BECOMING A CONTROLLER WE ANSWER THE top 10 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What qualifications do I need?

You must have at least five GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above, including English and Maths.

Is there an age restriction?

We don't have a maximum age restriction for this position, but you must be over 18 at the time of applying. Information on eligibility can be found here:

Where do I train and how long does it take?

On average students train for between 9 and 12 months at the College of Air Traffic Control in Hampshire, England . They study a variety of different subjects and are taught by instructors who have been controllers themselves.

How do I apply?

You apply online, the initial application form only takes seven minutes to complete. Seven minutes to change your life? What are you waiting for?

What hours do controllers work?

This is a 365-day, 24-hour business so controllers work in shifts. A controller's working week is 10 days long with 6 days of work and 4 days of rest. Also working hours span day and night shifts.

How many times can I apply?

You can apply once. The cognitive assessments will identify whether or not you have 'the right kind of brain' for the job. If you don't pass the assessments, it's not worth applying again as it's unlikely you will pass them in the future. If you're not selected, don't be too disheartened – the selection process is tough. And remember, NATS offers a variety of careers opportunities. Why not take a look at our other current vacancies.

How much do Air Traffic Controllers earn?

As a trainee, you will get a basic salary of around £13,220. Controllers working in the most complex sectors of airspace can earn over £100,000.

Can I apply if I live outside the UK?

It's a requirement that you are eligible to work in the UK before you apply to train as an Air Traffic Controller. You can find out more about eligibility requirements on our website. Please note, we cannot provide assistance with obtaining a VISA.

Can I choose where I work?

80% of our controllers work in our Control Centres, so the chances are you'll be based in either Prestwick (in Ayrshire, Scotland) or Swanwick (in Hampshire, England). However we also provide air traffic control services at 13 UK airports (including Heathrow) so you could be posted to one of those. You need to be aware on application that the role is a mobile grade and you can be posted anywhere in the UK depending on the needs of the business.

How much will it cost me to train as a controller?

Nothing. The costs of training to become an air traffic controller are covered by NATS. In fact, successful candidates become paid employees of the Company.

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