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Air traffic controller

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Passion Guy
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Postby Passion Guy » Fri, 30 May 2008 10:37 pm

Oo.. i think maybe you did quite well in your (planes) session..
Actually i did call them to ask for second try, but they tell me that have to wait for around one year.. cos they say the questions in the test have not change.. i have to wait till one year for the questions to be changed before i can try the test again..

do you have any alternatives?? cos i really like the job very much.. when told have to wait for another year, was kind of sad.. =)

ye_lavinia
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Postby ye_lavinia » Sat, 31 May 2008 1:25 am

CAAS is the only organisation in Singapore that hires ATC, other than the Air force. CAAS controls the civil part and the military control is all up to the Air Force side. You might want to check the SAF site for information. Can't help you with that cos I don't have any connections with those.

You mentioned you "really like the job". Excuse me first if I sound too harsh-- but what do you know about the job? Other than those basic information HR gave on the CAAS recruitment site and the blue pamphlet, how much do you REALLY know about the job and pay?

Let me just share a bit of my own experience. Some reading might find this too subjective, but I say again, it's my OWN EXPERIENCE and thoughts.

When HR signed the employment contract with my batch, all we knew was the trainee pay (ranging from $1200 to $1800). Nothing was given to us in black & white about the actual pay we can expect after passing. (I admit, it was really stupid of us to have signed on without that piece of information)

As the training went on, my batch got to the point where we just contacted HR and told them we want to know the pay amount, how the whole bond period is deducted, and our gratuity when we pass. It's simply unfair for us to be stuck in a 6-yr bond of $60,000 without knowing what we can bring home monthly.

After quite some time, a 'discussion session' was held in the training academy, with a bunch of people from HR, and those ATC 'big heads'. But still, HR DID NOT give us the actual amount. I was so fed up that I just said out loud-- "After 10 months of us signing the contract, you mean HR still don't have the amount that we can call our salary??" Some big head stepped in and said I sound too rude. Whatever. When it comes to money, I can be ruder.

YET, HR still can't give us an amount. I asked for a range, at least let there be a rough amount to expect. They flipped through some papers and said ard low 2ks, for female grads.

About one month later, HR came back with our actual pay amount we can get after we pass training, in the PATCO level. It was not even a 2k. I argued back, and that lady said blah blah, the low 2k amt is for those who is ATCO, not PATCO, which would be after 2 years of since signing the contract.

It's a long and messy story, but I hope you guys can understand me point-- you won't get anything honest from HR. They didn't tell the trainees the actual pay, the actual way to count the bond period, and simply concealed information.

Passion Guy
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Postby Passion Guy » Sat, 31 May 2008 5:15 am

yup.. actually i can feel that they are abit of concealing things.. when she explain to me.. it was in a fast speed of explaining and only say will have a backpay after the training period but never really state how much..

dun worry its not harsh.. =) know you are trying to help..' actually i learn about the pay after you wrote those clear info earlier in the forum.. but for the job, i just have the passion for 'radar'.. and ATC deals with radar.. ya.. But btw which year are you in now?? still under probation..? or..

So for male, (diploma) may i know is the range around 2k mid after 2 years of training..?

Eugenia89
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Postby Eugenia89 » Sat, 31 May 2008 6:24 pm

my sister's bf happens to be in this job
think it might not be so ok for me to disclose his pay so i will say he is drawing mid 2ks now with his dip + national service

and if i am not wrong he just managed to secure the job few months back

i think the back pay should be quite a substantial sum since he has been flying all over the globe for holidays with my sister ever since he made it. lucky her...:(

but i guess that also reflects on how much stress he has been bottling inside.

ye_lavinia
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Postby ye_lavinia » Sat, 31 May 2008 7:04 pm

passion guy: you mentioned you have the passion for radar. This is my point again-- how much do you REALLY know about the job? Allow me to explain.

When you join, you get automatically assigned to either AREA or APPROACH stream. Trainees don't have a choice here, and once you're in a stream, you're in there for your entire career.

For AREA pple, they're those working with radar the whole time. But, when they first start working officially after training, they only have the "Area Non-Radar" licence. It'll be after a couple of years before they're sent back to academy to train for their "Area Radar" licence. So for the first part of your career as AREA person, you can't use the radar and control. You're working next to the radar-licenced controller, helping him/her, using your paper strips and notes...

For APPROACH pple, they start their career either at Changi or Seletar Airport. (Most prob it'll be Changi cos the last Seletar batch was 5 years ago.) These are called aerodrome controllers, they control basically everything that's in the airport, reagarding ATC. If you only have this aerodrome licence, you CANNOT work with radars, even though there're a couple in the airport control tower. REason's very clear-- You don't have the training and licence to use the radars!!

After a few years in the control tower, holding only an aerodrome licence, the controller will be sent to the "Approach Non-Radar" and "Approach Radar" course. Only when you pass, THEN you can be posted to work in the radar control room.

Points to note:
-- When I mentioned going for a 2nd training to get the additional licence, HR did not explain if the bond period is still being dedeucted, cos according to their initial explanation reagarding the Primary course training and OJT, as long as you're in 'school', you're not fulfilling your bond. (NOTE AGAIN: Training involves theory training, simulator training, and OJT.) So don't be surprised to discover that you are only allowed to leave 7 or 8 years after your first day in the company, due to all these training.

