DisBoi17

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Hey y'all! So I'm a 16 year old in High School, and I've been researching some and it seems the best way to enter into Air Traffic Controlling without having to wait on the FAA, or wasting thousands of dollars on a CTI degree, is to get my Controller Tower Operator status in the military. What does getting a CTO degree involve? Would I have to go overseas and train? Would I have to go through military boot camp? Would I have to risk my life fighting (I mean it doesn't seem like it, but I just want to cover all bases)? Thank you everyone! I hope you have a great day! :)
 

Super Salt

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What does getting a CTO degree involve?
A “CTO” isn’t a degree; it’s a certificate/proof of certification to show you are capable of working air traffic.

Would I have to go overseas and train?
Too many variables involved to give an accurate answer.

Would I have to go through military boot camp?
Yes.

Would I have to risk my life fighting (I mean it doesn't seem like it, but I just want to cover all bases)?
Too many variables involved to give an accurate answer.


You aren’t joining the military to be known as an ATC, you are your rank and your last name and that’s it. Each branch has it’s own way of handling each MOS/rate, including ATC (boot camps, job training/tech school, duty assignments and locations, etc).
 

Weedy80

Member
Messages
17
Huge props to you for researching while you’re young. It will get you far. You’ll have to enlist. This is definitely the best way to get ATC experience and then go straight to the FAA. But your CTO or Approach ticket is a must to apply for an experience bid. Each branch has its pros/cons but you can get the experience out of any of them. Take the next couple years and do research/talk to people (not a recruiter) until you have a plan in place. And when you do eventually go to a recruiter tell them you want ATC and ATC only. (If that’s still your plan). I was one of the lucky few to get a CTO within first few years in the Navy. With the Navy There’s a high chance you could go to a ship first and that experience won’t really apply to the FAA experienced bids. In my own opinion, Air Force is probably the best route, but I can’t speak for Army or Marines. Just have to figure out what branch tailors to you.
 

Motodog

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Hey y'all! So I'm a 16 year old in High School, and I've been researching some and it seems the best way to enter into Air Traffic Controlling without having to wait on the FAA, or wasting thousands of dollars on a CTI degree, is to get my Controller Tower Operator status in the military. What does getting a CTO degree involve? Would I have to go overseas and train? Would I have to go through military boot camp? Would I have to risk my life fighting (I mean it doesn't seem like it, but I just want to cover all bases)? Thank you everyone! I hope you have a great day! :)
Would I have to risk my life fighting? Plz be aware that if you’re considering the military, that you shouldn’t just plan on ‘using‘ them in order to advance your own self. If called to go to war, to ‘fight’, then yes, you will be expected to fulfill your commitment and serve your country.
 

Mr. Mack

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You want to avoid the Army unless it’s a last resort. Army controllers, for the most part, only work helicopters and not fixed wing. Not saying all but from my personal experience, that’s what I’ve encountered
 

CK

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FAA
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AFW Alliance Tower
Hey y'all! So I'm a 16 year old in High School, and I've been researching some and it seems the best way to enter into Air Traffic Controlling without having to wait on the FAA, or wasting thousands of dollars on a CTI degree, is to get my Controller Tower Operator status in the military. What does getting a CTO degree involve? Would I have to go overseas and train? Would I have to go through military boot camp? Would I have to risk my life fighting (I mean it doesn't seem like it, but I just want to cover all bases)? Thank you everyone! I hope you have a great day! :)
You’re going to want a US Military base CTO for it to mean anything to the FAA. Use the other branches to your advantage. Want Air Force and they won’t guarantee ATC? Tell them you’re going to the Navy as they promised it. 9/10 they’ll talk to someone and boom, you have a contract for atc.

you’re military first, atc last. Expect to have to do a lot of crap you don’t want to. Navy, even with most atc being on shore (only 15% at a time go to sea) expect a boat at some point.
 

