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Any Air Traffic Controllers here?

Pat H

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My nephew just got his first job as an ATC at JAX Center. Does that mean it's not at the airport? He's very excited. I know that it's a very stressful job. Any advice?
 

JeffW

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Have him make sure that 'Airport' wasn't part of his training material!!

Seriously though, congratulations. Considering they've been talking about upgrading the ATC for a decade (maybe more), I could see it be frustrating having to learn a new job on potentially antiquated hardware.

As far as 'JAX Center' goes, I'm sure a search (or post) on Flyertalk might get the answer. It wouldn't surprise me that 'Center' centers handle more routine, in the air flights, vs airport towers, that handle landings, takeoffs, and taxing.

Does he live around JAX, or did he need to relocate or commute for it?

Jeff
 

Passepartout

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Most likely JAX Center is at the airport. Possibly not IN the tower, but in an adjacent building. They rotate through various jobs in the Center.

Congrats to him. Those are good, secure (well, for 30some years) jobs. They have a heapin' helping of stress, as those folks feel responsibility for the thousands of people that are flying into, out of, and through their airspace.

Jim Ricks
 

Patri

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One son is an ATC, another considering it. At a college visit, the instructor said the stress is a myth. They teach the kids to not think about the 250 people in the plane, but to just concentrate on the unit going where they want it to. Then they are able to leave the job behind when they go home, just like everyone else. Good strategy, and I think it works for those who can adopt the visualization.
Probably works similar to surgeons, who let go of the personal and concentrate on the task at hand. If they think about the patient and her children at home and the relatives in the waiting room, it would be harder to cut and sew expertly.
 

Pat H

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Have him make sure that 'Airport' wasn't part of his training material!!

Seriously though, congratulations. Considering they've been talking about upgrading the ATC for a decade (maybe more), I could see it be frustrating having to learn a new job on potentially antiquated hardware.

As far as 'JAX Center' goes, I'm sure a search (or post) on Flyertalk might get the answer. It wouldn't surprise me that 'Center' centers handle more routine, in the air flights, vs airport towers, that handle landings, takeoffs, and taxing.

Does he live around JAX, or did he need to relocate or commute for it?

Jeff
He'll have to relocate since he lives in Palm Bay now. He was in Daytona Beach but moved to Palm Bay for a job earlier this year. Been waiting for an ATC position since graduation in May 2010. He just recently changed one of his requested states to FL. I am very excited for him.
 
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Pat H

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Most likely JAX Center is at the airport. Possibly not IN the tower, but in an adjacent building. They rotate through various jobs in the Center.

Congrats to him. Those are good, secure (well, for 30some years) jobs. They have a heapin' helping of stress, as those folks feel responsibility for the thousands of people that are flying into, out of, and through their airspace.

Jim Ricks
I did a search and the center is not at the airport but further north.
 

spirits

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My son works in the railroad

First of all congratulations. I'm sure it was a very trying process just getting selected for an interview and training and now he is all graduated. Good for him.
My son went through a gruelling hiring process and out of 500 applicants he was one of 20 who graduated 3 months ago. Now for the on the job training. He tells me it is very stressful but the management team encourages their employees to take frequent breaks. He is a train traffic controller and apparently it is almost as complex as the air ones but they get all the glory:whoopie:
My son was a little lost (but boy did he have a great time:D being lost) since he graduated from university 4 years ago. He lived, worked and then took a lot of time off to travel. But when the economy turned 2 years ago he really realized that his carefree ways were not building him any security.
When this job opportunity came up he jumped at it and really did everything to prove that his skills could transfer to this job. Now he finds it stressful but at least he is making use of his capacity to learn excellence instead of relying on his good looks and charm.:doh: to get him through his days.
He shares some of his experiences with me and I think your son will be going through similar ones. Management promotes a cohort process and so his fellow coworkers will be a good source of help for him. It seems to be a great practical work site where due process belongs to strict adherence to honest practice, a marked contrast to profit before people mantra found in many corporate offices. Keep us posted on his progress. A fellow mom.
 

