Singapore Expats Forum

Air traffic controller

Join in the discussion about employment, interview as a cabin crew, pilot in major airlines.
InSp1red
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri, 23 Dec 2011

Postby InSp1red » Fri, 23 Dec 2011 10:30 am

Hi all, it this thread still alive?

kindly advise on the waiting time between first interview and the notification of successful/unsuccessful application.

Christina mentioned that the 2nd interview should be held in Jan 2012. I had the first interview on Wednesday but I have yet to hear from CAAS. If I were to not make it through the interview, will they notify me?

Appreciate any kind of information!

cursed_ign
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby cursed_ign » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:29 pm

Hi! I'm new here. I'm about to graduate from a local poly, and I want to be an atc. My results are not v good though. I heard that SAA trains you to become one, but the cost to learn is v high. Is there any other way to be one? I have no experience.

Jeffa
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu, 31 May 2012

Re: experience

Postby Jeffa » Fri, 01 Jun 2012 1:30 am

RashRash wrote:I'd appreciate if those with experience in this industry or who's an ATC could get in touch with me, though this forum seems lifeless.


I worked as ATC in the United States in a RAPCON (Radar Approach Control). I am not sure how it is in SG, but let me know if there are any questions I can help you with.

hitmen
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu, 05 Jul 2012

Postby hitmen » Thu, 05 Jul 2012 4:18 pm

So what is the latest pay for fresh grad joining ATC?
What is the difference between joining this and the air force?

What are the career opportunities after this if I leave? I am just being pragmatic, no offence.

jvdc24
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 20 Feb 2013

Postby jvdc24 » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 12:47 pm

Hello

Are the ATCOs still here? :)

thisisadumpquestion
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat, 25 May 2013

ATC Pay

Postby thisisadumpquestion » Sat, 25 May 2013 4:27 am

Starting pay for ATCOs are quite attractive because short of controllers now due poor planning. But be careful after joining, you may find your peer's salary catching up and getting more then you after few years because yearly increments are not alot. And pay revision is like once every 10 years.

You might find it easier to get the job now because the standards are lower (short of controllers). I heard trainers are required to give reasons now for failing trainees. I also heard that trainees are now slap with another 2 years of bond after their second rating besides the 2 years bond when they first signed up.

Controllers pay are pegged to engineers pay here in Singapore. So don't expect much. It is a very stressful environment and no much job mobility. So once started on this career path, experience gain not of much use to other careers if you so choose to leave.

There are in fact more younger controllers are now leaving the job in search of better pay after paying back the bond. Leaving the old ones which got not place to go . They are now struggling with new radar system which is giving a lot of problems.

You are required to work shift. Leave to be applied almost 2 months ahead, and likely won't be able to get (shortage of controllers). No public holidays unless it's on your off day. Career prospects if you able to carry your bosses are not too bad. But there are controllers there with over 20 years experience and with no promotion for almost same period of time. So you won't know where your career is heading till much later.

I left the job because i know i'm not going anywhere. My classmates after few years earning more then me and having the experience being more marketable. while i'm like a fresh grad with traffic police skills. Yes unlike in the U.S. or europe, that's what controllers here are treated like... machine operators. You have management staff up there, operators below pumping up production.

You won't get the truth from any controllers unless they remain anonymous cause they can kiss their promotions and bonuses goodbye if caught with negative remarks. Sometimes i pity the older controllers which are actually quite nice. But maybe too nice to be taken advantaged of.

alphaguy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed, 12 Jun 2013

Postby alphaguy » Wed, 12 Jun 2013 1:26 pm

HI i just applied for the ATCO position. Till now i have not received any call asking me to go for the aptitute test. does it mean im not selected?

it has been 3 days since i applied.

helloeveryone
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu, 27 Jun 2013
Location: singapore

Question for thisisadumpquestion

Postby helloeveryone » Thu, 27 Jun 2013 11:52 pm

Hello thisisadumpquestion, I tried to pm you but it wasnt allowed as i have not posted sufficient number of posts on this forum. My email address is jeffrey14_liverpool@hotmail.com.