-- If your passion is to work with radars, there's no guarantee you can do so within the first 2 or 3 years of your career. Like I said, the previous Seletar Airport batch of Approach controllers has been holding on to only ONE licence and still not going for their Radar training.

Eugenia89: It's true that the gratuity might be quite nice after over one year of training. But some guys who received their 'fat gratuity' told me, sure it's nice to see your bank account get fat suddenly. But don't forget, it's THEIR money after all. And how long can it last?

~~
I guess it's quite tough for those who have a family to take care of. They can really see past the gratuity and think of the further 6 years. They can't change their career path and just take home whatever is that amount HR gives them. Not to mention, shift work needs a lot of understanding from their family members.

chooniE
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Postby chooniE » Sat, 31 May 2008 7:13 pm

hmm... to date, i haf not receive any news from the HR, so i assumed I'm not shortlisted. and actually, i really wan to find out if there's any min. age requirement. i haf a full dip from a polytechnic so at first i tot i will at least haf the chance to go for the test before they eliminate me. but it's quite sad that in the end i dun even get the chance.

ye_lavinia
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Postby ye_lavinia » Sat, 31 May 2008 8:09 pm

You might want to give them a call and check. It's possible that the system missed your application or something.

Eugenia89
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Postby Eugenia89 » Sat, 31 May 2008 9:00 pm

ye_lavinia: Ya, he was mentioning about the gratuity is like a savings plan less the interest, haha (what a bad deal). You working there also? how did you get all these information? I was interested at first but got turned off when i heard his colleague (female) with a deg is drawing lesser than him.

choonIE: why don't you give them a call? Good Luck!

and yea... shift sucks
they seldom meet when my sis needs to fly and he goes on those weird shift hours that i never seem to be able to catch when he tries to explain to me.
though he also did mention that things are changing inside over this year, shift, pay,maybe even the bonds.

well, if there happen to be any good deal i might want to give it a shot and risk getting depression =P sick and tired of my desk job..

chooniE
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Postby chooniE » Sat, 31 May 2008 9:15 pm

hee. eugenia, i guess you are 19 this year? i'm 20 this year! from 1988! 8-)

i tried calling CAAS recruitment division to ask why and what's the min. age requirement but i called twice and no body picks up. hence, i've decided to just stay in my current job to learn some life skills and go get a degree first. so i thought maybe someone can answer me here :)

and i found a bachelor degree in aviation management at the singapore aviation academy website! :D :D woosh!

Eugenia89
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Postby Eugenia89 » Sat, 31 May 2008 10:27 pm

yea.. working with A lvl qualification
looking for a better job or upgrading since i am getting nowhere now.
but don't want to get some weird deg that won't get me any further after spending so much time and money, i have to pay my own fees after all.

and hey, it's kinda rude to spell out a girl's age like that you know :P
though it's sooo obvious :lol:

chooniE
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Postby chooniE » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 12:03 am

wahaha! i spelt out mine too! fyi... :P

yea.. i also agree that one should think properly before getting a degree. you are still young, there's still time to think. ;)

ye_lavinia
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Postby ye_lavinia » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 12:05 am

chooniE:
If you're thinking that having that Bachelor of Aviation Mgt degree will help you in your ATC career, you can drop the idea now. I've heard of a controller who initially entered the company with a diploma and later in his career took the Avaition degree, but his pay reamined unchanged. HR won't increase your pay just because halfway you got a degree. If you're thinking of getting that degree BEFORE entering ATC, what if you want a career change later in life? Which companies outside in the corporate world will really appreciate THAT degree which most have never heard of??

Eugenia89:
I think I know who's your sister's bf. This won't sound pleasant, but he's got some reputation of his own.

Passion Guy
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Postby Passion Guy » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 1:51 am

ye_lavinia:

you really gives us alot of your experience and advices.. so glad to have a fren like you.. =) and i can feel how you feel towards your job too.. after all ur great advies, i decided to give a thorough thinking again.. anyway i got one year to decide.. cos Hr ask me to apply again one year later.. and things might not be the same again after one year.. like wat eugenia said earlier, things are changing inside over. Shift, pay and maybe even the bonds will alter..

So meanwhile i would like to try out Air traffic Services. ye_lavinia, you think its a good job? i seen from the website that says they work closely with the ATC too..

And is it convenient for me to know which stream are you in currently.. if not convenient can pm me instead..

chooniE
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Postby chooniE » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 9:16 pm

ye_lavinia:

true.. the future are always uncertain but i don't wish to tie myself down with this uncertainty and go through the safe & sound route and at the end feeling... wasted? haha. well.. i don't know how to express this thinking of mine.

my intention is to get the degree BEFORE i enter ATC because i don't wish to damage my brain cells when i have something important to learn over at the ATC training and at the same time wanting to do well in my studies.

hmmm... what about you? have you ever thought too what if you want a career change? this can be scary. like.. when you have to drag yourself to work? i do have an accounting & finance diploma. somehow... this can be backup yes? haha. =x

eTTe
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Postby eTTe » Wed, 11 Jun 2008 10:38 pm

ye_lavinia many thanks for your informative posts. I learnt more about the career's pros and cons from your posts than in the CASS website. I am currently contemplating on choosing ATC as a career.

What is the estimated time frame for the entire selection process? Also I have a degree from SIM (UOL). Do you happen to know if the CASS recognises degrees from SIM?

Thanks!


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