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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

53-2021 Air Traffic Controllers

Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport, and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers, according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.


National estimates for Air Traffic Controllers
Industry profile for Air Traffic Controllers
Geographic profile for Air Traffic Controllers

National estimates for Air Traffic Controllers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Air Traffic Controllers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
21,230 0.5 % $ 61.50 $ 127,920 0.2 %

Percentile wage estimates for Air Traffic Controllers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 34.56 $ 43.43 $ 62.38 $ 78.70 $ 89.42
Annual Wage (2) $ 71,880 $ 90,330 $ 129,750 $ 163,700 $ 185,990


Industry profile for Air Traffic Controllers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Air Traffic Controllers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Air Traffic Controllers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Air Traffic Controllers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 19,770 0.94 $ 63.34 $ 131,740
Support Activities for Air Transportation 730 0.37 $ 35.35 $ 73,530
Scheduled Air Transportation 130 0.03 $ 43.75 $ 91,010
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 40 0.00 $ 33.92 $ 70,550

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Air Traffic Controllers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 19,770 0.94 $ 63.34 $ 131,740
Support Activities for Air Transportation 730 0.37 $ 35.35 $ 73,530
Scheduled Air Transportation 130 0.03 $ 43.75 $ 91,010
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 40 0.00 $ 33.92 $ 70,550

Top paying industries for Air Traffic Controllers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 19,770 0.94 $ 63.34 $ 131,740
Scheduled Air Transportation 130 0.03 $ 43.75 $ 91,010
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services (8) (8) $ 42.24 $ 87,870
Support Activities for Air Transportation 730 0.37 $ 35.35 $ 73,530
Nonscheduled Air Transportation (8) (8) $ 35.00 $ 72,790


Geographic profile for Air Traffic Controllers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Air Traffic Controllers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Air Traffic Controllers, see the Create Customized Tables function.



Map of employment of air traffic controllers by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Air Traffic Controllers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Florida 2,080 0.24 1.60 $ 57.12 $ 118,820
California 2,060 0.12 0.83 $ 67.89 $ 141,200
Texas 1,870 0.15 1.01 $ 67.49 $ 140,390
Virginia 1,090 0.29 1.94 $ 73.29 $ 152,450
Georgia 900 0.20 1.36 $ 69.64 $ 144,840


Map of location quotient of air traffic controllers by state, May 2021


States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Air Traffic Controllers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska 450 1.51 10.05 $ 55.17 $ 114,760
New Hampshire 430 0.67 4.47 $ 72.35 $ 150,490
District of Columbia 390 0.59 3.93 $ 49.97 $ 103,940
New Mexico 350 0.45 2.97 $ 57.31 $ 119,210
Hawaii 210 0.38 2.51 $ 63.32 $ 131,710


Map of annual mean wages of air traffic controllers by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Air Traffic Controllers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Virginia 1,090 0.29 1.94 $ 73.29 $ 152,450
New Hampshire 430 0.67 4.47 $ 72.35 $ 150,490
Illinois 870 0.16 1.03 $ 69.94 $ 145,470
Georgia 900 0.20 1.36 $ 69.64 $ 144,840
California 2,060 0.12 0.83 $ 67.89 $ 141,200



Map of employment of air traffic controllers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Air Traffic Controllers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,340 0.46 3.04 $ 69.50 $ 144,560
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 780 0.32 2.10 $ 62.42 $ 129,830
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 770 0.30 1.97 $ 73.93 $ 153,770
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 750 0.21 1.38 $ 74.13 $ 154,180
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 720 0.17 1.13 $ 76.06 $ 158,210
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 540 0.29 1.96 $ 69.97 $ 145,540
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 490 0.51 3.39 $ 69.47 $ 144,490
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 490 0.25 1.69 $ 69.46 $ 144,470
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 470 0.18 1.21 $ 72.47 $ 150,740
Jacksonville, FL 420 0.61 4.06 $ 64.53 $ 134,230


Map of location quotient of air traffic controllers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Air Traffic Controllers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Anchorage, AK 270 1.70 11.28 $ 62.03 $ 129,030
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL 80 0.69 4.59 $ 41.93 $ 87,220
Jacksonville, FL 420 0.61 4.06 $ 64.53 $ 134,230
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 490 0.51 3.39 $ 69.47 $ 144,490
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 90 0.48 3.16 $ 56.55 $ 117,620
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,340 0.46 3.04 $ 69.50 $ 144,560
Salt Lake City, UT 330 0.44 2.91 $ 63.62 $ 132,330
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 80 0.44 2.89 $ 52.20 $ 108,580
Kansas City, MO-KS 390 0.38 2.52 $ 65.75 $ 136,770
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 40 0.33 2.20 $ 39.53 $ 82,210


Map of annual mean wages of air traffic controllers by area, May 2021


Top paying metropolitan areas for Air Traffic Controllers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 720 0.17 1.13 $ 76.06 $ 158,210
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 750 0.21 1.38 $ 74.13 $ 154,180
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 770 0.30 1.97 $ 73.93 $ 153,770
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 470 0.18 1.21 $ 72.47 $ 150,740
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 420 0.19 1.23 $ 71.20 $ 148,100
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 540 0.29 1.96 $ 69.97 $ 145,540
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,340 0.46 3.04 $ 69.50 $ 144,560
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 490 0.51 3.39 $ 69.47 $ 144,490
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 490 0.25 1.69 $ 69.46 $ 144,470
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 160 0.06 0.39 $ 68.54 $ 142,560

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Air Traffic Controllers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 100 1.01 6.68 $ 43.61 $ 90,720
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 40 0.29 1.96 $ 41.75 $ 86,840
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 30 0.09 0.57 $ 37.27 $ 77,510

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Air Traffic Controllers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 100 1.01 6.68 $ 43.61 $ 90,720
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 40 0.29 1.96 $ 41.75 $ 86,840
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 30 0.09 0.57 $ 37.27 $ 77,510

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Air Traffic Controllers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 100 1.01 6.68 $ 43.61 $ 90,720
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 40 0.29 1.96 $ 41.75 $ 86,840
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 30 0.09 0.57 $ 37.27 $ 77,510


About May 2021 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022