Elevate Your Career Trajectory

The Broward College Air Traffic Control program offers students the opportunity to learn Air Traffic basics in a college setting and the ability to put this learning into practice at our state-of-the-art Tower and Radar simulators from experienced retired FAA air traffic controllers. An air traffic controller works in either an air traffic control tower or a radar facility.

Air traffic controllers direct many aircraft at once to keep them a safe distance from all other aircraft. From the time an airplane departs the gate until it arrives at the destination gate, air traffic controllers issue instructions to keep it going to its destination and clear of all other aircraft and obstacles.

Broward College is an FAA-sponsored Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) school.

A.S. Degree Details

Graduates from the program who complete all CTI courses with a minimum grade of B will be issued a letter of recommendation. Air Traffic Controllers who are hired by the FAA will first attend the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. The pass rate at the FAA Academy for graduates of Broward’s ATC program is exceptionally high, in large part due to the state-of-the-art Tower and Radar simulators used at Broward College (which are the same as those used at the FAA Academy), as well as the world-class faculty who have real-life experience as FAA air traffic controllers and FAA Academy instructors. The FAA requires air traffic controllers to retire when they turn 57, and they will continue to need to replace retiring air traffic controllers. The FAA Academy is still a pass/fail step for anyone wishing to become an air traffic controller, but as a graduate of Broward College, you’ll be well-prepared to secure the job of your dreams.

Currently, applicants for FAA Air Traffic Control positions must have three years of progressively responsible work experience, or a bachelor’s degree, or a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years.

It’s important to note that you must be hired before your 31st birthday. Therefore, we recommend that you begin our program prior to age 27. Please also note that the program is designed for new students to begin in Fall. While you are welcome to begin your degree at Broward College at any time of the year, starting at any point other than the Fall term may lengthen the time it takes to complete the program.

Minimum qualifications for employment in the FAA:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Younger than 31
  • Successfully complete the air traffic pre-employment exam (AT-SAT)
  • Have three years of general work experience, a four-year degree, or any combination of education and experience equaling three years of general experience
  • Pass a medical and psychological examination
  • Pass a security background investigation
  • Be able to speak English clearly enough to be understood over radios, intercoms and similar communications equipment.
  • Students must complete 21 credits of General Education to include: Mathematics, Communications, Natural Science, Humanities, Speech, Social/Behavioral Science, and Digital Literacy.

Students complete 39 Program Credit Hours. Here is a sample schedule:


  • ASC1210 Aviation Weather
  • ATT2820 Introduction to Air Traffic Control (Fall Term Only)
  • ATT1100 Aeronautical Science
  • ASC1100 Navigational Science I


  • ATT2822C VFR Tower Operations with Lab (Spring Term Only)
  • AVM2410 Airport Management
  • AVM1440 Airport and Airline Security


  • ATT2821C ATC Radar Procedures with Lab (Fall Term Only)
  • Elective* Elective Course
  • ASC2320 Aviation Law and Regulations
  • ASC2870 Aviation Safety


  • ATT2824C ATC Enroute Operations with Lab (Spring Term Only)

Students must earn a minimum grade of B in these courses in order to be eligible for a letter of recommendation.

*Students may select from any lower division course. We recommend any AVM, ASC, or ATT course. This is only a recommended course sequence. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to create a personalized educational plan. For the latest course list, visit the catalog curriculum page.

Job Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Air Traffic Controllers work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in either an air traffic control tower located at an airport, or a radar facility. An air traffic controller’s primary job is to separate aircraft from other aircraft, weather, and ground obstructions. From the time an airplane departs the gate until it arrives at the destination gate, air traffic controllers issue instructions for a safe and expeditious flight to its destination.

Potential salaries in this field vary based on the job type, education, experience, employer, and location. Nationally, the median annual wage for positions in Air Traffic Control is $137,380 1.

Starting pay while at the FAA Academy is about $39,000 and the FAA provides you with $97 a day for living expenses. After successful completion of the Academy, salary is approximately $45,700 without locality pay (South Florida is $56,900). Pay is based on the ATSPP scale for the level of facility you are assigned. Your pay increases as you become qualified on the different position in the Facility. Additional premiums added to your salary include, holiday pay, Sunday pay, and night-time premiums.

Additional benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation time, sick leave, and retirement benefits.

12023 Median Wage Data – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Broward College does not guarantee employment for anyone completing a program nor any specific compensation or benefits if employed.

The FAA hiring process starts with the application. If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements you will take the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA), which is an employment aptitude assessment designed to assess the skills and attributes necessary to be a successful air traffic controller. Your score on this test is the primary factor the FAA uses to offer you the position. The letter of recommendation you receive from Broward College will give you preferential consideration in the hiring pool you are placed in, which is based on your ATSA score. The ATSA can be retaken each time you apply. Because the FAA does not hire continuously, it may take from between 6 months to 2 years from the time you earn your degree until you are hired.

Scott Gyssler - AT/CTI Coordinator, Simulator Manager and Adjunct Professor

Mr. Gyssler started working for the FAA in 1982 and retired after 27 years working as controller and supervisor of a level 7 tower in the Chicago area. As a supervisor for 19 years he was the training administrator for the facility and well as an on-the-job instructor. After retiring from the FAA, Mr. Gyssler worked as a lead instructor at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City for 6 years.

Ed Dean - Adjunct Professor

Mr. Dean's aviation career spans over 57 years. In 1961 he entered the USAF and spent 6 years as a aircraft jet engine specialist. Flying as a crew member he traveled to many countries and participated in many training and operational missions. He left the military to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mr. Dean graduated from their Professional Pilot Program 1969. In 1970 he was hired by the FAA as an En Route air traffic controller at New York Center. After retirement, he moved back to Florida and started with Broward College instructing the Radar courses.

The program is designed to be completed by students attending full-time. Students who attend less than full-time will significantly delay their completion and may have financial aid awards reduced.


Program-specific classes are only offered during the day. General Education courses are available both during the day and at night.

"I just graduated the academy and I'm getting on a flight home today! I finished first in my class and I'm heading to Miami ARTCC. Hope everything is going well for you and I can't thank you enough for all the help that you gave me over the years at school, you were one of the best and most influential instructors I ever had."

"The CTI program at Broward College helped give me a baseline for what I could expect at the FAA academy in Oklahoma. During the 3 or 4 months you spend at the academy (depending on if you're En Route or Tower) you are flooded with an incredible amount of new information. BC's CTI program went a long way in helping me be more familiar and more comfortable with many of the new jargon you must learn at the academy, and gave me an idea of what it's like to sit in front of a radar scope. I felt I was able to orient myself quicker in that environment due to the foundation that the program gave me."

Enroll Today

If you haven’t yet applied to Broward College, please complete the application. For more information or assistance in registering for classes, contact Scott Gyssler, at sgyssler@broward.edu or 954-864-3166.