Hope this helps............
First off the last class that had their course suspended -some were sent off on contract to South Africa while the others had to sort themselves out. It was pretty hard on them at the time but the good news is that they are all back and recently qualified as irish ATCO's.
As for the medical requirement its currently a class 3 medical so as long as you are breathing and can see and hear you should be ok! This may change in the future to a class 2 medical under EU licencing rules but any one with a PPL will be familiar with this.
The pay is actually better than posted above..ok its not great while you are training(it's 18k) but at least it should be nearly all take home pay with low tax.
When you start OJTI you are paid an equivalent Atco's salary(i may be open to contradiction on that) and when you qualify the scale is 47k PLUS 27% shift allowance for working unsociable hours so the starting pay is closer to 60k.The top of the scale is around 92k. Annual leave entitlement is 31 days rising to 33 days after 10 yrs service. With regards bank holidays you can choose to take time off in lieu or extra cash instead.
With regards to the unsocaiable hours be advised if you can't hack working your socks off at 4am yes 4am then save yourself the bother and look somewhere else for a job.You will be working relatively long hours and these will involve unsociable hours!! As Atc is H24 operation you may find yourself rostered on Christmas day ,New years day , the wife's birthday,your birthday etc etc.
There are 3 IAA centers one in dublin,shannon and cork and when you finish your rating course in shannon you could be posted to any of these as mangement see fit so keep this in mind.All 3 centers have different shift patterns but the shannon( for example as its the biggest) pattern is like this: 8 teams of about 15+ controllers each work 5 on and 3 off.It consisits of starting on days and finishing on nights.As an example lets take monday as the first day of the pattern...
Monday:1130 to 2115
Tuesday:0930 to 1700(with some variation to 1930)
Wednesday:0800 to 1300 and then back in again THAT night at midnight
Thursday:0000 to 0945 and back in again on Thursday evening at 2100 but its counted as a friday duty since most of it occurs on friday.
Friday:2100(from thursday evening) to 0815 Friday morning.
The rest of friday is yours to sleep and then you have saturday,sunday and monday off(your 3 rest or off days).Then on tuesday its back into work and do it all again but it follows this cycle and set of duties by and large so at least you can plan ahead. The down side is working funny hours and when your mates ring you on a friday or saturday for pints you cant go.
As you can see from the above you will( depending on how much rest you personally need) have to sleep during the day. It is a personal responsibility that Atcos are well rested when starting a duty but this can be easier said than done depending whats going on in your personal life e.g newborn baby , moving house etc.
As for the aptitude test from what i can remember of it takes 2.5 hours maybe longer and it consists of basic math,comprehension etc then it moves on to some basic psychological testing( to see are you consistent and which choice you make) then its the interesting stuff such as can you track more one moving object at the same time,can you predict when a moving object will hit the wall when the object disappears etc. The best advice is to google atc aptitiude tests.
Overall its a good job-its well paid most atcos say they get a buzz from it, the time off is nice but then again you will earn your money with long hours, unsociable hours, high traffic and when the s**t hits the fan its can be stressfull. So like all jobs it has its plusses and minuses..its up to you now....
Hope that sheds some light on it for anyone thinking about applying and if there are any questions i will try and answer them .Best of luck.