Kim's Place OKC

Exp hire after academy washout

Goxupeko

Member
Messages
4
OP and others struggling to get in, I have some thoughts for you.

I myself struggled to get through the hiring process. I did finally get through via an uncommon path and after several years of effort, waiting, and anguish. In my mind I built up this career to more than it actually is. After an initial false start, I became even more obsessed with it and saw it as my only path to a good future.

I'm currently at a high-level facility and I can say that things haven't quite lived up to the dream. This is a good job but it has its downsides, too. There are many jobs with way better schedules and more flexibility with using leave, or where you don't face 20 layers of bureaucracy to change anything. And there are many jobs where you can work in more modern, better-kept facilities. And there are many jobs where you have more diversity of tasks, autonomy, creativity, and satisfaction.

Also keep in mind that if you win the hiring lottery, you still face the equally ominous placement lottery. It's easy to overlook this or brush it aside before you even get in, but the reality slaps many new hires in the face. It's not difficult to end up at an undesirable facility or in an undesirable location and be stuck there for years upon years.

Lastly, this career is RIPE for far-reaching automation. 99% of it is memorizing a ton of rules and facts and applying them logically with constant, unerring vigilance. It is literally the perfect application for computer intelligence. The government moves painfully slowly, but it's hard to imagine that there won't be significant impacts in the coming years.

All of this is to say, don't necessarily rest all your hopes on this one career option.
 

Kjagroop90

Member
Messages
12
If you don't mind me asking, how did someone as experienced as you washout? Are evals that difficult?
My class passed 6/16. having lost 1 earlier in basics because he was a piece of shit, and the second just up and left like a day or two after the map test. The evals aren't too crazy, it's just nerves really get to you. With all due respect, you're better off getting advice from students that have passed the En Route course, but what I would absolutely recommend, is that if you do plan on attending the academy in the future, come check out the academy by actually working here as an RPO.
 

Kjagroop90

Member
Messages
12
I wish I saw it coming, I probably would of pulled that.
I only needed a minimum of 41 to pass.




After the CIL are they going to give you a list of facilities and then bypass the academy? It would suck to have to go back.

Yeah, prior exp bids hire directly to facility based on your previous air traffic experience. My HR POC said I'll be getting a list based on those results when the CIL is finished and the clearances are issued, so no joke, I'm probably going to end up getting something like CPR or FNT, but whatever - I'll take lead poisoning if it means getting my foot in the door lmao
 
Messages
20
Yeah, prior exp bids hire directly to facility based on your previous air traffic experience. My HR POC said I'll be getting a list based on those results when the CIL is finished and the clearances are issued, so no joke, I'm probably going to end up getting something like CPR or FNT, but whatever - I'll take lead poisoning if it means getting my foot in the door lmao
Lmao, as long as you're in, you're set.
 

Foogy

Forum Sage
Messages
752
My best advice is try to get in as a tower controller, eventually we get paid the same but we're happier and not locked in the radar dungeon with the center mascots Depression and Internal Hatred.
 

Nfingers

Trusted Contributor
Messages
147
My best advice is try to get in as a tower controller, eventually we get paid the same but we're happier and not locked in the radar dungeon with the center mascots Depression and Internal Hatred.
I just dont have any desire to work in a tower. It just doesnt seem nearly as fun. Granted. I've never been in a busy tower, but working a busy approach control is a blast
 

Mr. Mack

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
140
Yeah, prior exp bids hire directly to facility based on your previous air traffic experience. My HR POC said I'll be getting a list based on those results when the CIL is finished and the clearances are issued, so no joke, I'm probably going to end up getting something like CPR or FNT, but whatever - I'll take lead poisoning if it means getting my foot in the door lmao
You’ll be surprised what will be on your list or how many choices you’ll have. The biggest thing is to be open minded about where you’re going and focus on certifying. After certification, you can start trying to get to where you ultimately want to be. Make the most out of your first facility, regardless of where it is
 

Rallan

Trusted Contributor
Messages
46
Can someone explain what the advantages and disadvantages are for enroute vs tower vs tracon? There seemed to be way more enroute positions and salaries looked similar. I've visited an enroute facility- dark room, lots of screens, one story. I guess tower is brighter and more security? Does the hiring process randomly place you in enroute or tower? Is one easier to certify/train?
 

