Careers & Jobs
Air Traffic Controller

Air Traffic Control (ATC) Operator (15Q)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level


The air traffic control operator is responsible for tracking planes and giving them landing and takeoff instructions at air traffic control facilities.

Job Duties

  • Control airborne and ground traffic
  • Assist in the installation/relocation of tactical air traffic control facilities
  • Process flight plan data and maintain logs, records, files and tape recordings of voice communications


Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.


Job training for an air traffic control operator requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 17 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in the field under simulated combat conditions.

Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Air traffic control management and operational procedures
  • Communications and radar procedures
  • Aircraft recognition
  • Takeoff, landing and ground control procedures

Helpful Skills

  • Interest in work requiring accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Decisiveness and working within strict standards
  • Ability to work as a team member

Required ASVAB Score(s)

Skilled Technical (ST) : 101

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career at airports, traffic control centers and for the U.S. Department of Defense.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at


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