Air Traffic Controllers

ANZSCO ID 231112

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
1,700
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
88%
Female Share
16%
Average age
42

Summary

Air Traffic Controllers ensure the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in controlled airspace and aerodromes by directing aircraft movements.

Tasks

  • Controls aircraft movements, and directs aircraft taxiing, take-offs and landings by radio.

  • Provides pre-flight briefings and aeronautical information services.

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Air Transport Professionals, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 88% of people employed as Air Traffic Controllers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 22 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
79.3%
2
Public Administration and Safety
18.8%
3
Manufacturing
0.3%
4
Construction
0.2%
5
Other industries
0.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

16.5% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

29.7% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

34.7% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

4.7% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

8.3% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

0.9% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

3.4% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.8% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Air Traffic Controllers All Jobs Average
NSW 16.5 31.6
VIC 29.7 25.6
QLD 34.7 20.0
SA 4.7 7.0
WA 8.3 10.8
TAS 0.9 2.0
NT 3.4 1.0
ACT 1.8 1.9


  • Around 70% of Air Traffic Controllers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.

    Queensland and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
42
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
16%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Air Traffic Controllers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 16% of the workforce. This is 32 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Air Traffic Controllers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.2 5.0
20-24 4.6 9.3
25-34 28.3 22.9
35-44 25.3 22.0
45-54 26.0 21.6
55-59 10.9 9.0
60-64 2.8 6.0
65 and Over 1.9 4.2
Median Age 42 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A qualification through Airservices Australia or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is needed to work as an Air Traffic Controller. Only Air Force officers can undertake the RAAF air traffic control course.

Registration with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Aviation Industry VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Air Traffic Controllers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 7.5 10.1
Bachelor degree 33.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 47.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 2.7 21.1
Year 12 7.8 18.1
Year 11 0.4 4.8
Year 10 and below 1.3 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Air Transport Professionals who work well in a team, can communicate clearly and are reliable.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 64%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 61%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 59%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 59%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 57%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 57%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 57%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 55%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 54%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 50%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 48%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 48%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 48%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 46%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 46%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 46%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 45%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 43%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 39%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 74%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 71%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 70%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 64%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 63%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 58%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 52%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 51%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 43%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 42%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 41%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 38%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 36%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 32%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 32%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 31%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 30%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 27%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 23%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 15%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 80%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 70%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 70%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 68%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 66%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 66%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 64%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 64%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 63%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 63%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 63%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 61%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 59%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 59%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 57%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 55%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 55%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 54%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 89%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 82%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 82%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 80%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 77%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 76%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 75%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 74%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 72%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 72%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 69%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 69%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 68%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 59%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 56%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 54%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 53%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 51%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 50%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 47%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 90%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 86%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 52%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 33%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 33%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 86%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 76%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 76%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 48%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 98%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 97%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 96%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 96%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 94%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 93%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 89%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 88%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 86%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 86%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 85%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 84%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 83%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 83%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 82%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 77%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 72%

    Automation of tasks

    Do tasks that are mostly automated.

  • 70%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-2021.00 - Air Traffic Controllers.


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