Hiring Bid FAA-ATO-22-ATCEXP-76330

pablodemi

Member
Messages
10
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between working at a contract tower and the FAA? Like the general pros and cons. It seems like first facility and contract tower pay is about the same
 

Phase4Motion

Member
Messages
13
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between working at a contract tower and the FAA? Like the general pros and cons. It seems like first facility and contract tower pay is about the same
From my research, the people who work at contract towers generally are waiting to get picked up by the FAA or are retired military who can’t get into the FAA due to age. Contract tower there is no real room for growth, even if you go supe you’re not making much more than you were before. FAA of course you can transfer to a higher level facility. The overall employment package is better with the FAA. The good thing with a contract tower is it’s easier to get one specific location. Also, they know majority of young controllers they hire are going to jump ship when the FAA calls, happens all the time.
 

Smos519

Member
Messages
8
Update guys luckily the medical team gets back to me within a few days when I call but it's never good news it's been over a month now since I completed the medical exams. The AME on site said bluntly you passed everything EKG, physical, eye, and hearing. But yet I am still waiting for flight surgeon approval. I have nothing that would make me tier two. At least it's confirmed that I passed the MMPI. But man this wait is no joke and it's disheartening to see all my controller friends that got hired on this bid already getting facilities when we have been doing the process in the same time frame.
 

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MirandaW

Active Member
Messages
103
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between working at a contract tower and the FAA? Like the general pros and cons. It seems like first facility and contract tower pay is about the same
I'm contract right now. A contract tower is a great stepping stone for experience, but there's not much room for growth, you don't make as much (depends of region), and overall the health benefits aren't the best. And at least for my tower the schedule isn't consistent. In one week we work 3 different shifts between closing, 9-5,and opening
 

Phase4Motion

Member
Messages
13
Update guys luckily the medical team gets back to me within a few days when I call but it's never good news it's been over a month now since I completed the medical exams. The AME on site said bluntly you passed everything EKG, physical, eye, and hearing. But yet I am still waiting for flight surgeon approval. I have nothing that would make me tier two. At least it's confirmed that I passed the MMPI. But man this wait is no joke and it's disheartening to see all my controller friends that got hired on this bid already getting facilities when we have been doing the process in the same time frame.
You need to relax man. My AME said the same exact things to me. I completed everything April 18 and only just today got an email saying i got my medical clearance approved WITH special consideration. I didn’t even know I was undergoing a special consideration process for my VA disabilities. Point is to just be patient, there is a process and this stuff takes time.
 

MirandaW

Active Member
Messages
103
Update guys luckily the medical team gets back to me within a few days when I call but it's never good news it's been over a month now since I completed the medical exams. The AME on site said bluntly you passed everything EKG, physical, eye, and hearing. But yet I am still waiting for flight surgeon approval. I have nothing that would make me tier two. At least it's confirmed that I passed the MMPI. But man this wait is no joke and it's disheartening to see all my controller friends that got hired on this bid already getting facilities when we have been doing the process in the same time frame.
At least it's moving in the right direction!
 

GulfBravoPapa

⭐SuperStar
Messages
1,613
You need to relax man. My AME said the same exact things to me. I completed everything April 18 and only just today got an email saying i got my medical clearance approved WITH special consideration. I didn’t even know I was undergoing a special consideration process for my VA disabilities. Point is to just be patient, there is a process and this stuff takes time.
That and new hire medical are a very low priority. The flight surgeons are doing medicals for current controllers and still dealing with covid restrictions for facilities plus contract tracing.
 

pablodemi

Member
Messages
10
I'm contract right now. A contract tower is a great stepping stone for experience, but there's not much room for growth, you don't make as much (depends of region), and overall the health benefits aren't the best. And at least for my tower the schedule isn't consistent. In one week we work 3 different shifts between closing, 9-5,and opening
What are the health benefits like? Which tower you at if you don’t mind me asking.
 

