Air traffic controller earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Air traffic controller salary by state

State Name Average Salary
New Hampshire $146,080
Illinois $127,438
Virginia $150,880
Indiana $122,470
Georgia $145,770
Texas $142,980
California $141,970
Minnesota $141,360
Ohio $139,970
New York $135,230
Pennsylvania $115,040
Colorado $136,610
Kansas $133,040
Nevada $127,290
Utah $125,600
New Jersey $117,950
Maryland $117,600
New Mexico $122,090
Michigan $99,360
Hawaii $103,380
Massachusetts $98,940
Oklahoma $109,230
North Carolina $100,710
Kentucky $104,730
Missouri $100,280
Wisconsin $98,860
Arizona $92,489
Alaska $93,215
Oregon $92,030
Arkansas $91,300
Guam $84,900
Puerto Rico $98,770
Nebraska $89,450
South Carolina $90,400
Connecticut $80,790
Louisiana $82,630
North Dakota $89,910
Iowa $82,460
Idaho $81,118
Mississippi $82,700
South Dakota $79,120
Vermont $75,970
West Virginia $76,220
Montana $71,390
District of Columbia $24,080
Alabama $60,108

How much does an Air Traffic Controller earn?

Air traffic controllers manage the flow of aircraft into and out of the airport airspace, guide pilots during takeoff and landing, and monitor aircraft, as they travel through the skies. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employs most air traffic controllers and usually requires them to complete training at the FAA academy.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the starting salary for new controllers undergoing training was $17,803 in 2012. Controllers' salaries increase as they complete each new training phase. According to the FAA, controllers who have completed on-the-job training and had been placed at a facility had a starting annual salary of $37,070 in 2012. A full explanation of current starting wages can be found on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) jobs & careers page.

The top paying cities for air traffic controllers are San Francisco, followed by New York and Houston. Salaries for air traffic controllers increase significantly as they gain experience.

How do air traffic controller salaries compare to similar careers?

Air traffic controllers earn 30% more than similar careers in the United States. On average, they make more than ship captains.

Career Median Salary
Air traffic controller salary $125K
Commercial pilot salary $82K
Transportation planner salary $81K
Air crew officer salary $66K
Ship captain salary $69K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)