The £100,000, Four-Day-A-Week Job That Nobody Wants

Trying to get a job really is one of the biggest ball aches – having to get your CV in perfect nick before acing the interview, only to find out there’s still a 20,000-word essay on how you handle conflict, an STI test and a Hunger Games-style tournament to get through before you finally get that offer.

But while some of us are battling against hundreds of other applicants just for a single role, one air traffic control company has said it’s struggling to get anyone to apply – despite the fact the job pays an absolute wedge, and doesn’t even require specific qualifications.

The Daily Mail reports that New Zealand-based company Airways has said it’s been struggling to fill roles that involve four-day working weeks and salaries that start at NZ $95,000 a year (£50,000 / USD $64,000).

In fact, according to the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association, there’s been such a low number of applications that some airports have had to ask staff to work on their days off – which has led to flight delays and fatigue among controllers.

Candidates only have to be at least 20-and-a-half-years old and have passed final high school exams (the equivalent of getting your A Levels at college or sixth form in the UK) to be eligible for the role – which could see people eventually earning nearly NZ $200,000 (£103,000 / USD $135,000) a year.

“We are currently recruiting and would love to hear from anyone who think they might have what it takes,” New Zealand‘s Airways traffic services general manager Tim Boyle told Stuff.

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

Air traffic controllers working at Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire, UK. Credit: PA
Air traffic controllers working at Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire, UK. Credit: PA

Once applicants meet the basic criteria, they then must pass an aptitude test, before undergoing an air traffic control training course followed by a year of on-the-job training.

You can land yourself similar roles with Airservices Australia (owned by the government in the land Down Under), which starts the recruitment process with an online test.

“People who perform well on these tests tend to have a greater capacity to think conceptually as well as analytically,” the website says.

However, you can’t study for it – and less than three in 100 applicants manage to pass.

If you do manage to get through what sounds like a pretty tricky online exam, at least you’re likely to reap the rewards, as data released by the Australian Taxation Office showed air traffic controllers are among Australia’s top earners.

Their average yearly salary? Just a cool AUD $141,795 (£77,000 / USD $100,000).

The test can’t be that hard, surely…

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