Air Traffic Controllers

4.9/10 job score
risk level
by 2031
or $62.37 hourly
as of 2021

What is the risk of automation?

We calculate this occupation to have an automation risk score of 47% (Start worrying)

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated
Qualities required for this occupation:
Social Perceptiveness
very important
quite important
[Show all metrics]

What do you think the risk of automation is?

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

How quickly is this occupation growing?

The number of 'Air Traffic Controllers' job openings is expected to rise 0.6% by 2031
'Air Traffic Controllers' is expected to be a slow growing occupation in comparison to other occupations.
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031.
Updated projections are due Sep 2023.

What are the median wages for 'Air Traffic Controllers' in the United States?

In 2021 the median annual wage for 'Air Traffic Controllers' was $129,750, or $62.37 hourly
'Air Traffic Controllers' are paid 183.5% higher than the national median wage, which stands at $45,760
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

How many people are employed as air traffic controllers?

As of 2021 there were 21,230 people employed as Air Traffic Controllers within the United States.
This represents around 0.02% of the employed workforce across the country.
Put another way, around 1 in 6 thousand people are employed as Air Traffic Controllers.

Job description

Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport, and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers, according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.

SOC Code: 53-2021.00


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Mike (Highly likely) says
Unmanned Traffic Management is being currently tested. If it succeeds, Air Traffic Controllers will decrease in numbers as UTM spreads as a result of the increase of unmanned aircraft traffic in the skies.
Mar 08, 2021 at 02:05 PM
Joey Rood (Small chance) says
AI may get to a point where it will be indistinguishable from humans, especially in a standard exchange such as the kind air traffic communications have.
Jul 21, 2020 at 05:03 AM
Gabriel Pinheiro says
We already got to that point. Check out the Turing test and how many AIs have already passed it.
Dec 19, 2020 at 05:15 PM
Camilo (Could go either way) says
Planes are being driven by robots at this point, why wouldn't ATC be taken over by bots. Can a bot have a heart attack??
Nov 15, 2019 at 01:56 AM
Bob says
Just about everything said in this is wrong. Planes still have 2 human pilots controlling the autopilot. Autopilot doesn’t fly the plane the pilots do. Autopilot is cruise control in the plane not a pilot. Also, correct computers can’t suffer from a Heart attack but computers can bug, crash, fail due to power issues etc. and can improvise and problem solve. If an Aircraft went NORDO would the automated ATC know to use light gun signals at that specific aircraft ?
Nov 29, 2020 at 04:19 PM

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