Air traffic controllers are people trained to expedite and maintain a safe and orderly flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system. The position of air traffic controller is one that requires highly specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. Controllers apply separation rules to keep aircraft at a safe distance from each other in their area of responsibility and move all aircraft safely and efficiently through their assigned sector of airspace. Because controllers have an incredibly large responsibility while on duty, the ATC profession is consistently regarded around the world as one of the most challenging careers, and can be notoriously stressful depending on many variables (equipment, configurations, weather, traffic volume, human factors, etc.). Many controllers, however, would cite high salaries and a very large and privileged degree of autonomy as major advantages of their jobs.
Contributions by BaseTurnComplete, R. S. Shaw, and 220.127.116.11.