As some may not be aware, once you join IFATC you have the rank of Apprentice. You can only control Class Charlie airfields. This is great, as it means you can get used to smaller airport and using ATIS before you move onto larger fields. I used ifatc.org to find Class Charlies if there weren’t any on the schedule by going into the day’s hub and clicking Nearby Airports – Charlie. This search returns airports greater than 75NM away so the controller at the search airport doesn’t have to worry about you, makes sure the airport has gates, and makes sure there are the necessary frequencies.
One week after joining, and with daily sessions, I was promoted to a probational Specialist. I can now control Class Bravos, but need to have Mods/Trainers attend one of my session at a Bravo so that they can verify I am ready for a fully fledged promotion. It is important to note though, the time from joining to becoming a Probational Specialist varies greatly. Then after a few sessions as probationary specialist, a trainer came to one of my sessions and deemed I was good enough to be a fully fledged specialist.