Air Traffic Controller Salary

Air traffic controlling booth with two air traffic dispatchers with a purple sunset shining through windows.

What Is the Average Air Traffic Controller Salary?

The average base salary of an air traffic controller varies greatly depending on location. According to Glassdoor, the air traffic controller salary on average is $74,700 while Indeed estimates $46,400. suggests a salary range from $64,926 to $97,500. [1][2][3] According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median air traffic controller salary is $122,990 per year. [4]

How Much Is the Salary of an Air Traffic Controller?

Multiple factors affect the air traffic controller average salary in the United States such as experience, certification, and location. While an air traffic controller career pays relatively well for a job that only requires an Associate’s degree, their average annual salary does vary greatly from state to state. In a list published by Forbes, these were the top 10 highest-paying states for air traffic controllers:[5]

  • New Hampshire – $147,350
  • Virginia – $139,520
  • Illinois – $136,390
  • Georgia – $136,210
  • Texas – $133,260
  • California – $132,300
  • Minnesota – $131,330
  • Ohio – $131,180
  • New York – $130,840
  • Colorado – $128,210

NATCA Union Representation

Air traffic controllers are represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). This labor union was certified in 1987 and is the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. As vital contributors to the U.S. economy, air traffic controllers are represented by one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector comprised of over 20,000 members and 17 bargaining units. The NATCA helps negotiate wages for its members, works on aviation safety initiatives, and provides numerous benefits.

Higher-end average salaries and strong union representation makes air traffic controller one of the more popular aviation jobs. Another aviation job that requires minimal training and offers a significant number of entry-level opportunities is the job of an aircraft dispatcher. While air traffic dispatchers work for individual airlines, both controllers and dispatchers are in some way responsible for ensuring safe flights.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is one of the oldest aviation training institutions in the United States, where you can take a flight dispatcher course and obtain your FAA dispatcher license. With an outstanding reputation in the aviation industry, our aeronautics school is recognized by companies like Delta, United, KLM, American, Virgin Australia, Cayman Airways, Shanghai/China Eastern, ExpressJet, Federal Express, UPS, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, United Technologies, Mobil Oil, Gulf Air, Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Mesaba, Horizon, American Trans Air, and many others for aircraft dispatcher training. If you’re interested in becoming an aircraft dispatcher, contact us to get started: 954-581-6022.


  1. Glassdoor – Air Traffic Controller Salaries in United States
  2. Indeed – How much does an Air Traffic Controller make in the United States?
  3. – Air Traffic Controller Salary
  4. Andrew DePietro, Forbes – Here’s How Much Money Air Traffic Controllers Make In Every State

Related Reading

Why Does the Aircraft Dispatcher Salary Start So Low?

The Difference Between an Aircraft Dispatcher and an Air Traffic Controller

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