FAA Reviews

Updated September 27, 2014
Updated September 27, 2014
150 Reviews
3.5
150 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta
Michael P. Huerta
35 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Air Traffic Control is an amazing job like no other (in 8 reviews)

  • Job security is decent even with sequester (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • Rotating shifts, tough to get time off (in 7 reviews)

  • Rotating shift work, poor working conditions, micromanaged from above, adversarial labor/management culture (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great learning opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Specialist  in  Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Computer Specialist in Oklahoma City, OK

    I worked at FAA as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Consistent hours, work with limited supervision

    Cons

    Stressful, not very family-oriented. Forced to use personal leave if center is closed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More flex scheduling, telework options

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Manage variety of certification programs/projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer  in  Lakewood, CA
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer in Lakewood, CA

    I have been working at FAA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Variety of projects to work on. Very diverse coworkers with lot of professional experience.

    Cons

    Lack of telecommuting options. Resistance to work hour options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make telecommuting mandatory.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Personal growth and reaching my full potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager-communications  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Manager-communications in Washington, DC

    I have been working at FAA full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The opportunity to expand one's learning, skills and role in the agency by taking on assignments, creating a working network of professionals in the agency, learning to work around frustrations inherent in large institutions.

    Cons

    It is a large agency and one can feel pigeonholed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the long-standing senior executives and managers are in positions too long without learning and experiencing what their employees really have to do to get work accomplished. Perhaps some of these senior people need to move around once in a while. Often it appears that most qualified people are passed over.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Air Traffic Control, Air Traffic Manager, TMU, QA, Programs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at FAA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great pay, smart people. Early retirement. 8-10 hour work day max. Fun job for the first 20 years. Respectful work.

    Cons

    Bad work hours. Work holidays, weekends, etc. Little to no control over where you live. Top out in pay quickly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Started out great, and went downhill about halfway through!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FAA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The pay is good, benefits are great (as long as Congress doesn't change what they promised you when you hired on), and co-workers.

    Cons

    Management - most managers, including field facility management, do not belong in management. They are power hungry, egotistical, and do what they want knowing they are going against the directives/orders. I've had upper managers tell me they do what they want and then apologize later. You would think that a happy employee is a productive employee, but not with the FAA.

    Having to deal with Congress/Senate every year not knowing if you will have a job because they can't agree on a budget...case in point...October 2013 federal government shut down for 16 days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put managers in position that are qualified to work in that position and get rid of the ones that don't belong there.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    A great job working in a bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Air Traffic Controller  in  Ronkonkoma, NY
    Former Employee - Air Traffic Controller in Ronkonkoma, NY

    I worked at FAA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Being involved with air traffic control was a great career. The pay is terrific and the benefits as a federal employee are very good.

    Cons

    It is a stressful environment and management is often clueless to what is really happening at the radar scope. Management increases the stress on controllers by not insuring that they are properly supported .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FAA upper management changes often. Direction and planning change as often. The emphasis should be more on the safety of air traffic over the considerations, while important, of the airlines bottom line.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great pay and benefits, some horrible people to work with though.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Air Traffic Control Specialist
    Former Employee - Air Traffic Control Specialist

    I worked at FAA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The pay, retirement, medical and vacation/sick leave are all great. You can potentially retire in 20 years. You start out getting 4 hours sick leave, 4 hours of vacation every two weeks. Then 6 hours vac,4 hrs sick after 3years of service, then 8 hrs vac, 4 hrs sick after 15yrs of service.

    Very interesting job IF you can handle the stress. Doesn't matter how smart you are, a rocket scientist could wash out at this job and a high school dropout could kick butt at it. It's an aptitude thing and how well you handle stressful situations calmly. Must be great at multitasking and paying very close attention to detail both visually and listening at the same time.

    Some really great people to work with.

    Cons

    Some of the fellow controllers you work with are complete jerks! There are a lot of egos in this job, and some people let it go to their head and treat the new trainees like the lowest form of life on earth. Some controllers seem to take pleasure in "hazing" the new people and it can get personal. I have heard stories of fights breaking out back in the day.

    The worst part of the job is the when you are training. Problem is, that at an en-route center, training can last 4 years or more! A lot of people burn out during the training period, and in my opinion a good portion of the stress of the job is dealing with complete jerks that you work with.

    The problem is that once you make it as a certified professional controller, you are essentially untouchable and some people feel that they can say and do pretty much anything. The supervisors and trainers don't seem to want to step in and put these people in their place maybe because they know they have no real power to do so? Also the unsaid "rule" is that as a trainee you just shut your mouth and do not talk back to fully certified controllers, you are expected to just take the abuse. Very high schoolish work atmosphere in that there is a lot of immaturity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take control of this hostile work environment! A lot of sups just stand around and let a few jerk controllers create a horrible work environment! It is up to management to set the tone for how people should behave. Also don't rush trainees through their training! I think this was not helpful for me, I was not allowed very much time to "season" on my D-sides before starting R-side training. I think I had 2 weeks of "seasoning" time. Back in the day you would season for a year or so on each position before moving on to the next.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    ATCS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Atcs  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Atcs in Chicago, IL

    I worked at FAA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    good salary, good working conditions

    Cons

    rotating shifts, poor management, stress

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    listen to your employees who are working the aircraft, they can help the system run better..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Satisfactory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at FAA part-time

    Pros

    Nice people and friendly environment, plenty of employee friendships, job stability, willingness to help

    Cons

    Employees don't seem particularly qualified. Stereotypical bureaucratic government environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more qualified, energetic individuals. Pay your interns for transportation at the very least.

  11.  

    Well Beyond Close Enough for Government Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer
    Current Employee - Aerospace Engineer

    I have been working at FAA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Balance between technical engineering type work and big picture regulation work. Good career advancement. Some employees (like myself) have outside industry experience and expertise. Industry takes you seriously and listens. You get to know some of the most experienced people in industry. Great benefits and the pay is not on the GS system, so you are generally paid more competitively towards industry rates. Life balance is good.

    Cons

    As an engineer you are not going to be doing design work. However, you are involved in the design and testing and ensuring designs meet safety requirements for a broad range of systems. Some bureaucracy, but if you are used to other fed agencies, this one is actually pretty efficient--mainly because they have the ability to bring in good people with the competitive salary scale. Can get busy, but still a fed job with fed job hours (quite fair).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't ever go on the GS pay system, stay competitive and keep your competitive employees. Don't lose your expertise to Europe or Asia!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

FAA Photos

Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Orville Wright Building (Photo thanks to Flickr user cliff1066, available under by v2.0)
Spokane International Airport - FAA Control Tower / TRACON
Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Building (Photo thanks to Flickr user cliff1066, available under by v2.0)
US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Orville Wright Building (Photo thanks to Flickr user David July, available under by-nc-sa v2.0)

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