MirandaW

Active Member
Messages
103
What are the health benefits like? Which tower you at if you don’t mind me asking.
KMOT with Midwest, I believe we have Aetna health insurance. The company gives it to the person working (or equivalence to 401k) and then any additional person is $500 and up per month. Vision and dental separate from basic plan
 

GulfCharlie

Comrade Commissar
DoD
Messages
1,544
What are the health benefits like? Which tower you at if you don’t mind me asking.
Let me put it this way, my medication costs like $60,000+ a month, I only pay the BCBS Premium which is like $120 off the top of my head, if that is any indication.
 

pablodemi

Member
Messages
10
Let me put it this way, my medication costs like $60,000+ a month, I only pay the BCBS Premium which is like $120 off the top of my head, if that is any indication.
Sheesh! Are you DOD, FAA, or Contract tower?

KMOT with Midwest, I believe we have Aetna health insurance. The company gives it to the person working (or equivalence to 401k) and then any additional person is $500 and up per month. Vision and dental separate from basic plan
Much appreciated
 

smitty30

Member
Messages
32
You need to relax man. My AME said the same exact things to me. I completed everything April 18 and only just today got an email saying i got my medical clearance approved WITH special consideration. I didn’t even know I was undergoing a special consideration process for my VA disabilities. Point is to just be patient, there is a process and this stuff takes time.
Did already have a VA rating when you went through the AME? I just finished my medical stuff, AND my VA initial appointments to get my rating. Im curious on if they will delay my medical until the VA gives me a rating...or if they will not even look into it becuase I havent shown them anything regarding VA. (No evidence of any rating so whats the point, right? lol)
 

Phase4Motion

Member
Messages
13
Did already have a VA rating when you went through the AME? I just finished my medical stuff, AND my VA initial appointments to get my rating. Im curious on if they will delay my medical until the VA gives me a rating...or if they will not even look into it becuase I havent shown them anything regarding VA. (No evidence of any rating so whats the point, right? lol)
I actually got my VA rating around May 15, I did all my VA exams in January and February. I went to AME for FAA on April 18. I just told AME the conditions I had. HR knew I was going for VA disability, I told her I didn’t have a decision letter yet for the SF-15 form. When I got my decision letter HR wanted me to send them a filled out SF15 (10 point ver preference). Medical reached out to me weeks later asking for the decision letter and a personal statement regarding the status of 2 of my conditions.

I don’t know if waiting for decision letter will hold up medical clearance, but they definitely want to see it once you have it. I would send in decision letter once you get it. HR told me you can submit VA docs even after already hired and at your facility.
 

BO6554

Member
Messages
9
You need to relax man. My AME said the same exact things to me. I completed everything April 18 and only just today got an email saying i got my medical clearance approved WITH special consideration. I didn’t even know I was undergoing a special consideration process for my VA disabilities. Point is to just be patient, there is a process and this stuff takes time.
Do you mind if I ask what your VA disabilities are?
 

Phase4Motion

Member
Messages
13
Do you mind if I ask what your VA disabilities are?
I have a bunch but the ones they asked for documentation on were gerd & eoe. I believe eoe was the disqualifying condition, but gerd goes hand in hand with it. The Special Consideration report also listed tmj but they never asked for additional info on that. Weird. Tmj is also my highest rating, maybe that’s why. I have 60%. If you get 30% or more, you qualify for something like 120 hours of additional sick leave for the first year of employment to use for VA appointments. So make sure you submit your documents lol

Edit to add: I didn’t claim anything related to mental health.
 

D-Dub

Active Member
Messages
118
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between working at a contract tower and the FAA? Like the general pros and cons. It seems like first facility and contract tower pay is about the same
If you're stepping out from military, contract is a great way to get familiar with GA. FAA benefits are gonna be better as far as leave and retirement go. It all depends on where you go too. Some contract towers are really slow, while others, every day you will earn your pay. The place I'm at is one we earn our pay every single day; it is humping, but it's a damn blast! It really just depends on what you want for your career.
 
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Mr. Mack

Trusted Contributor
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
Messages
287
Would someone mind explaining to me the difference between working at a contract tower and the FAA? Like the general pros and cons. It seems like first facility and contract tower pay is about the same
Pros:
Easier to get a specific location
Pay is on par with lower level facilities
More relaxed environment
No age cutoff

Cons:
Retirement doesn’t have a pension like FAA
No room for growth (if you think you’ll be interested in entering management down the line)
Management pay isn’t much different from from regular pay
Pay doesn’t always match workload (in FAA, facilities are defined by levels, which reflect complexity and traffic load in pay. Contract is just a pay rate for the area. Whether you’re moving 70s an hour or a day, your pay is set at a flat rate)
 
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