Job That Pays At Least $95,000 That Nobody Wants

by : Emily Brown on : 23 Jan 2019 16:31
No one wants air traffic controllerNo one wants air traffic controllerGetty

A New Zealand job pays at least $95,000 and offers four-day working weeks, but no one seems to be interested in getting it. 


I’ll be the first to say it; it seems like there must be some sort of catch to this role. Is the job weirdly horrific? Does it involve being covered in huge spiders for those four days a week?

I know a selection of celebrities do that every year in the Australian jungle under the instruction of Ant and Dec, but that’s something you certainly couldn’t pay me to do.

But in fact, this job really does seem perfectly acceptable.

American dollarsAmerican dollarsPixabay

New Zealand air traffic control company Airways is looking for, well, air traffic controllers, whose job in the simplest terms is to keep aircrafts separated from each other both in the air and on the ground.

Requirements of the application are quite minimal; you just need to have passed final high school exams and be over 20.5 years of age – which is strangely specific, I admit, but maybe anyone in the first six months of their twenties just can’t handle the responsibilities of an air traffic controller?

The salary starts at $95,000, but employees could eventually earn a lovely $200,000 a year for the role. Employees typically work 7.5 hour shifts which follow a four days on, two days off pattern.

Speaking to Stuff about the role, Airways air traffic services general manager Tim Boyle explained there are up to 10 air traffic controller positions up for grabs in 2019, but there just aren’t enough people applying.

He said:

We are currently recruiting and would love to hear from anyone who think they might have what it takes.

A lot of different people will have the capabilities, we just don’t see enough of them.

Tim Robinson, president of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association, has explained the lack of staff at some New Zealand airports has meant employees have had to be called into work on their days off to fill vacancies left by staff on leave.

Airport air traffic control towerAirport air traffic control towerPixabay

He added shortages in Napier and Auckland were of particular concern and had been resulting in flight delays as controllers experienced stress and fatigue.

The president continued:

We don’t think the manning levels have been good enough.

That’s putting more stress on them on a day to day basis on what is already a stressful job.

I suppose that means the more people that apply, the less stressful the job will be for everyone involved.

According to Stuff, in order to start their career as an air traffic controller applicants must pass an aptitude test which measures things like ability to follow written instructions, visualise three dimensionally, and work with complicated patterns and numbers.

After that, there’s a day at an assessment centre before undertaking a training course, followed by 12 months of on-the-job training.

Tim explained Airways has not been doing enough to maintain adequate staffing levels and has instead been focusing on commercial interests.

He continued:


We need them to refocus on that number one priority and produce the air traffic service the New Zealand public and the New Zealand aviation industry expect.

Hopefully Airways will soon get some more interested applicants!

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life


  1. Stuff

    Aviation jobs paying $95,000 for four-day working week difficult to fill, Airways says