hourly pay for Air Traffic Controllers
do Air Traffic Controllers make a lot of money

Air Traffic Controllers

Other names for this job might include Air Route Controller, Air Route Traffic Controller, Air Traffic Control Operator, Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS), Air Traffic Control Specialist, Terminal, Air Traffic Control Specialist/Certified Professional Controller (ATC Specialist/CPC), Air Traffic Controller (ATC), Air Traffic Controller (Enroute Option), Air Traffic Controller (Tower Option), Air Traffic Controller, Center

  • $118200
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
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How Much Do Air Traffic Controllers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Air Traffic Controllers make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as an Air Traffic Controller will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$118200 per year

Hourly wage
$56.830 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Air Traffic Controllers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Air Traffic Controllers is $118200. Their salary can also be as low as $66390 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $172680 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $56.830 and can range from $31.920 to $83.020 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of An Air Traffic Controller will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of An Air Traffic Controller to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Air Traffic Controllers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of A.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$83.020$172680
Senior (Top 25%)$71.740$149230
Middle (Mid 50%)$58.850$122410
Junior (Bottom 25%)$40.730$84730
No experience (Bottom 10%)$31.920$66390

Entry-level Air Traffic Controllers who starts out at $84730 can expect to make $122410 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $31.920 per hour while the top 10% makes over $83.020 per hour.

While the median wage is $122410 per annum or $58.850 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services59.35123450
Engineering Services59.35123450
Federal Executive Branch59.09122910
Federal government, including the US Postal Service59.09122910
Federal, State, and Local Government59122720
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service59122720
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service59122720
All industries57.11118780
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services51.13106350
Support Activities for Transportation40.7884820
Support Activities for Air Transportation40.7784810
All industries, private ownership only39.8582900
Transportation and Warehousing39.7982770
Scheduled Air Transportation36.9376820
Air Transportation36.2775440
Local government, including schools and hospitals33.0368710
Management of Companies and Enterprises31.1464770
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals28.4459150
Nonscheduled Air Transportation27.4557090

Not all industries pay the same for Air Traffic Controllers.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as An Air Traffic Controller is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NH doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at NH may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Air Traffic Controllers are in the states of NH, VA, GA, MN and NY. The average salary in NH is $139590.

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Additional resources

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