FAA CRASHPADS Just 5m from the FAA Academy!

Training Backlogs?

Academy Study Guides

Jsybird2532

Member
Messages
89
I am an individual in her late 20s living in the northeast who is also a newly minted private pilot. I am currently working a decently paying job in tech doing software/systems work for a reputable private employer. Salary potential for my career is at or even well above a L12 FAA Air Traffic Facility (above only if I basically sell my soul to my work/employer). However, while I can certainly handle it, I'm a bit disheartened with the tech industry/career path so I looked into ATC a few years ago. My compensation in tech has gone up dramatically since I first applied, but I am still in the ATC hiring process with the FAA. I applied in 2019 and again in 2020 and I'm between TOL and FOL right now. It's progressing pretty quick since I accepted my TOL last month. I don't know yet if I'm stuck in the Tier 2 Psych track from my MMPI-2 exam, but I have a hunch I won't be as I came in with decent familiarity with the test (ie: regarding the MMPI, that was not my "first rodeo").

I also have no idea if I will get enroute/terminal, or some other type of offer not otherwise specified (maybe people actually do get TRACON offers or offers with specific facilities in mind and don't talk about it, who knows). I don't know if I'd honestly accept a terminal offer either given the difference in compensation between enroute/center pay off the bat, unless I know there is a very clear path to getting into a higher level terminal facility (ex: a TRACON like PCT or a high-level tower at a busy airport like EWR).

Moving on, reading through this forum, and looking on Reddit, I'm seeing tons of mentions of training backlogs at ARTCCs (centers) in particular (ZNY/ZJX/ZOA/etc). People are talking about 2-3 years on these backlogs, and there's even a new thread here on pointsixtyfive about them doing new training holds due to the delta variant. Quite frankly, that all sounds insane :rolleyes:.

However, I'm no investigator, and thus I do not feel like digging through the cobwebs of this site and/or the rest of the internet (like the bot-infested graveyard known as stuckmic 🤣) to figure this out. I do not know what "backlog" entails for individual academy grads. So, please explain this to me like I'm an idiot, what does this mean for AGs? Are you basically on paid vacation once you leave the academy, or does the FAA have you doing something else during the backlog stage at or away from your facility? What pay band are you at at that time (AG or D1/2/3 pay?)

If it's effectively paid vacation like I'm guessing, can you work another job while waiting (like could I grab some tech contract work), or is it against your employment contract to do so? Also if it's paid vacation like I suspect, why is the FAA churning people through the academy to backlogged facilities? Seems nonsensical if that's the case.

Also some other questions:
1. Is this backlog issue mostly regarding centers, or is it also terminal?
2. What specific facilities have this backlog thing going on in the worst way? Feel free to give personal anecdotes, ie: current actual wait times following placement from OKC, etc.
3. (This one is a bit of a joke), with all of this in mind, and it likely being COVID induced, should I have purposefully tried to fail the MMPI to delay my potential entry into the ATC pipeline?
 
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Peter Gibbons

Legendary Member
FAA
Messages
1,572
Facility
OKC Oklahoma City Tower
I'm going on almost 4 years at a mid level up down, 8ish years in the agency, so it's not just a high level terminal/center issue.

Don't purposely tank the mmpi. Sounds like more trouble than it's worth.

Just see what they give you on an fol and don't be afraid to walk away if you don't like it. The faa wants you to sell your soul to them too, and it's not the end all be all of employment if you have other high paying options.
 
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flypilot

Trusted Contributor
Messages
197
First I'll warn you I dont think this thread is going to go over very well lol

The training backlogs are nationwide. I'm at a terminal facility with a ridiculous backlog and I probably wont start training until the spring and I've been in the building since May. You cannot go to a TRACON with terminal. You can only go to level 7s and belows and you are never guaranteed to ever move to a new, bigger facility. The only guarantee you have is the first facility if you pass the academy. You could be stuck a podunk level 4 for your entire career.

You are absolutely not on paid vacation once you leave the academy. You still have to show up to the building for 40 hours a week even if you arent training. You are expected to self study and monitor.

With your attitude here I dont think ATC is gonna be right for you, honestly
 

Jsybird2532

Member
Messages
89
You are absolutely not on paid vacation once you leave the academy. You still have to show up to the building for 40 hours a week even if you arent training. You are expected to self study and monitor.
Self-study and monitor?

So you're telling me you're paid to just keep your knowledge up and to watch people do their thing in D-side/CPC, or are you actually doing something to directly impact the NAS on a day to day basis while waiting for training?
 

Mr. Miner

Trusted Contributor
Messages
198
IF you pass the academy and go to a center (which will probably be at least 6 months before you make it to OKC), from the day you get to a center, until you get fully certified as a CPC, you're looking at ~ 2 years. Could be more, could be less, based on a dozen different factors.

When you start at the center, you'll be on AG pay for at least 6 months until you get your first D side. And no, this isn't a paid vacation. You'll have to show up for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. You'll be studying maps, LOAs and SOPs, maybe A side training, maybe RPO training. You can have another job, as long as it doesn't effect the 40 hours you're in the building.

Every center is different regarding their backlog, and it's impossible to know what the case will be in 6+ months.

And purposefully failing the MMPI might quite be the fucking dumbest thing you could possibly do, besides admitting you used to smoke meth or robbed a bank

So you're telling me you're paid to just keep your knowledge up and to watch people do their thing in D-side/CPC
Yupp
 

Jsybird2532

Member
Messages
89
And purposefully failing the MMPI might quite be the fucking dumbest thing you could possibly do, besides admitting you used to smoke meth or robbed a bank
I don't know yet if I'm stuck in the Tier 2 Psych track from my MMPI-2 exam, but I have a hunch I won't be as I came in with decent familiarity with the test (ie: regarding the MMPI, that was not my "first rodeo").

