Airline pilot salary

Airline pilot’s salary is around $110,000 in the United States. Being an airline pilot looks like a million dollar job. You get to wear that neat pilot uniform while sailing through an airplane up in the skies. Its glamorous reputation not only comes from the Hollywood-like movie sceneries but the fat paycheck that airline pilot is receiving. Why do they get paid so much? Every flight becomes a responsibility. The pilot is not just accountable for himself but also for the people boarding the plane. It takes skills to navigate the plane for a safe takeoff or landing and this can only be learned through training. Financial rewards given to airline pilots are greater for the senior level employees. Airline and commercial pilots had a median pay of $98,410 in 2012 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep reading for more information about airline pilot salary and career requirements.

Airline pilot job description

Airline pilots are professional who fly airliners that carry passenger and cargo, working on a fixed schedule. Contrary to common belief that this is their only responsibility, there is more to being an airline pilot. Typically, these individuals will most likely start their day on the job checking weather conditions to gauge the viability of flying an aircraft including scrutinizing flight plans. As you can see, he is not limited to letting the plane take off the land. He has to monitor the aircraft system and while doing so, should always be on the lookout for unprecedented events such as loss of balance and sudden change in the weather. Being a pilot may necessitate you to be away from your family for a long time especially for those who are on international flights. To ensure a safe trip, it is the pilot’s duty to check that all systems in the plane are properly working before flying it. This person is in charge of all the operations on the airplane and communicate with flight attendants regarding their duties. There are normally two pilots in charge of the airliner- the captain and the co-pilot. The former is the senior employee while the other acts as a reliever to some of the duties of the captain, taking turns in flying the aircraft when the other becomes indisposed. Pilots may create their own flight plans, indicating route and the bulk of fuel needed to complete the flight. In case of emergencies, the pilot is responsible for choosing necessary options on how to handle the matter.

How much does an airline pilot make?

Average airline pilot salary

The recorded median salary for airline and commercial pilots in BLS is $98,410 a year in 2012. The lowest earners received salaries below $66,970 while the top earners were making more than $187,200.

Airline pilot salary in USA

In PayScale, the median airline pilot salary mentioned is $120,572. Expect to have wages ranging from $43,076 to $270,492. Salary rates will be higher for the senior pilot. Airline pilot salary in accordance to experience will give you these wages: less than a year is from $12,305 to $143,034 per annum; 1 to 4 years is from $21,000 to $120,000; 5 to 9 years is from $35,353 to $121,641; 10 to 19 years is from $49,111 to $197,875; and 20 years or more is from $96,093 to $230,520.

An FAA pilot license will let you earn from $33,840 to $212,500 while an airline pilot license will give you wages of $45,913 to $212,853. Aside from airline pilot salary, fringe benefits may include 401(k), paid sick leave and holidays, life insurance or disability, defined contribution retirement fund, defined benefit retirement fund and company pension plan.

airline pilot salary around the world

airline pilot salary

Airline pilot salary by state

PayScale reported these airline pilot salaries in some states in the US: Texas at $25,168 to $213,558; California at $37,095 to $193,991; Florida at $47,646 to $205,328; New York at $41,718 to $166,107; Colorado at $36,065 to $165,728; Georgia at $25,532 to $207,487; and Illinois at $30,639 to $176,169. In Indeed, the average airline pilot salary is said to be at $46,000. In this website, individual state have their own average airline pilot salary. These are just some of them: California at $50,000; Texas at $44,000; Florida at $43,000; Illinois at $51,000; Virginia at $49,000; Pennsylvania at $43,000; Massachusetts at $54,000; New Jersey at $50,000; New York at $56,000; Colorado at $41,000; Tennessee at $43,000; Arizona at $39,000; Kentucky at $39,000; Utah at $36,000; Ohio at $44,000; Missouri at $45,000; Georgia at $53,000; Michigan at $46,000; Alaska at $36,000; and North Carolina at $45,000.

Airline pilot salary in Canada

Airline pilot salary in Canada could be anywhere from CA$28,120 to CA$181,062 says PayScale. Rates mentioned could already include other cash benefits like bonuses of CA$9,863. If you tally salaries in accordance to experience, you will be getting the following rates: 1 to 4 years is CA$25,486 to CA$52,956 per annum; 5 to 9 years is CA$30,021 to CA$129,128; 10 to 19 years is CA$62,000 to CA$137,616; and 20 years or more is CA$53,355 to CA$202,735. Different regions on the other hand have the following airline pilot salary rates: Ontario at CA$40,034 to CA$158,042; Quebec at CA$30,492 to CA$99,000; and Alberta at CA$53,000 to CA$140,000. Additional benefits may include the likes of paid sick leave and holiday, life insurance or disability, free beverages, company pension plan and defined benefit retirement plan.

