Traffic Controller Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Traffic controllers make around $28,626 to $93,656 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a traffic controller’s salary in the US ranges between $28,626 and $93,656, with an average salary of $50,040. As of June 2022, the base salaries for traffic controllers are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Traffic Controller? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

Traffic controllers are responsible for the safe and efficient flow of traffic. They are employed in a variety of settings, including construction sites, airports, and sporting events. Salaries for traffic controllers vary depending on experience, location, and employer.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a traffic controller, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your traffic controller salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$32,073
Early career (1 to 4 years)$38,715
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$53,713
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$63,540
Late career (20+ years)$72,555

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a traffic controller. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average traffic controller salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Chicago, IL$61,027
Atlanta, GA$60,014
Dallas, TX$59,790
New York City, NY$59,280
San Francisco, CA$58,514
Oklahoma City, OK$45,576
Milwaukee, WI$45,022
St. Louis, MO$44,449
New Orleans, LA$42,007
Virginia Beach, VA$38,822

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a traffic controller’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Construction Worker$33,012
Construction Manager$80,134
Construction Superintendent$77,759
Construction Project Manager$81,666
Construction Estimator$68,604
Construction Laborer$32,455
Construction Inspector$58,858
Civil Engineer$78,472
Traffic Engineer$87,284

How to increase your traffic controller salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a traffic controller, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Traffic Control: Understand how to set up and maintain traffic control devices, such as cones, barrels, and signs
  • Traffic Signal Operation: Know how to operate traffic signals and change signal timing to manage traffic flow
  • Incident Management: Learn how to quickly assess and respond to traffic incidents, such as accidents and disabled vehicles
  • Radio Communication: Be able to effectively communicate with dispatch and other traffic controllers via radio
  • Map Reading: Understand how to read maps and use GPS systems to navigate
2. Seek regular feedback

If you want to improve your salary as a traffic controller, it’s important to seek regular feedback from your supervisor. This way, you can identify any areas where you need to improve, and make sure that your supervisor is aware of your successes. Additionally, keeping a positive attitude and exhibiting strong work ethic can make you more likely to receive a raise or promotion.

3. Get a good performance review

A great way to increase your salary is to get a good performance review from your boss. If your boss is happy with your work, he or she may be more likely to give you a raise. Be sure to document your successes and keep track of your goals so that you can show your boss how you’ve been contributing to the company.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Air Traffic Controller Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Traffic Controller Annual Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

6. “Traffic Controller Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Traffic Controller Salaries,,18.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.


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