Cmsgthokage

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Messages
562
Would I have to risk my life fighting? Plz be aware that if you’re considering the military, that you shouldn’t just plan on ‘using‘ them in order to advance your own self. If called to go to war, to ‘fight’, then yes, you will be expected to fulfill your commitment and serve your country.
I was in the USAF and it’s arguably the best choice to get experience between all the branches. I just “used” them to get the experience and to move on. But trust me they will squeeze as much work out of you as possible. If you as an controller get handed an M16 to fight then shit has hit the fan. Lol would that SHTF scenario ever happen? Doubt it.


OP, if you want to the best chance to get a CTO or an approach ticket go USAF. Not every navy/marine/army base will get you a CTO or an actual RADAR ticket. Every AFB you’d be assigned will have either a tower or RAPCON or both. No bull shit like in the navy where you don’t get fully qualified in the approach or a bullshit tactical tower qual like in the army.

I’m not saying every AF base is going to give you the experience you need to experience to succeed in the FAA, but it will get you in the door IF you certify.

With all that said, if you can get “2 years of full time work experience” before you turn 18 then you can apply to the FAA in an OTS bid and avoid the military. I think it’s 2 years experience.. not sure.
 
Messages
9
I would also want to add Community College of Beaver County to this list too. Not only do you get CTI accredited, but they also have an air traffic control tower where you work real planes and get a CTO there too. It is also cheaper than AATC.

I will also suggest the military route if you want to go there too. USAF, Air National Guard and the Navy have ATC opportunities.
 

ShadyR6

Member
Messages
74
If you think joining the military is your best path just make sure to do your research. Look into each branch that offers ATC. And also think if you want to go active, or part time (reserves or guard). Get all the info you can from the recruiter(s) before signing anything.
 

GulfCharlie

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DoD
Messages
1,306
I would also want to add Community College of Beaver County to this list too. Not only do you get CTI accredited, but they also have an air traffic control tower where you work real planes and get a CTO there too. It is also cheaper than AATC.

I will also suggest the military route if you want to go there too. USAF, Air National Guard and the Navy have ATC opportunities.
AATC tends to hire graduates after graduation and put them to work in a few of the towers they have contracts for to knock out that 52 week requirement.
 

Mr.Tickles

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Messages
434
If you think joining the military is your best path just make sure to do your research. Look into each branch that offers ATC. And also think if you want to go active, or part time (reserves or guard). Get all the info you can from the recruiter(s) before signing anything.
Too add to this make sure you do plenty of research outside of your recruiters as well. They have a quota and may not give you the full picture.

Unless you decide you want to do something combat related stay away from the Army. Join the Air Force. Quality of life will be exponentially better.
 

GBDCZF

Active Member
Messages
99
If you think joining the military is your best path just make sure to do your research. Look into each branch that offers ATC. And also think if you want to go active, or part time (reserves or guard). Get all the info you can from the recruiter(s) before signing anything.
Guard is the way to go. St. Joesph in the MO ANG is always hiring ATC
 

Motodog

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Guard is the way to go. St. Joesph in the MO ANG is always hiring ATC
Agree 100%, guard is an excellent choice. Besides St Joseph, MO, there are 10 ANG bases in the US that have ATC training facilities on base. Can’t remember them all, but Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin specialize in ATC. Good luck
 

TushingPin

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Messages
362
Agree 100%, guard is an excellent choice. Besides St Joseph, MO, there are 10 ANG bases in the US that have ATC training facilities on base. Can’t remember them all, but Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin specialize in ATC. Good luck
Missing South Carolina and North Carolina units. Also the CRTCs have them (which is what Wisconsin is) but you have Michigan, and Georgia that host those.

Edited to add Mississippi also has a ANG ATC unit
 
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Motodog

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Go
Missing South Carolina and North Carolina units. Also the CRTCs have them (which is what Wisconsin is) but you have Michigan, and Georgia that host those
Missing South Carolina and North Carolina units. Also the CRTCs have them (which is what Wisconsin is) but you have Michigan, and Georgia that host those.
Good info
 
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