Careers: Flying & Aviation/5 Months Before I Age-Out!
QUESTION: Greetings Mr. Grant -
Thanks so much for being part of this online community! It sounds like you know the ins and outs of this ATC field...
I hope you can help guide me.
I am a well qualified ATC CTI grad. with lots of airport ops. and flight experience under my belt, I want to get hired as an ATC but I am going to be 31 in just 5 short months. Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of getting hired if they can put a board together in time? I'll go anywhere!!!
I've been in process with the FAA for 6 year and I'm almost 'too old'- Please help!
ANSWER: Hi Eva,
It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Since you have been in the process for 6 years I assume that you have taken the ASAT. Is that correct? What kind of score did you get? Have you not been offered anything? I know a potential ATC candidate here in Atlanta. I don't think he has been in the process as long as you. He was offered a position in Kansas City, but his wife is an ATC in ATL so he turned it downed. I know with the sequester things are kind of crazy right now.
I don't know how it is now but I was told that if you took the test before you were 31 and passed you could still be hired after you were over 31. I know for a fact that this happened in 1984. I took the ATC test in March 1984, no ATSAT at that time, I turned 31 in May 1984, and I was hired by the FAA in August 1984. When the lady called and offered me a job I specifically asked about be 31 already. She told me as long as I took the test before I turned 31 I could be hired.
If you haven't taken the ATSAT, try to find somewhere to take it. My son, who is a controller, in Jacksonville, was ready to fly to Hawaii to take the test. We lived in Memphis at the time. He eventually had to go to Jacksonville to take it, but he was ready to go anywhere.
Another thing that I have heard, don't know if its true, is that "The squeaky wheels gets the grease". Keep calling OKC and asking when you are going to get hired. Explain your age dilemma and tell them you will take anything, anywhere.
Good Luck, if there is any way that I can help please let me know.
Front Line Manager, ATC ARTCC (Retired)
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QUESTION: Thanks so much for your quick and thoughtful response Mr. Grant.
I got an 85.5% on the ATSAT (in the well qualified range) and I'm being told by Oklahoma that there is pretty much no chance I'll get hired in 5 months. They also said that my age will 'freeze' once I get a tentative offer letter. Apparently when I took the test doesn't matter any more. Such a shame! With 31 and 56 as the cut off ages the FAA will continue to have massive staffing shortages every 25 years! It makes no sense to me. But I'm going to take your advice and keep on calling Oklahoma, I hope my 'squeakiness' pays off :) Additionally, do you think it's worth it to call all the regional hiring managers? I've already been in contact with the NW Mountain region's manager for years (that's where I live and would like to spend my career) but I know there are many other places that might give me a better chance at a job...Guam, Puerto Rico, and Alaska come to mind. How do I find out where I should apply? IE - which spots have the most vacancies and the fewest people applying? And what's the easiest way to get the phone numbers of the hiring managers? Thanks again.
You're welcome, however I don't think that I have been much help. I don't know what to tell you about other regions, I thought everything was handled through Oklahoma City. It can't hurt to call any and all people that may get you hired. Probably the easiest way to get the numbers is to the call the Centers in each region and ask for the regional office HR number. For Memphis ARTCC and Atlanta ARTCC ask for the regional office number in Atlanta. Other ARTCC's I don't know where the regional offices are. There are 20 ARTCC's.