Airline pilot salary in UK

The median airline pilot salary in UK as mentioned by PayScale is £55,658. Basic salaries could be anywhere from £29,042 to £101,388. Cash benefits could include bonuses of £2.01 to £19,458 and profit sharing of £972 to £1,730, increasing salary expectations to £29,136 for up to £112,298. In Prospects, the starting airline pilot salary for those working in small operations is £21,000. Larger companies have higher rates with starting wages ranging from £22,000 to £24,000 while experienced airline pilot is able to earn from £36,000 to £48,000. Medium-sizes airline companies are offering starting salaries of £57,000 to £78,000 for captains while major airlines are able to pay with rates ranging from £97,000 to £140,000.

Airline pilot salary in Australia

Open Universities Australia says that pilots are generally earning an average income of AU$94,500 where the average starting salary is AU$70,000 while senior employees could be paid with the mean wage of AU$109,000. PayScale on the other hand says that the median airline pilot salary in Australia is AU$97,289, computed from salaries that ranged from AU$48,479 to AU$360,647. Rates in different experience levels are as follows: 1 to 4 years is AU$29,900 to AU$111,502 a year; 5 to 9 years is AU$65,046 to AU$150,000; 10 to 19 years is AU$83,000 to AU$140,000; and 20 years of more is AU$90,433 to AU$355,077. Salaries in some of the locations in this country are the following: New South Wales at AU$51,064 to AU$391,486; Victoria at AU$60,148 to AU$347,653; and Queensland at AU$53,000 to AU$100,000.

Airline pilot salary in South Africa

If you are working as an airline pilot in South Africa, you could be having salaries from R151,000 to R1,175,000, rates of which could be inclusive of bonuses of R3,292 to R70,467. Airline pilot salary for those who have 1 or 4 years of experience could be somewhere between the rates of R194,421 and R366,251. Once you get to have 5 to 9 years of experience, your rates could now be from R246,000 to R564,000. This will even increase further as you gain 10 to 19 years of experience with expected salaries anywhere from R277,851 to R1,311,147. Rates offered in Johannesburg are from R101,367 to R1,282,223 while airline pilot salary in Pretoria is from R330,000 to R1,160,000.

Airline pilot salary in New Zealand

Albeit the lack of data, PayScale still claims that the median airline pilot salary in New Zealand is NZ$70,000. CareersNZ says that pilots who are navigating turboprops in domestic flights have a starting rate NZ$40,000 while those who fly jets get to start with the rate of NZ$80,000. Better rates are offered in international flights where the starting rate could be NZ$80,000 for trainees, NZ$92,000 for qualified pilots and captains able to earn as high as NZ$300,000 in a year.

Airline pilot salary in India

India airline pilot salary is anywhere within the rates of Rs 223,008 and Rs 5,128,894 that may include bonuses of Rs 1,987 to Rs 402,683 according to PayScale. The median airline pilot salary in this country is Rs 1,871,626. For those who have less than a year of experience, rates offered are from Rs 870,000 to Rs 1,950,000. Wages received for airline pilots who have 1 to 4years of experience are from Rs 121,641 to Rs 3,373,234.

Delta pilot salary

Delta airline pilot salary is around $83,714 according to Glassdoor. Wages are anywhere from $45,000 to $110,000. This website also says that captains could be earning salaries ranging from $144,000 to $155,000. Pay rates could differ based on the airplane being flown and the number of years in the industry as shown in Airline Pilot Central. A captain with 12 years of experience could expect to receive wages of $184 to $255 per hour while someone who is just in his first year will be earning from $168 to $234 per hour. A first officer with 12 years of experience has a pay rate of $126 to $174 per hour while the one with a year of experience will be receiving a rate of $66 per hour.

Emirates pilot salary

SalaryExplorer says that the average pilot salary in Emirates is AED 25,161 per month. This recorded a maximum salary of AED 58,000 and a minimum salary of AED 5,000 per month. PayScale on the other hand says the median wage is AED 350,337. Total pay received is from AED 81,445 to AED 842,110, inclusive of bonuses valued at AED 49,665. Pilots who have been employed for 10 to 19 years reported wages of AED 273,003 to AED 534,000 while those who have 20 year under their belt are earning from AED 207,000 to AED 819,512 per annum.

Southwest pilot salary

According to FltOps, the average entry-level rate for first officers in Southwest is $49,572 in 2009, having recorded the highest salary paid in this level. A first office with 5 years of experience could have an average salary of $108,847 per annum. The maximum captain salary recorded on the same year is $181,270 a year. Airline Pilot Central says that captains are earning anywhere from $191 to $216 per hour while first officers have rates ranging from $57 to $151.