Erick

Trusted Contributor
Messages
80
If you’re an OTS hire, it’s random selection that you have no say in. When you get a tentative offer letter, it will say what track you are on (terminal or en route). Although, I have heard of some people getting changed last minute to fill classes, but that’s a rarity.

If you get terminal, you would not go to a stand-alone tracon out of the academy, you’d go to an up/down which is a tower with its own tracon, all facilities level 7 and under (lots of locations across the country, rural and urban).

If you get en route, you’d be at one of the 22(?) ARTCC’s across the country, usually located near big cities. You’ll make more money here early in your career for sure since all facilities are 10 and up. People make more in training than CPCs at low level towers.

As for the differences, it’s a completely different kind of controlling and it’s impossible to explain all of them here. I work at a low level tower and it’s nice having the windows and being able to visually separate planes, but I wouldn’t mind a level 12 paycheck. Security is the same, if not stricter at en route facilities.
 

boots

Forum Sage
Messages
367
If you’re an OTS hire, it’s random selection that you have no say in. When you get a tentative offer letter, it will say what track you are on (terminal or en route). Although, I have heard of some people getting changed last minute to fill classes, but that’s a rarity.

If you get terminal, you would not go to a stand-alone tracon out of the academy, you’d go to an up/down which is a tower with its own tracon, all facilities level 7 and under (lots of locations across the country, rural and urban).

If you get en route, you’d be at one of the 22(?) ARTCC’s across the country, usually located near big cities. You’ll make more money here early in your career for sure since all facilities are 10 and up. People make more in training than CPCs at low level towers.

As for the differences, it’s a completely different kind of controlling and it’s impossible to explain all of them here. I work at a low level tower and it’s nice having the windows and being able to visually separate planes, but I wouldn’t mind a level 12 paycheck. Security is the same, if not stricter at en route facilities.
You don't find out what track you are until FOL this last bid that came out.
 

spider

Trusted Contributor
Messages
92
Can someone explain what the advantages and disadvantages are for enroute vs tower vs tracon? There seemed to be way more enroute positions and salaries looked similar. I've visited an enroute facility- dark room, lots of screens, one story. I guess tower is brighter and more security? Does the hiring process randomly place you in enroute or tower? Is one easier to certify/train?
As someone said, completely different environments. I've only done center but we've had plenty of terminal transfers and they all say it's completely different.

You don't get a say but for what's it worth...I always wanted to do a tower. Looking back on it, I'm glad I never did.

You will make it significantly more money going en route than going terminal. You're going to a lower level facility if you go to terminal and if making it to a Level 12 is your eventual end goal then you're probably looking at 2 transfers and years before you actually get there. Once you get there and certify, you'll finally be paid at the Level 12 band whereas if you went to a center you'd already be well established within the band. So for example, you could be in the same city Year 10 making $130k where the guy who went straight the center who has less seniority at Year 8 is making $145k. That's money lost during the first 10 years and another $15 for the rest of your career.
 

FoggyWindow

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
70
Facility
ZHU Houston Center
One of my en route academy classmates washed out and got picked back up for terminal and is now a CPC at a tower
 

FoggyWindow

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
70
Facility
ZHU Houston Center
I'm not sure exactly. He had a CTO from the military and maybe he was picked up the 2nd time on an experienced bid.
 

Phillyman2633

Forum Sage
Messages
232
They didnt previously have a restriction on rehiring Academy washouts. I have a friend that washed out of the Academy terminal class, went back and did it again, passed, and is now a CPC at a tower.
 
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