Thank you and looking forward for you to contact me.

3NM
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 06 Jun 2009

Re: ATC Pay

Postby 3NM » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 1:39 am

[quote="thisisadumpquestion"]Starting pay for ATCOs are quite attractive because short of controllers now due poor planning. But be careful after joining, you may find your peer's salary catching up and getting more then you after few years because yearly increments are not alot. And pay revision is like once every 10 years.]

Perhaps it would be good for an ATC to respond to some the comments posted here. The starting salary for an ATC is not the best I must admit. But that said, the job is also not suited for someone who's looking to do a 9-6 desk bound job. The ATCOs salary is pegged to the engineers profession, but that said, I believe our hourly rate is far better than our engineering counterparts. When I first started out, my pay was around the same as my fellow uni mates who did engineering, but as time progressed, my per hourly rate actually surpassed my uni mates who decided to stay in engineering. Yes, we may not be as well paid as lawyers, senior accountants, architects, but after 10+ years service, $100K+ per annum for the hours we work, without having to bring back work is IMO a godsend. And no, I'm not in supervisory position.
We have what we call ratings, most if not all of us have two, a first rating when one starts and a second radar rating. The decent money only comes when you obtain your second radar rating, which requires to attend a course after about 2/3 years experience in your first rating, be it tower or a procedural non radar position.
Salary revision is due every 4/5 years, not the 10 mentioned. The salary revision is negotiated by the union. The ATC scheme of service is what we call a negotiated scheme of service, which means that even if CAAS wanted to offer us a salary revision, it would have to go through a thorough look through by the union.

[You might find it easier to get the job now because the standards are lower (short of controllers). I heard trainers are required to give reasons now for failing trainees. I also heard that trainees are now slap with another 2 years of bond after their second rating besides the 2 years bond when they first signed up. ]

Yes it's easier to get the job, but we still require standards to be kept up. If you're not up to the mark, we're still not going to pass you. We will only pass people whom we are comfortable of working next to, simple. We have always been required to provide reasons when we fail a trainee regardless. Just as if we wish to 'save' a trainee from getting the chop, we have to provide justification as to why the training period needs to be extended. It works both ways.
Yes, there is an additional 2 year bond if you wish to go on the radar course. When you're on the 9 month course, essentially one is not really of much use operationally. There is a cost factor. Imagine passing the course, getting paid to do training, then you leave. How does that help the organization. It of course reflects the tight manpower situation we have right now.


[Controllers pay are pegged to engineers pay here in Singapore. So don't expect much. It is a very stressful environment and no much job mobility. So once started on this career path, experience gain not of much use to other careers if you so choose to leave.]

I have to agree that there no job mobility. But if you're like me, who just wants a job that one can become good at, and just do it for the rest of their working life, then this might just work for you. As I mentioned previously, the decent money only come with the radar rating. Radar controllers earned upwards of $100k plus after 10 years. No work to take home, shift work allows one to actually spend more time with the family. Send your kids to school and pick them up. Doing your banking and other essentials on a weekday morning when others are rushing to work. Just different strokes for different folks.

It is a stressful environment, but you're trained to handle the stress. But if you love the job and you can handle it, it's not an issue. The issues comes bout when you're unhappy in the job, or if you cannot handle what's given to you. The ones who can, stay.

[There are in fact more younger controllers are now leaving the job in search of better pay after paying back the bond. Leaving the old ones which got not place to go . They are now struggling with new radar system which is giving a lot of problems. ]

I would say, the majority of us are pretty happy with our lifestyle. Do we wish for more money, of course, but that does not detract that it's a profession which allows one to have a decent work/family life balance.
We have a new radar system, as with all advanced new systems there will be some bugs. This new system will allow us to move the organization ahead, and the majority is all geared up for it. The latest windows OS or DOS? The answer is obvious.

[You are required to work shift. Leave to be applied almost 2 months ahead, and likely won't be able to get (shortage of controllers). No public holidays unless it's on your off day. Career prospects if you able to carry your bosses are not too bad. But there are controllers there with over 20 years experience and with no promotion for almost same period of time. So you won't know where your career is heading till much later.

