Experienced Bidders (Aged out of OTS)

svbnh

Lurker
Messages
4
Hi all! First time poster here.

I'm currently 32 years old serving in the Air National Guard and going through OJT. I'm hoping to get CTO and rack up my 52 consecutive week training so that I could apply for the Experienced Bid in the near future before the cutoff of age 35.

I was wondering if there was anyone on this forum who joined the FAA at an older age (and/or took a similar route) and how things have panned out such as

- pay scale (how hard is it to go up since starting considerably later than other coworkers)
- what retirement looks like for you especially with the mandatory retirement age of 56
- family life (if applicable)
- etc.

All in all I'm wondering if it was worth all the effort even though you joined the FAA at an older age.
Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
 

Dominipino

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
97
Facility
PRC Prescott Tower
Hi all! First time poster here.

I'm currently 32 years old serving in the Air National Guard and going through OJT. I'm hoping to get CTO and rack up my 52 consecutive week training so that I could apply for the Experienced Bid in the near future before the cutoff of age 35.

I was wondering if there was anyone on this forum who joined the FAA at an older age (and/or took a similar route) and how things have panned out such as

- pay scale (how hard is it to go up since starting considerably later than other coworkers)
- what retirement looks like for you especially with the mandatory retirement age of 56
- family life (if applicable)
- etc.

All in all I'm wondering if it was worth all the effort even though you joined the FAA at an older age.
Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
You need 52 weeks certified...not training to qualify for that bid.
 

FightingIrish2012

Forum Sage
Messages
305
At this time I wouldn’t pursue this. The timing will be very tight as mentioned. And if you have a family do you really want to uproot everyone at the age of 35 to be assigned who knows where for who knows how long? It’s not a bad job but there are better careers then this, I would put the effort into a different specialty.
 

svbnh

Lurker
Messages
4
At this time I wouldn’t pursue this. The timing will be very tight as mentioned. And if you have a family do you really want to uproot everyone at the age of 35 to be assigned who knows where for who knows how long? It’s not a bad job but there are better careers then this, I would put the effort into a different specialty.
Thanks for your reply. I'm just looking to see if there are any others who have gone through the FAA through this particular route. I'm aware there's a small window but I know there are other opportunities for example through a DoD job. Just weighing all options here.
 

Mr. Mack

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
125
Hi all! First time poster here.

I'm currently 32 years old serving in the Air National Guard and going through OJT. I'm hoping to get CTO and rack up my 52 consecutive week training so that I could apply for the Experienced Bid in the near future before the cutoff of age 35.

I was wondering if there was anyone on this forum who joined the FAA at an older age (and/or took a similar route) and how things have panned out such as

- pay scale (how hard is it to go up since starting considerably later than other coworkers)
- what retirement looks like for you especially with the mandatory retirement age of 56
- family life (if applicable)
- etc.

All in all I'm wondering if it was worth all the effort even though you joined the FAA at an older age.
Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
Your best bet is to start looking for a contract tower job as soon as you certify or doing a deployment that has you doing ATC. That’s the fastest way to get your 52 weeks. I’m an air guard vet and I went the contract tower route to get picked up. I still had plenty of time before the cutoff tho
 

Dominipino

Trusted Contributor
FAA
Messages
97
Facility
PRC Prescott Tower
It’s probably faster to get hired at a contract tower but if you go DOD your federal age is “frozen” so if you’re hired at 32/33 you can apply to any prior exp bid the FAA puts out past 35 as long as they keep the 35yo requirement. Plus DOD starts your federal retirement.
 

KevH

Member
Messages
36
I was hired under the old VRA rules which basically paralleled the current previous experience requirements, and I didn't go to the academy until 32. Going to a level 5 tower was a substantial pay cut from my civilian job and from what full time employment at my enlisted rank would pay. I still think it was worth it, although I have spent the overwhelming amount of my FAA career thus far on active duty orders. Even if orders weren't so easy to get on, I still think it would be worth it as it is very difficult to beat the total compensation and job security of federal employment. If you are new to the Guard and in upgrade you are most likely an A1C or SrA, in which case getting hired at a low level facility will probably be a slight pay bump or pay comparably on a net pay basis in most parts of the country. Even starting late in the game, if you combine what you can save over a couple of decades with a Guard and FERS pension you will be fine with the mandatory retirement. Best advice I can give is to keep your options open with both the Guard and FAA. Lots of opportunities in both.
 

MICRTC

Lurker
Messages
6
Hi all! First time poster here.

I'm currently 32 years old serving in the Air National Guard and going through OJT. I'm hoping to get CTO and rack up my 52 consecutive week training so that I could apply for the Experienced Bid in the near future before the cutoff of age 35.

I was wondering if there was anyone on this forum who joined the FAA at an older age (and/or took a similar route) and how things have panned out such as

- pay scale (how hard is it to go up since starting considerably later than other coworkers)
- what retirement looks like for you especially with the mandatory retirement age of 56
- family life (if applicable)
- etc.

All in all I'm wondering if it was worth all the effort even though you joined the FAA at an older age.
Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
Call me if you are interested in AGR ATC program. (989) 255-1534
 

svbnh

Lurker
Messages
4
I was hired under the old VRA rules which basically paralleled the current previous experience requirements, and I didn't go to the academy until 32. Going to a level 5 tower was a substantial pay cut from my civilian job and from what full time employment at my enlisted rank would pay. I still think it was worth it, although I have spent the overwhelming amount of my FAA career thus far on active duty orders. Even if orders weren't so easy to get on, I still think it would be worth it as it is very difficult to beat the total compensation and job security of federal employment. If you are new to the Guard and in upgrade you are most likely an A1C or SrA, in which case getting hired at a low level facility will probably be a slight pay bump or pay comparably on a net pay basis in most parts of the country. Even starting late in the game, if you combine what you can save over a couple of decades with a Guard and FERS pension you will be fine with the mandatory retirement. Best advice I can give is to keep your options open with both the Guard and FAA. Lots of opportunities in both.
This was the reply I was waiting for. I'm definitely open to whatever comes my way in this field especially because it's something I want to actually do, even going so far as to quitting my civ job and enlisting. I just wanted some semblance of reassurance that there was still a light at the end of the tunnel for those who joined ATC later on in their life.

Everyone I appreciate all the comments and messages! Thank you very much!
 
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