Monday, March 19, 2007

No Experience Required

Over the years I’ve had dozens and dozens (probably hundreds) of people ask me about becoming an air traffic controller. Here’s your chance.

Career Opportunity

I’m not sure I’ve got the time to play with this all I could. When it comes to irony, this is a target rich environment. You could probably experience it best by comparing the FAA’s job announcement with something like this site . I don’t mean to pick on Mt. SAC -- I don’t even know who they are. Never even heard of them. They just popped up on Google when I searched for a CTI school.

CTI stands for College Training Initiative. It was the FAA’s idea to start ATC colleges. So for years now, if you wanted to be a controller, you needed to go to one of these schools, load yourself down with debt to pay for it and then maybe -- just maybe -- the FAA would hire you.

Many of these graduates can tell you just how cruel all this really is. They’ve been waiting for years to get hired and now -- Presto ! Changeo ! -- you don’t need to go to a CTI school to be a controller. That’s about $100,000 dollars worth of cruel.

A few other things have changed too.

The FAA’s site says, “Salary Range : $18,732 - $86,078. You’d hope it was a joke but the joke's on you. I think I made 18K when I was at the FAA Academy 25 years ago. And 86K doesn’t sound bad until you figure out these guys went to school with vastly different expectations. Expectations like this:

“Salaries at FAA ATC facility sites include incremental advancement with experience to salaries of $75,000 - 135,000.”

As you can see, their lower end is about where the FAA’s upper end is -- now. And make no mistake about it, Indianapolis Center is a busy facility. And it’s tough.

Could it be ? Could it be that the reason no experience is required -- now -- is that the FAA has managed to drive away their prime candidates with their salary reductions ?

Drive your senior people out by freezing their salaries and making their work place intolerable, on one end. Then alienate the new guys that might take the job with a pay cut. Then pour salt into the wounds of the ones you did hire by hiring people that didn’t have to go through the same course load and financial obstacle course you had deal with. Now there’s a way to motivate your workforce.

If you don’t think that all this is actually part of the plan then you don’t have The Flick yet. Seriously. No one is this incompetent.

Are they ?

Don Brown
March 19, 2007

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