I left the job because i know i'm not going anywhere. My classmates after few years earning more then me and having the experience being more marketable. while i'm like a fresh grad with traffic police skills. Yes unlike in the U.S. or europe, that's what controllers here are treated like... machine operators. You have management staff up there, operators below pumping up production.

You won't get the truth from any controllers unless they remain anonymous cause they can kiss their promotions and bonuses goodbye if caught with negative remarks. Sometimes i pity the older controllers which are actually quite nice. But maybe too nice to be taken advantaged of.[/quote]

Perceptions are as they nine tenths of the game. I'm sure you have had your issues with the ATC organization, which some have had. I wish you well in your new endeavors. But you don't need to pity us, quite a few of us are happy here. I can understand the younger chaps getting agitated at the lack of promotion prospects. Let me put this in perspective. When I joined ATC at age 25, my instructor had 25 years of experience. This experience cannot be taught nor gained in any university or course anywhere. When a guy who comes in and after 4/5 years, is looking to move to a supervisory position, how is he going to match up to a guy with 15-35 years of experience ahead of him? Will he have the experience to lead in an emergency situation? Does he have a handle on legacy issues which affect our control of the airspace?

Anyways the difference between a supervisory position and a senior controller is only $400 plus. So to a lot of senior controllers, it's just not worth the extra responsibility for such a minor increase of pay.

To all who are intereste in joining, I hope I have answered some questions. It's a wonderful job to me. I enjoy what I do. I'm a trained professional who is good at what I do. I'm decently renumerated to a degree. Simply put, those who can, stay. Does who can't or won't, leave.

alphaguy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed, 12 Jun 2013

Postby alphaguy » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 4:37 pm

i applied for atco in early june, and after 2 long months then they called to ask me to go for the aptitute test. unfortunately i have already started on a new job because i tot they didn't want to call me. needless to say, im kinda upset that i wasn't given the opportunity.

is there a cut off age for applying? because i may wish to try again in future.

Shade87
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon, 29 Jul 2013

Postby Shade87 » Sun, 11 Aug 2013 9:17 pm

i hope i am still be able to join as ATCO after i graduate. But i have 1 question though, does CAAS able to wait for 3 months for me to quit my current job as i'll need at least 3 months notice first IF im selected and qualify for the ATCO post?

SLS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon, 12 Aug 2013

part time studies and diff between having degree or diploma

Postby SLS » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 4:28 am

Hi 3NM or any of the ATCOs still around, hope you can help with my questions. :)

I'm really keen and looking to sign up as an ATCO, can I ask if you could share with me your honest opinion of how the training and working experience is like for the first 2-3 years? And also if there is a difference, besides the pay, between diploma and degree holders in being an ATCO, does it affect your grading, promotion, streaming area, prospect etc?

The reason is I'm only a diploma holder, planning to take on part time studies to get my degree. Given the better pay scale for degree holders, of course having a degree would be better, besides that, if further down the road I realize that being an ATCO really isn't working out for me, at least I can look upon another career path. Also Will there be a pay increase once I've obtained the degree qualifications or would it still be pegged to my diploma because of the contract I signed at the start?

One of my main concern is how the first 2 years is like too? from what I have gathered and read, I like the prospect of shift work and having day offs, no take home work etc.. it paints a possibly suitable balance for me to take on part time studies.

But just how stressful will be the OJT, I know stress is subjective to each person, but do you know of any ATCOs that are also studying and managing to cope with their training & jobs? is the first 1yr+ of training also on shift hours? Is there study leave, and do you get any flexibility or say in choosing your shifts so as to try and match classes or exam dates etc.

I did think about studying full time first before applying for ATCO, but I've got to support myself, and not depend on my family for finances. So part time studies is kind of the only way to go, but I guess if the OJT is really demanding, then I would have to reconsider.

Sorry for the long post and questions, hope any of the ATCOs around here can enlighten me. Much appreciated.

