Match
$122k $122k
Avg US Salary
24k 24k
Employment
-8.6% -8.6%
Growth
3.5/5 3.5/5
Rating
Cert. Associates
Education

How much does an Air Traffic Controller make in the United States?

Average Air Traffic Controller Hourly Wage in the United States

Air Traffic Controllers earn a median hourly wage of $59.11. Hourly wages typically start from $32.10 and go up to $82.97.

Average Air Traffic Controller Yearly Salary in the United States

Air Traffic Controllers earn a median salary of $122,950 per year. Salaries typically start from $66,780 and go up to $172,590.

Learn more about the Air Traffic Controller job market for salaries of real jobs in your area.

Air traffic controllers manage the flow of aircraft into and out of the airport airspace, guide pilots during takeoff and landing, and monitor aircraft, as they travel through the skies. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employs most air traffic controllers and usually requires them to complete training at the FAA academy.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the starting salary for new controllers undergoing training was $17,803 in 2012. Controllers' salaries increase as they complete each new training phase. According to the FAA, controllers who have completed on-the-job training and had been placed at a facility had a starting annual salary of $37,070 in 2012. A full explanation of current starting wages can be found on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) jobs & careers page.

The top paying cities for air traffic controllers are San Francisco, followed by New York and Houston. Salaries for air traffic controllers increase significantly as they gain experience.

How to Become an Air Traffic Controller

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Air Traffic Controller Earnings by Seniority

Top End Air Traffic Controller Earnings

The highest earning Air Traffic Controllers in the United States earn:

$82.97
an hour
$172,590
per year
Senior Air Traffic Controller Earnings

Senior Air Traffic Controllers in the United States earn:

$72.17
an hour
$150,120
per year
Experienced Air Traffic Controller Earnings

Experienced Air Traffic Controllers in the United States earn:

$59.11
an hour
$122,950
per year
Junior Air Traffic Controller Earnings

Junior Air Traffic Controllers in the United States earn:

$41.50
an hour
$86,330
per year
Starting Air Traffic Controller Earnings

Starting Air Traffic Controllers in the United States earn:

$32.10
an hour
$66,780
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Air Traffic Controller salary comparison

Air Traffic Controllers earn more than 99% percent of Services careers. Air Traffic Controller salaries are in the top 99% of all careers in the United States.

Air Traffic Controller Salary $122k
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Family Social Worker Salary $42k
Meter Reader Salary $38k
Garbage Collector Salary $33k
Switchboard Operator Salary $27k
Taxi Driver Salary $23k
Hostess Salary $19k

Historical salary for Air Traffic Controllers in the United States

Air Traffic Controller salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Air Traffic Controller Salary in New Hampshire $70.18 $145,970 # 1
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Virginia $66.24 $137,780 # 2
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Georgia $66.64 $138,610 # 3
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Minnesota $68.05 $141,540 # 4
Air Traffic Controller Salary in New York $68.63 $142,760 # 5
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Ohio $63.29 $131,640 # 6
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Colorado $63.85 $132,810 # 7
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Illinois $66.70 $138,740 # 8
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Tennessee $60.88 $126,620 # 9
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Texas $64.34 $133,830 # 10
Air Traffic Controller Salary in California $65.16 $135,540 # 11
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Indiana $61.15 $127,200 # 12
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Nevada $57.97 $120,580 # 13
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Florida $57.98 $120,600 # 14
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Kansas $57.98 $120,590 # 15
Air Traffic Controller Salary in New Mexico $55.09 $114,590 # 16
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Pennsylvania $53.65 $111,580 # 17
Air Traffic Controller Salary in New Jersey $52.42 $109,030 # 18
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Washington $56.43 $117,370 # 19
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Michigan $51.85 $107,840 # 20
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Maryland $51.29 $106,690 # 21
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Kentucky $49.29 $102,530 # 22
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Hawaii $51.54 $107,200 # 23
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Alaska $49.88 $103,760 # 24
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Connecticut $47.60 $99,010 # 25
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Wisconsin $49.55 $103,070 # 26
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Missouri $47.89 $99,620 # 27
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Arizona $46.12 $95,920 # 28
Air Traffic Controller Salary in North Carolina $43.03 $89,490 # 29
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Oklahoma $47.39 $98,580 # 30
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Nebraska $43.34 $90,150 # 31
Air Traffic Controller Salary in North Dakota $45.53 $94,700 # 32
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Alabama $41.58 $86,480 # 33
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Louisiana $39.23 $81,600 # 34
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Arkansas $41.99 $87,340 # 35
Air Traffic Controller Salary in South Carolina $43.07 $89,590 # 36
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Mississippi $39.22 $81,580 # 37
Air Traffic Controller Salary in West Virginia $38.61 $80,310 # 38
Air Traffic Controller Salary in South Dakota $35.51 $73,850 # 39
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Iowa $35.42 $73,660 # 40
Air Traffic Controller Salary in Montana $34.40 $71,550 # 41
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Become an Air Traffic Controller

Interested in becoming an Air Traffic Controller? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good air traffic controller? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get Hired

      Loading jobs...

    View all jobs →