FAA air traffic controllers earn an average of $120,000 per year and get two round trip flights each year, free of charge. Many air traffic controllers retire at age 50. They can do that by simply staying on the job for 20 years. If you want to retire even earlier, it is possible. Once you have completed 25 years of good service you are eligible to retire, regardless of your age. Someone could learn the skills in the military starting at age 18, for instance. Then they could get hired at age 22 or 24 and go to work for the FAA for 25 years. That would qualify them for retirement before they are 50. That is almost 15 years faster than the average age of retirement. In fact, most air traffic controllers are required by their employers to retire by age 56. If early retirement and high pay in a high-intensity job sounds good to you, consider becoming an air traffic controller.