while running nonradar problems. It definitely helped me focus.

As far as difficulty goes, we've had several instructors tell us that initial is like drinking from a firehose and they were right, but as long as you put in the effort, running practice problems as much as you can, not spending every waking moment partying, you'll be fine. I struggled all through nonradar practice but got great scores on my evals. We're in the middle of the book work part of radar right now and half of it is a repeat of basics and the other half is brand new info that seems really complicated and confusing right now but will get easier with practice. Also, as a class, rely on each other! Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so getting together to study is really helpful.
All the gum.
 
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The_Chunch

Trusted Contributor
Messages
32
Just got my start date. I know HR has been asking everyone as of late for their college transcripts, but what do they need this for? I didn't use school info when I originally applied for the bid - just the work experience. Plus, it'll take a while to receive the transcripts. Anyone else with the same situation, what did you say/do?
 

StealthChain

Trusted Contributor
Messages
366
Just got my start date. I know HR has been asking everyone as of late for their college transcripts, but what do they need this for? I didn't use school info when I originally applied for the bid - just the work experience. Plus, it'll take a while to receive the transcripts. Anyone else with the same situation, what did you say/do?
They shouldn't actually need them. You can call and double check, but I doubt you need to send anything in.

What date did you get?
 

tunwno

Forum Sage
Messages
336
Just got my start date. I know HR has been asking everyone as of late for their college transcripts, but what do they need this for? I didn't use school info when I originally applied for the bid - just the work experience. Plus, it'll take a while to receive the transcripts. Anyone else with the same situation, what did you say/do?
I you were pool 2, dont worry about it. And yea, what date did you get?
 

Dpacheco

Trusted Contributor
Messages
186
Well everyone its finally happened. Just got word that I am medically cleared. Thanks for everyone who was going crazy with me. I am currently blowing up HR to try and get someone on the line about how soon I can expect to start. My semester starts Monday and I need to drop my classes. Ill update once the dust has settled.
 

yungsodapapi

Trusted Contributor
Messages
68
Drove to Miami for my tier 2 appointment on Tuesday. The questions I flagged on I took too literal and for some reason answered yes to “smelling strange things” 😅 interviewed for about an hour then had to do a retake of the test. Hopefully I didn’t fake too good or flag on something else. The Dr. was hard to read so I guess I continue the waiting game.
 
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Dpacheco

Trusted Contributor
Messages
186
Drove to Miami for my tier 2 appointment on Tuesday. The questions I flagged on I took too literal and for some reason answered yes to “smelling strange things” 😅 interviewed for about an hour then had to do a retake of the test. Hopefully I didn’t fake too good or flag on something else. The Dr. was hard to read so I guess I continue the waiting game.
I had the same dumb shit. You should be fine.
 

Itsallgucci

Forum Sage
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
308
Well everyone its finally happened. Just got word that I am medically cleared. Thanks for everyone who was going crazy with me. I am currently blowing up HR to try and get someone on the line about how soon I can expect to start. My semester starts Monday and I need to drop my classes. Ill update once the dust has settled.
I hope you join us Sept 3rd brother
 
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