3NM
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 06 Jun 2009

Re: part time studies and diff between having degree or dipl

Postby 3NM » Mon, 12 Aug 2013 12:49 pm

Questions regarding how long CAAS would be willing to wait for you, or whether you'll get a pay revision once you get your degree, or an age cut off, you'll have to refer them to HR, as these are HR issues, and they are revised periodically.

There is no difference between a diploma and a degree holder when you enter the job except for the starting pay. Streaming is based on which stream requires manpower currently. There will be resignations and people retiring every year.

Promotion is based on merit and experience. You start off as a PATCO, Probabtionary ATCO. The training last about 6 months in school, on mostly office hours. Thereafter, you proceed to the unit for your on The Job training, OJT, which lasts for a minimum 16 weeks. In total you could be in training from 10 months up to a year. Once you pass, you get promoted to grade 1. Thats for your first rating. After 2/3 years in your first rating, you will be sent to your second course, a radar course. this course lasts from 6 months to 8 months depending on which stream you're in. After which there is period of 16 weeks of OJT again. If you pass the OJT period, you'll get a promotion to grade 2, with its corresponding pay and allowance increases.

After a minimum of 3 years as a grade 2, dependent on your performance, you will be eligible for promotion to grade 3, thats a senior controller grade. anything from grade 4 onwards is a supervisory position.

Ok. we're talking about pay here. The degree holders will get a larger starting salary than the diploma holders. that said, most of the degree holders will most likely be about 3/4 years older than the average diploma holders, with the average Deg holder being at least 25/26 years of age when they join (for males, after serving NS and all)
Every grade has what we call a salary range, say $10-$100. The dip holder starts at $40, and the Degree holder starts at $60, but the max is still $100. Everyone will reach the max pay grade, it just depends on when you reach it. The degree holder may reach it first, but the dip holder being younger, will also reach it, although slower, but at an earlier age possibly.

The OJT period, especially for the first rating is more a culture shock than a stress related one. We will build you up to the competence level required, but its more the high paced environment which not many people can take. Its a challenge during the OJT phase but it is IMO quite doable. A positive attitude and engaging attitude is most important. You've got to self study, esp on your off days. You've got to memorize your procedures and techniques that are taught. You can choose not to, but at the end of the day, you gotta know your work. We're all adults here, the choice is yours.

Once you are rated, you will get your allotment of leave, which you can apply to take for your exams if need be. A mutual exchange of shift timing is also possible, dependent on exigencies of service. A fair number of controllers are doing some course or another in their spare time. I would like to believe ATCOs are all pretty geared towards a lifelong learning attitude. It just stems from the training we receive I guess. Everyday there's something to learn. Once you've decided you've learnt enough, then perhaps its time to leave this job.

ARM22
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 28 Aug 2013

Postby ARM22 » Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:29 am

The dark side.

Things you find out only after you join.

(1) The seniors posting here have leave entitlements you can only dream about. It's a game changer no one talks about that might explain the huge divide in opinion here.

Great for them, not so great for you. It's almost twice.

28 days vs 18 days vacation
30 days vs 14 days medical leave (usually fully utilize)
Now you know where the work/life balance argument is coming from....
And you wonder why you're the one working public holidays and night shifts after night shifts, while others get 2 extra days off in a month.

(2) Every month, taken out from your off days, you'd have 1 training day(compulsory) and 1 standby day (work for free if your friend is sick). Expect to work 5-6 days in a row on when you're scheduled. You'd be surprised at how much you overlooked this fact or that no one mentioned it at the recruitment talk.

(3) It's the lack of structural opportunities to fast-track that exposure to new experiences that is the sore point. The old days saw controllers trained in all the different job functions of ATC and exposed to the big picture within a short time. Nowadays, you find yourself in a specialize track bidding time to the next upgrade.

(4) Night shifts. Once every 8 days.
Sacrifice? Anti-aging? Cool factor?
Own-self decide.