3. (This one is a bit of a joke), with all of this in mind, and it likely being COVID induced, should I have purposefully tried to fail the MMPI to delay my potential entry into the ATC pipeline?

I took it already, I took it seriously, read my post. That was a joke :rolleyes:.
 

Spoony90

Trusted Contributor
Messages
238
There’s people at my facility that been on training for 4+ years. I breezed through it in ~18 months. And yea the FAA will take your soul. The FAA doesn’t care about you and your needs. Neither will the union. My advice is do something you like and enjoy.
 

Shikaka

Legendary Member
Messages
2,535
People referencing the FAA taking your soul is not comparable to the private sector doing it. The job doesn't follow you home, and you can't work more than 10 hours a shift or more than 6 days consecutively. From my personal experience, I made more money in the private sector than I do now (12 CPC-IT), but I sold my life for 14 hours a day for 6-7 days a week, phone calls interrupting my once annual vacation, constantly traveling etc etc.

My family and I benefit from the better schedule the FAA provides compared to either of my last careers. As an added plus I have yet to part my own wig, so there's that.
 

Drewzer

Trusted Contributor
Messages
150
The FAA is churning people through because they created this shit show in the first place. NAS is all understaffed. The FAA doesn’t plan ahead or forecast it just reacts to whatever’s happening and it’s usually the wrong way to go about it. Regardless, this job is subjective. I’m a trainee now for example, I could 1. Bitch and moan that I’m not going to be a CPC for a while bc backlog, training initiative etc or 2. I could show up to work and “self study/monitor” and enjoy the fact I’m getting paid for 0 responsibility. My facility has the trainees on 4 10s which is nice 😎. It depends on how you look at it and what type of person you are. I’m not a cubicle/corporate type of guy shooting follow up emails with Janet about meetings. I like this type of work and job satisfaction but again all subjective.
 

flypilot

Trusted Contributor
Messages
197
Self-study and monitor?

So you're telling me you're paid to just keep your knowledge up and to watch people do their thing in D-side/CPC, or are you actually doing something to directly impact the NAS on a day to day basis while waiting for training?
I am doing absolutely nothing to help the NAS in any way shape or form. I am literally studying training material and watching other people work for 40 hours a week
 

AB19

Forum Sage
Messages
1,228
If you’re making level 12 money now, I wouldn’t if I was you. Getting stuck somewhere you hate making half the money is a real possibility, I love my job and the location is enough to make me think about going back to engineering classes
 

Spoony90

Trusted Contributor
Messages
238
If you’re making level 12 money now, I wouldn’t if I was you. Getting stuck somewhere you hate making half the money is a real possibility, I love my job and the location is enough to make me think about going back to engineering classes

yup. I wish I could work over at D10. But nooooo. NCEPT is one giant dumpster fire. Fucked all the mid level facilities
 

shoak

Active Member
Messages
69
I am doing absolutely nothing to help the NAS in any way shape or form. I am literally studying training material and watching other people work for 40 hours a week
Meanwhile, I'm out here working my ass off passing 1 inbound a week.

Starship Troopers GIF
 

Billybob

Forum Sage
I ♥ pointSixtyFive
FAA
Messages
761
Facility
ZLA Los Angeles Center
You've been on this forum two years and you can't decide if this is the right move for you or not?
I am an individual in her late 20s living in the northeast who is also a newly minted private pilot. I am currently working a decently paying job in tech doing software/systems work for a reputable private employer. Salary potential for my career is at or even well above a L12 FAA Air Traffic Facility (above only if I basically sell my soul to my work/employer). However, while I can certainly handle it, I'm a bit disheartened with the tech industry/career path so I looked into ATC a few years ago. My compensation in tech has gone up dramatically since I first applied, but I am still in the ATC hiring process with the FAA.
So you are disheartened with your tech career path, but they threw more money at you so it made you question your choices? Sounds like you already are in the process of selling your soul to your employer.
I also have no idea if I will get enroute/terminal, or some other type of offer not otherwise specified. I don't know if I'd honestly accept a terminal offer either given the difference in compensation between enroute/center pay off the bat, unless I know there is a very clear path to getting into a higher level terminal facility (ex: a TRACON like PCT or a high-level tower at a busy airport like EWR).
Nobody has any idea, there is no clear path.
Moving on, reading through this forum, and looking on Reddit, I'm seeing tons of mentions of training backlogs at ARTCCs (centers) in particular (ZNY/ZJX/ZOA/etc). People are talking about 2-3 years on these backlogs, and there's even a new thread here on pointsixtyfive about them doing new training holds due to the delta variant. Quite frankly, that all sounds insane :rolleyes:.
So, please explain this to me like I'm an idiot, what does this mean for AGs?
You literally answered your own question.
Also some other questions:
1. Is this backlog issue mostly regarding centers, or is it also terminal?
2. What specific facilities have this backlog thing going on in the worst way? Feel free to give personal anecdotes, ie: current actual wait times following placement from OKC, etc.
3. (This one is a bit of a joke), with all of this in mind, and it likely being COVID induced, should I have purposefully tried to fail the MMPI to delay my potential entry into the ATC pipeline?
1. Why would terminal matter if you said you wouldn't take it anyways?
2. You are in a best case scenario 6 months out of being an academy grad, what is current now and what will be current then will most likely be two different things.
3. You've already been on this forum 2 years, why not just delay it until your 32?
I am an individual in her late 20s living in the northeast who is also a newly minted private pilot.
x factor eye roll GIF by X Factor Global
 
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