tompalm

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Congrats to your nephew. My son just started class a couple days ago in Oklahoma City for the terminal, or tower in Maui. The class will last three months and then off to Maui. We went to visit OKC prior to his starting class and had hoped to get a tour of the FAA. However, they didn't allow anyone inside for a tour, but we did get to meet most of his class and stayed at the same apartment building that 16 students were in out of the 18 in his class. All the new ATC students were very much alike and had a lot in common. They all became good friends on the first day. It should be a good experience for all of them. I highly recommend that your nephew looks at Isolabella Apts. They provide free breakfast and dinner everyday, plus a lot of other perks. Also, check out stuck mic web site for more info. http://www.stuckmic.com/faa-academy/

Also, the FAA is running class 16 hours a day and starting classes about twice each month. One month, the students go from 7 - 3:30 and another class starts at 3:30 and ends at midnight. The next month, they change their schedule so the morning group starts in the afternoon. Seems like they got behind last year when the funding ended, and now trying to play catch up. A lot of students are being called now to start class. Your nephew should make reservations for Isolabella as soon as he knows his class dates. Also, the government travel agency and the FAA are very behind getting paperwork to the students. Just about everyone got their package in the mail less than one week prior to class starting. My son got his airline tickets one business day prior to leaving Hawaii. We had him scheduled on a standby, or non-rev flight with us, because we thought SATO would not get his ticket in time. Your nephew might want to drive his own vehicle so that he can get around on weekends, but he really doesn't need one. They provide all the transportation.

Jacksonville: I lived there for three years. Not much north of the airport but country. But, the roads are good and it is easy to live a lot of different places in that area.
 
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Pat H

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I'm a little confused about the training several of you have mentioned. My understanding is that he will be working at JAX Center. He graduated from Embry Riddle with a degree in Air Traffic Management. He also has his pilot's license. Is the training the same or are you referring to those who don't have a degree? He wasn't even interviewed. He was on a list since graduation. He was allowed to pick 2 states where he wanted to work. Started with NJ (home) & NY, changed to NJ & CA several months ago and recently changed to FL & TX. Voila, FL! I am sure he won't want to live near the center since he likes the action.
 

tompalm

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I'm a little confused about the training several of you have mentioned. My understanding is that he will be working at JAX Center. He graduated from Embry Riddle with a degree in Air Traffic Management. He also has his pilot's license. Is the training the same or are you referring to those who don't have a degree? He wasn't even interviewed. He was on a list since graduation. He was allowed to pick 2 states where he wanted to work. Started with NJ (home) & NY, changed to NJ & CA several months ago and recently changed to FL & TX. Voila, FL! I am sure he won't want to live near the center since he likes the action.
I don't think you have all the right information. It doesn't matter if you have a degree, but graduating from a CTI school is better than having a degree from any other university and Embry Riddle is the best CTI school there is. Everyone has an interview, but Daytona to Jax is a short distance and somewhere at sometime he met the right person that said I want this guy and wrote down "interview complete" I want this person. Everyone that becomes a controller has to go to OKC for FAA training and that means CTI graduates with a pilot's license or 10 years of military experience have to go to OKC for a few months. After that, it is about 18 months of OTJ at the facility they are assigned. If he went to Embry Riddle, he knows the program. Those guys network a lot. Having a pilot's license will help during training and he should do well.

I think he picked the right career in life. Had he chosen to become a commercial pilot, he would have been making less than $40,000 for 5-10 years while building hours and waiting to get hired by a major airline. After that, it would take another 10 -20 years before making the big bucks, or about $200,000 per year and a lot of uncertainty and possibly the airline could have problems with management, etc... and he could never reach the high pay that some pilots make. The job he is going to will pay over $100,000 per year as soon as the check ride is complete, and that should happen about two years after he starts. Congrats.
 
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