(5) For every positive passionate life long learner who posted here (which is why they bothered to post in the first place), there are far far many more who just do the job, fill their rice bowls, and go home. If you really want to be part of something special, think again.

(6) Take the whole 100k salary thing with some common sense. Divide it by 15/16 months(total with bonus) to get a fair monthly value.

(7) And not everyone passes the 2nd rating first time. (Higher passing rates for Area then Approach) Expect 1-2 years if you fail to retry.

On a positive note..

The shifts allow you to have a good work/life balance. But this job doesn't give that to you, you make it happen yourself. (ect family/side hustle/having a life). In that case, do you have other options?

What does it tell you when the frequently highlighted good points are mostly about work/life balance, no bring work home, and doing banking on weekdays? (er.. internet banking?)

To the young at heart, dreamers and achievers, choose wisely.

thunderdoor
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon, 02 Mar 2009

Postby thunderdoor » Wed, 04 Sep 2013 6:13 pm

ARM22 thank you for your enlightening post about the job.

With regard to hours:

I did some rough calculations and even with the 1 day standby and training per month "shift", the number of hours put per week is still lower than the average office job (national average hrs p week is 46.2).

Thus:
ATC: 645 hours in 120 days (+64hrs for standby and training) = 41hrs a week
OFFICE: 46.2hrs (but the reality is usually more since the trend now is OT or half day on saturday)

Night shift of once every 8 days is not heavy in comparison to the police, which does one night shift every 4 days which can take a toll physically.


ARM22, I am not too concerned about the older gens having 30 days off, but rather if people do take off, who replaces the leave applicant? Is it the person on standby or is someone allocated to take the leave applicant's shift on an otherwise off day?

Lack of structural opportunities can be quite depressing, and if they do not pull through for you, external opportunities will have to be considered. Are there any stories of ATC's going over to becoming commercial pilots, since there is a heavy subsidy for PPL. Or is it more of a hobbyist benefit. Are there many ATC's that have PPLs?

It seems that with the PPL subsidy there suggests some form of streamlining from ATC to pilot if so, at least while being a specialist job, transition to another job is not too difficult.

ARM22 wrote:The dark side.

Things you find out only after you join.

(1) The seniors posting here have leave entitlements you can only dream about. It's a game changer no one talks about that might explain the huge divide in opinion here.

Great for them, not so great for you. It's almost twice.

28 days vs 18 days vacation
30 days vs 14 days medical leave (usually fully utilize)
Now you know where the work/life balance argument is coming from....
And you wonder why you're the one working public holidays and night shifts after night shifts, while others get 2 extra days off in a month.

(2) Every month, taken out from your off days, you'd have 1 training day(compulsory) and 1 standby day (work for free if your friend is sick). Expect to work 5-6 days in a row on when you're scheduled. You'd be surprised at how much you overlooked this fact or that no one mentioned it at the recruitment talk.

(3) It's the lack of structural opportunities to fast-track that exposure to new experiences that is the sore point. The old days saw controllers trained in all the different job functions of ATC and exposed to the big picture within a short time. Nowadays, you find yourself in a specialize track bidding time to the next upgrade.

(4) Night shifts. Once every 8 days.
Sacrifice? Anti-aging? Cool factor?
Own-self decide.

(5) For every positive passionate life long learner who posted here (which is why they bothered to post in the first place), there are far far many more who just do the job, fill their rice bowls, and go home. If you really want to be part of something special, think again.

(6) Take the whole 100k salary thing with some common sense. Divide it by 15/16 months(total with bonus) to get a fair monthly value.

(7) And not everyone passes the 2nd rating first time. (Higher passing rates for Area then Approach) Expect 1-2 years if you fail to retry.

On a positive note..

The shifts allow you to have a good work/life balance. But this job doesn't give that to you, you make it happen yourself. (ect family/side hustle/having a life). In that case, do you have other options?

What does it tell you when the frequently highlighted good points are mostly about work/life balance, no bring work home, and doing banking on weekdays? (er.. internet banking?)

To the young at heart, dreamers and achievers, choose wisely.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Airline Careers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests