Marine Air Traffic Controller MOS 7257

Marines Air Traffic Controller (MOS 7257): Career Details

Marines Air Traffic Controller (MOS 7257) assist in the control of air traffic and vehicles within designated areas.

Air Traffic Controllers are the individuals who are in charge of ensuring all landing, taking off and traffic movement inside an airport are performed safely and smoothly.

This position is part of Occupational Field 72, Aviation Command and Control Operations.

Qualifications and Training

Entering into this Marine MOS will require a secret security clearance eligibility or temporary SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information).

At MCAS or MCAF, individuals must have control tower position qualifications on ground control and tower flight data or must possess radar position qualifications on radar final control and radar flight data.

This MOS requires individuals to meet the qualifications and prerequisites in MOS 7251, Air Traffic Controller-Trainee.

These requirements include stringent eye testing and visual acuity, a minimum ASVAB General Technical score of 110 and meeting physical/medical evaluation specifications.

They must complete the Air Traffic Control Basic Course and Marine Air Traffic Control and Landing System Operator Course.

Those wishing to move into this MOS must be a Corporal or below with less than 5 years time in service.

Certain MOS proficiency must be met for lateral moves.

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What does a Marines Air Traffic Controller do?

Air Traffic Controller
Marine Air Traffic Controller monitors ongoing operations. Image:

Air Traffic Controllers are individuals who go through the Air Traffic Control Training program and are deemed skilled enough to advance into the Air Traffic Controller position.

Air Traffic Controllers perform duties related to the control of air traffic and vehicles.

They control the movement of traffic within airport control zones, expeditionary airfields and remote area landing sites.

Air Traffic Controllers can work within control towers, radar facilities and expeditionary air traffic control equipment.

This position relies heavily on trust and communication.

You have to trust those around you are performing their job accurately.

Individuals must communicate effectively with those around them and those in communication via radio to ensure the safety of the people on the aircraft and on the ground.

Air Traffic Controllers in towers work in teams, with each team member monitoring different areas.

Areas include coordinator, ground, local and supervisor.

The Controllers work with all components from the aircraft in the air to the personnel on the ground, to ensure all parts work smoothly together.

In this role, Marines will be listening to multiple frequencies at once and are required to be aware of the information on each frequency, plus additional communication they are relaying.

In addition to listening to different frequencies, Marines will be monitoring various screens with information on incoming/outgoing aircraft.

They perform their job with an emphasis on safety and will issue safety alerts when needed.

The Air Traffic Controllers also issue traffic alerts.

They ensure all aircraft land and take off safely and coordinate emergency response in the event of an issue.

Air Traffic Controllers who work in radar operations must be familiar with all radar equipment and radar operation procedures.

When in deployed or field environments, they set up runways or landing zones for helicopters who may need fuel or to drop off troops.

To advance skills, Air Traffic Controllers can take the Military Airspace Management Course, MAJIC Course, Terminal Instrument Procedures Course and/or JAIC2C Course.

View the Marine Corps video below for more job functions of an Air Traffic Controller.

What does an Air Traffic Controller get paid?

Air Traffic Controllers are paid based on rank and time in service.

This position is stated as open to Staff Sergeant to Private, but individuals must be at Corporal or 12 months after graduation from AC (A1) to enter into MOS 7257.

At Corporal level individuals in the Marine Corps can expect to make around $2,100 in base pay a month.

It is possible to enter at a lower rank if a Marine completes qualifications and at those levels they can expect to make anywhere from $1,800-$2,000 a month in base pay.

According to employee input information on Glassdoor, the average salary for a Marine Corps Air Traffic Controller was just above $45,000 a year.

The reported salaries range from around $30,000 to a high of $58,000.

Marine Corps base pay can be found in the table below.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePvt$1,917.60
E-2Private First ClassPFC$2,149.20
E-3Lance CorporalLCpl$2,259.90
E-6Staff SergeantSSgt$2,980.50
E-7Gunnery SergeantGySgt$3,3445.80
E-8Master SergeantMSgt$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant1stSgt$4,957.20
E-9Master Gunnery SergeantMGySgt$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant MajorSgtMaj$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant Major Of The Marine CorpsSgtMaj$6,055.50


The Military provides benefits that most civilian jobs cannot compare to.

Marines are offered insurance, low-cost life insurance, sick time, 30 days vacation a year and retirement.

Enlisted men and women are offered housing, including utilities and maintenance.

They also have other benefits such as tuition assistance and access to many recreational locations when living on base.

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Job Reviews

Reviews of Air Traffic Controller describe the position as challenging, requiring hard work and discipline.

Those who describe it as hard work also note that it is satisfying and often rewarding.

Marines are able to provide safe coordination of aircraft and are able to find leadership and life skills.

The review below provides a review on the Marine Corps.

Marines MOS 7257
Image: Indeed

The review below describes the multi-tasking and abilities needed for the job.

MOS 7257
Image: Indeed

Civilian Career Opportunities

Working as an Air Traffic Controller provides skills that relate to working in the aviation industry as a civilian.

Marines can find jobs as Air Traffic Controllers or Radio Operators.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a variety of available jobs that compares to skills learned in the Marine Corps.

Apprenticeship opportunities are available to Marines that support additional civilian career occupation options.


Marine Air Traffic Controller
Marine Air Traffic Controller monitoring a plane on radar. Image: wikimedia

Marines Air Traffic Controller (MOS 7257) provide coordination and communication in airport control zones, airfields and remote landing sites.

These individuals can work in tower or radio operations.

To enter into this MOS, Marines must first meet the qualifications of MOS 7251.

The pay of this position will depend on the rank you hold when completing Air Traffic Controller training.

Reviews of this position state that it can be challenging, but rewarding.

Civilian positions related to Air Traffic Controller are available as radar operators or various positions with agencies such as the FAA.

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Jeff E.
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