By Alison Fox
November 22, 2019

The air traffic control tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC.

KAREN BLEIER/Getty Images

Although the job of an air traffic controller isn't completely seen in plain sight to a passenger, their jobs are of significant importance when it comes to safety at any hub — but their salaries differ based on location.

Data compiled by Forbes, found that air traffic controllers in New Hampshire with are paid $147,350 which is nearly twice as much as those in Montana at $77,150.

Additionally, employees in Virginia are paid an average of $139,520 and Illinois air traffic controllers make an average $136,390. The second-lowest is West Virginia, where the average salary is $79,710, followed by Vermont where they make $81,630.

Courtesy of Mobile Passport

However, Forbes found salaries in Montana have been on the rise with an increase of 13.1 percent over the last five years, one of the best growth rates in the country.

The national average salary, however, was relatively high, coming in at $120,830 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And while not all air traffic control jobs are luxurious (notwithstanding that pop-up apartment in an abandoned air traffic control tower at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport), there are benefits associated with the job. Air traffic controllers have access to federal health benefits as well as a minimum of 23 days paid time off and access to a child care subsidy, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Best of all: air traffic controllers spend all day watching planes take off and land, making it that much easier to dream about where they’ll go for their next vacation.

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