Air traffic management personnel oversee the varying aspects of an aircraft's journey to ensure that the flight remains safe and on time. These aviation professionals are usually dynamic and technical workers who may have to use high-tech communication equipment to liaise with pilots. Typical tasks could include informing the relevant parties of weather conditions, managing the movement of numerous aircraft or leading / working within a team of other area, approach or aerodrome controllers. Due to the niche skills required of air traffic management staff, specialist aviation recruitment agencies are required to source the most suitably qualified candidates for their clients.
Earnings within air traffic management can vary depending on a candidate's level of experience but the average salary tends to be around £32K per annum. Recent graduates and new entrants into the industry can expect to start on £12K+ although with the completion of training this can soon rise to £20K. Years of experience can eventually lead to a senior post and the potential to earn a salary of £100K+. Large control centres and airports such as Heathrow usually offer the highest salaries although private control companies can also pay highly.
Though there is no specific degree required to enter the field of air traffic management, candidates will usually have to undertake National Air Traffic Service (NATS). This course has particular entry requirements with applicants generally needing at least five GCSEs to be considered. After finishing the course, further training will be provided by employers and it can take around three years in total to become fully qualified. Character and aptitude is thought of to be as important as qualifications though and candidates need to be able to work under pressure, be confident working with technology and have the ability to make quick decisions. Air traffic management recruitment agencies are experts at finding personnel who meet all of this criteria for vacancies across the UK.