New Controllers


For those looking to become a part of our team, you must be a member of the VATSIM network and have an active CID.  Don’t have one? Not a problem, you can obtain one here.  Be sure to select “North America” as your preferred region during the application process.  Once you have your CID, take time to review the VATSIM ATC General Information section. Then, review the below for what comes next!

Our Training Division features an amazing group of Instructional Staff Members who dedicate their time to help those who are new to our region become familiar with what is necessary to be a successful controller here at ZMA. Whether you are new to this amazing hobby, or have previous experience from other locations, our goal is to help everyone have the best experience possible while participating. However, this is not an overnight process.

This pastime requires large amounts of work and commitment in order to succeed. In fact, it is not uncommon for a month of time to pass before an Observer (OBS) is actually working the scopes as a solo Ground/Clearance Delivery ATC Controller. While we know there is a lot of material to get caught up on, do not get discouraged! It may seem daunting or nearly impossible at times, but we assure you that not only is it possible, but with a little effort on your part, you’ll ascend through the ranks and enjoy learning new things at every level.

We must emphasize once again this hobby and pastime require effort. Independent work is is an absolute necessity. The value of your own reading of materials, your own observations of other controllers and your own practice cannot be overstated to develop your skills. It will require a fair amount of study and training, with homework required outside of training provided directly by a Mentor or Instructor. This “virtual career” may not be for everyone. For more details on the process, be sure to review the Trainee Welcome Letter and Training Division FAQ.

The Process

If you are new to controlling, an exciting journey is about to begin! We are looking forward to being a part of the process with you!

  • After ensuring you have a valid VATSIM CID, you will need to be a member of the VATSIM North America Region (VATNA). If you are already member of another region, you can update your account by clicking here.
  • Once a part of the VATNA region, join the VATUSA Division. This process can be completed by clicking here.
  • After joining VATUSA, you will be required to complete the VATUSA Basic ATC/S1 Controller exam. You are eligible to do so after finishing basic training through the division’s website. It is designed to give you a solid foundation to help assist you in the advancement process.
  • Once you have completed the VATUSA Basic/S1, you will be eligible to choose a home ARTCC. Login to VATUSA, select “My VATUSA” and select “Join Facility.”
  • Once processed, follow the e-mailed directions necessary for joining the ZMA MACAS system. This is required, so read the directions carefully.
  • All new controllers to our region must successfully complete the Miami Basic/SOP Exam. This open book exam requires a score of 80% or above to move forward. The content is designed to ensure you have the fundamental knowledge necessary to start moving forward down the path of controller at ZMA. It is assigned several days after you have joined through VATUSA.
    • Be sure to review the Training Department Welcome and the Training Division FAQ.
    • Please note you have seven (7) calendar days to complete the exam once assigned.
    • Only attempt once you are prepared! It does not cover the same material as the VATUSA Basic/S1 Exam!
    • If you score below an 80%, you will have to wait one (1) week before attempting it again.

We then look forward to having you on our team! Be sure to review the Training Department Welcome and the Training Division FAQ.

Have questions about this process? Did we miss something that might be unique to your situation? Contact our Administrative Team by using the Contact Form.


Disclaimer: The information contained on all pages of this website is to be used for flight simulation purposes only on the VATSIM network. It is not intended nor should it be used for real world navigation. This site is not affiliated with the FAA, the actual Miami Center or any governing aviation body. All content contained herein is approved only for use on the VATSIM network. You can find our Privacy Policy here.