4th Jul 2012, 18:50
Hello everyone, I'm only 16 and currently live in London, I would like to know if to join the NATS training is there a fee that I must pay or all I have to do is pass the assessments. Thanks =)
One more thing, will it be a good idea for me to do AS/A2 Geography and Travel and Tourism lvl 3 in college if I want to be and ATC? If not, what are the suitable courses? Thanks again! :)
4th Jul 2012, 21:47
No fee...all you have to do is "just pass the assessments"! You'll even be paid as a student whilst on the course, although the pay isn't what it used to be...
However... you should be aware there are going to be an absolute shedload of assessments to get through...firstly, multiple selection test stages / interviews. If you get through those and get taken on, the ATC course is extremely rigorous, with regular examinations, both theoretical and practical. There's a mass of aviation knowledge to assimilate, which will be significantly easier if you already have an interest and some knowledge in aviation.
Once you've come out of the college with your shiny new student ATC licence, you'll need to train and validate at a unit - many more months of hard slog, bookwork, frequent despair but occasional pride when you realise that, actually, you can control aircraft in some sort of half-decent fashion!
That's the downside - in a nutshell, there's a load of competition for not many jobs and it's damn hard work.
The upside - it's a fantastic job, well-paid, excellent conditions of employment, high social kudos (if you care about that). There's also - at present, anyway - a level of job security that would be the envy of most of the aviation industry, if not the wider economy, these days.
The courses you mention - no use whatsoever to an ATC course, I'm afraid. Generally you'll benefit from something mathematical, to help with the time / distance / rate of descent calculations you're doing, but A or AS level is probably way beyond what you'll need. I'd recommend studying whatever you enjoy, or what might be of use in an alternative career in case you don't make it in ATC.
6th Jul 2012, 16:31
Agree with NudgingSteel, be good at maths to make life easier and study things that will get you a job if ATC doesn't work out. Good luck!