Air traffic controllers are about average in terms of happiness.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, air traffic controllers rate their career happiness 3.3 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 42% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy air traffic controllers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Pilot
3.8
$147k
Commercial pilot
3.8
$88k
Ship captain
3.5
$72k
Air traffic controller
3.3
$115k
Flight attendant
3.3
$56k
Transit police officer
3.2
$72k
Locomotive engineer
3.1
$67k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are air traffic controllers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do air traffic controllers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as air traffic controllers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are air traffic controller’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are air traffic controllers making the best use of their abilities?

Are air traffic controllers happy with their salary?