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Aims air traffic controller students practicing in a control tower

Air Traffic Controller

Earn an Air Traffic Controller Associate Degree at Aims

Do you enjoy solving puzzles in a fast-paced environment? If so, a career as an air traffic controller could be fulfilling and exciting. Air traffic control is a highly competitive field, so a thorough hands-on education can make all the difference. 

Learn to use state-of-the-art simulation equipment at one of only 30 schools in the country with an FAA flight controller program of this caliber. Set yourself up for a successful career with an air traffic controller associate degree from Aims Community College.

Coursework subjects include:

  • Air Traffic Control Procedures
  • Instrumentation
  • Air Traffic Control Phraseology
  • Aviation Meteorology 
  • Radar & Non-Radar Simulation
"It's very rare in the college community to actually be in a lab like this one, where you're given the opportunity in a simulated environment to do exactly what an air traffic controller does."
--Patti Phillips, Lead Faculty Member, Air Traffic Control

Make a Career of Solving Puzzles

Aims Degree Video - Aviation - Air Traffic Controller
Jumpstart your air traffic career by learning air traffic control language and procedures in the classroom.

Patti Phillips, Air Traffic Controller Instructor, describes how the air traffic controller associate degree at Aims prepares you for success.

Learn Practical Skills Using Real Equipment

While pursuing your air traffic controller associate degree you’ll gain the technical skills that will prepare you to enter the FAA academy. With three semesters of hands-on practice in a lab setting using state-of-the-art simulators, you can learn everything required to be successful in this fast-paced, exciting career. 

Learn how to:

  • Speak and understand air traffic communication
  • Route planes using radar and non-radar techniques
  • Read and understand FAA instruments
  • Recognize and interpret atmospheric weather for flight
  • Succeed at the FAA academy and in your future career

Aims Community College has invested in modern simulators for pilots and air traffic controllers that provide students real-world training, second-to-none.

Launch Your Air Traffic Controller Career

Controlling air traffic is a detail-oriented, high-pressure career where lives are on the line. These challenges can be both fulfilling and lucrative. Getting into this high-intensity job has several steps:

  • Successfully complete an air traffic controller degree program
  • Pass the air traffic controller aptitude test
  • Apply to the FAA
  • When accepted, attend the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Pass the required courses at the Academy
  • Report to your assigned ATC facility, where your training continues in an operational environment

Air Traffic Control Faculty and Staff

The Air Traffic Control faculty are all retired air traffic controllers with years of experience in the field. Instructors are invested in student success and foster a culture of mentorship in the program. Small class sizes (6-8) allow for students to have meaningful individual interaction with faculty, with a student-to-instructor ratio typically 1:2.

  • Headshot of Eric Himler

    Eric Himler

    Director of Aviation
  • Headshot of Alexander Wernsman

    Alexander Wernsman

    Chief Flight Instructor
  • Headshot of Bill Standerfer

    William Standerfer

    Assistant Professor, Aviation Technology
  • Portrait of Patti Phillips

    Patti Phillips

    Professor, Air Traffic Control
  • Headshot of Norma Keeney

    Norma Keeney

    Staff Associate, Aviation