The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking to hire over 1,400 air traffic controllers in the coming months.
In 2015, the number of air traffic controllers hit a 27-year low, and it is believed that there are even fewer in the occupation this year than last.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NACTA), which represents the workers, has warned that the shortage of staff could result in “system inefficiencies, delays, and a reduction in air traffic services for the flying public.”
It is believed that the shortage of workers has largely been due to a lack of funding. In previous hiring rounds, there have been over 20,000 applicants for about 1,000 vacancies.
The median wages for an air traffic controller are pretty high at $123,000. The job is not for everyone, however; it is extremely stressful and requires precise decision-making skills, often involving life-or-death situations.
A college degree isn’t always required to be an air traffic controller, although it certainly doesn’t hurt an applicant.
The FAA will be accepting applicants into its FAA Academy program in Oklahoma City until Monday, August 15. They require new hires to be under the age of 31, pass a number of “pre-employment tests,” and be willing to relocate frequently to a city or area in which they are needed.