Powerful Geography
Air Traffic Controllers

Air Traffic Controllers

Air Traffic Controllers

Main Topic: Places and Regions
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: Air Traffic Controllers monitor and direct the movement of aircraft, control ground traffic at airports, instruct pilots, alert airport emergency response, and inform pilots about weather or other critical information. They coordinate and monitor the movement of aircraft. Usually they have a bachelor’s degree and several certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration. Air Traffic controllers work in one of three positions: tower controllers, approach and departure controllers, and en route controllers. The job can be demanding, so controllers are also tested on their behavioral consistency and personality fitness. Important qualities for air traffic controllers include communication, decision-making, math, problem-solving, and organizational skills.  Air traffic controllers have federal job positions and is a competitive field of work.

Geographers at work: GIS and Remote Sensing Specialists, Meteorologist

Recommended College Courses: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, Advanced GIS, Remote Sensing, Weather and Climate, GPS and GIS, Remote Sensing and Earth Observation, Location Analysis,

Skills: GIS, GPS, Remote sensing, climate and weather forecasting, quantitative methods, location analysis,

Occupation Group: Transportation and Material Moving

Learn more about Air Traffic Controllers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:


Written by Alisa Hartsell