Air traffic controllers and related occupations (NOC 2272)

View all job titles

Please read this note before you continue

Hide note
Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2017-2019)
Minimum Not published
Median Not published
Maximum Not published
Job prospect
Employment in 2018
Skill level
Technical (usually a college or secondary school vocational diploma)

Nature of work

Air traffic controllers direct air traffic within assigned airspace, and control moving aircraft and service vehicles at airports. Flight service specialists provide pilots with flight information essential to aviation safety. Flight dispatchers authorize airline flights over assigned routes. Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists are employed by NAV Canada and the Canadian Forces. Flight dispatchers are employed by airline and air services companies and by the Canadian Forces.

Main duties

  • Air traffic controllers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Control flow of air traffic within assigned airspace using radar monitors, radio and other communication equipment and visual references
  • - Issue aircraft takeoff and landing instructions to pilots and relay meteorological, navigational and other information to pilots in flight
  • - Maintain radio and telephone contact with adjacent control towers, terminal control units and other area control centres, and co-ordinate movement of aircraft into adjoining areas
  • - Continued…
  • - Alert airport emergency services when aircraft are experiencing difficulties and report missing aircraft to search and rescue services
  • - Direct activities of all moving aircraft and service vehicles on or near airport runways.
  • Flight service specialists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Provide pre-flight information concerning current and forecast weather conditions, radio frequencies, terrain, airports and related data to assist pilots in preparation of flight plans
  • - Check flight plans for completeness and accuracy and forward flight plans to air traffic services facility
  • - Respond to radio calls from aircraft preparing for takeoff or landing and supply information such as weather conditions, wind speed and direction and presence of local air traffic
  • - Support air traffic control operations by relaying radio requests for flight clearances, arrival and departure information and position reports
  • - Alert airport emergency services of aircraft experiencing difficulties and initiate communication searches when aircraft become overdue
  • - Observe, record and report weather conditions at airports.
  • Flight dispatchers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Analyze environmental conditions and assess aircraft for load and fuel capacity and other factors to determine flight routes
  • - Brief flight crew before takeoff on weather conditions, status of navigational facilities and airports en route
  • - Co-sign flight authorization with aircraft captain
  • - Monitor progress of flight and communicate as required with aircraft during flight
  • - Delay or cancel flights if conditions warrant
  • - Prepare and maintain flight plans, flight logs and other reports.

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school is required.
  • * A basic radio telephone operator's licence is required.
  • * Air traffic controllers and flight service specialists require completion of a NAV Canada training program which includes structured in-class and on-the-job training.
  • * Air traffic controllers require an air traffic controller's licence.
  • * Flight dispatchers may require experience in air traffic control or flight operations and may require a private pilot's licence.

For full information about this occupation, click the links on the left under

Information on the occupation