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February 11, 2013

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Kwatt

Interesting to see air traffic controller first on that list. Unless you have military experience, by law you have to start your ATC career before age 30, so it's something you have to decide fairly early in your life and stick with because of the long-term training involved. The FAA expects a shortage of controllers in coming years due to its aging work force hitting the mandatory retirement age, so unless they start cutting back on the number of ATCs in the system it stands to reason that it's a field with opportunities. The job is modernizing through changes like Performance-based Navigation (what they're fighting about with the MAC over noise in Edina) and more adoption of GPS and on-board performance monitoring as well. If it weren't for the [darn] maximum start age it is something I would be considering. :(

If someone is really interested and wants to hear what an ATC does on a daily basis, they can look up KMSP on liveatc.net and listen to the tower, ground or approach channels. It can be interesting on days like Sunday when there are weather delays or any day with a high amount of air traffic.

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