Loco pilot salary

Assistant loco pilot is earning anywhere from Rs 5,200 to Rs 20,200 per month in India. A loco pilot is someone who operates a railway train. According to GlassDoor, the Indian Railways pays their loco pilots anywhere from Rs 48,000 to Rs 52,000 per month for basic wages.

Air India pilot salary

In PayScale, the basic wages disclosed by Air India pilots ranged from Rs 510,634 to Rs 4,211,224 in PayScale. Bonuses on the other hand are said to somewhere in between the rates of Rs 4,588 and Rs 205,295, increasing total payouts to the airline pilot salary rates of Rs 526,076 for up to Rs 4,727,883. Generally, airline pilot salary in India is from Rs 223,008 to Rs 5,128,894. This means that Air India is paying in mid-rates.

United Airlines pilot salary

In Glassdoor, the recorded basic United Airline pilot salary in within the rates of $65,000 and $138,000. Total pay rates on the other hand are from $65,000 to $147,000.’s data shows that pay rates will vary depending on experience and aircraft being flown. For captains, the best rates are given to those who are flying B77s and B747-400s ranging from $117.16 to $189.89 per hour. The first officers flying the same model types of aircrafts have salaries of $32.61 to $129.70 an hour.

Ryanair pilot salary

Top captains in Ryanair are being paid with a salary of £75,000 or an equivalent of €85,000 per year while base captains may be receiving wages of €58,000 which may include an allowance of €5,000. To Be A Pilot says that Ryanair is using small and medium short haul jet aircrafts. Pay rates for these types of aircrafts are £38,000 to £55,000 for captains and £24,000 to £38,000 for first officers. Allowances ranges from £2,000 to £9,000.

Lufthansa pilot salary

A news in BBC says that the starting pilot salary in Lufthansa is €60,000 or an equivalent rate of £52,000. on the other hand revealed a rate of €225,000 for top captains before taxes. Meanwhile, the top first officers are said to have a salary of €135,000 per year.

British Airways pilot salary

According to Glassdoor, basic pay rates for pilots in British Airways is £98,000 to £134,000 in a year. Total pay rate could be anywhere from £98,000 to £151,000. Bonuses is from £2,000 to £17,000. PayScale on the other hand revealed pilot salaries of £44,549 to £106,667. Additional cash benefits may include bonuses valued at £672 to £21,129. Total pay received are somewhere in between the rates of £30,309 to £152,768.

JetBlue pilot salary

For JetBlue pilots, pay rates could be within the rates of $60,000 to $280,000 per annum according to Glassdoor. This website also mentioned that basic salaries received are from $60,000 to $229,000. Bonuses on the other hand ranges from $3,716 to $14,000. says that the starting salary for newly hired first officers is $3,535 per month while a captain with 12 years of experience could be receiving a rate of $11,925.

Air France pilot salary

CareerBliss says that on the average, pilots in Air France have a salary of $80,000 per year. The company recorded an average pay rate of $40,000 for all its employees. Comparing the rates of pilots in other companies, Air France’s average rate is $19,000 more than the total market standard.

How to become an airline pilot

Becoming an airline pilot will not always necessitate one to obtain a college degree. However, many employers now prefer to employ applicants who have a college degree and this is true even for airline pilots. In the Unites States, courses such as aviation and aeronautics are now being offered in some colleges. This is one of the most recommended educational paths that you should take if you plan to be an airline pilot. Courses such as these will require you to complete subjects in mathematics, English, aeronautical engineering and physics. Enroll only in programs that are approved the by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A flight license can only be acquired after completing a certain number of flight training. Training is available in flying schools. A commercial pilot’s license will need 250 hours of flight time while for an airline transport certificate, 1,500 hours is required. Additionally, airline pilots will have to complete 40 hours of simulated and on-air instrument flight experience to show one’s ability to maneuver an airplane in low visibility settings. Licensure will also require the aspiring airline pilot to pass a written exam and physical tests. Airline companies may have their own requirements that may include aptitude test, psychological exam, and drug testing to name a few. Newly hired pilots are often welcomed to the airline as a co-pilot, advancing their career based on seniority.

Conclusion about airline pilot salary

An airline pilot is a job that often pays well. International flights will give you better wages compared to domestic flights. However, pilots often seek employment in domestic airlines before embarking on a career in international airlines. If you want your application to be considered by employers, getting a degree will make your resume stand out. Airline pilot salary is above average.

8 Responses to Airline pilot salary

  1. Sonu kumar says:

    Hey this is sonu kumar, i wanna know that what is the starting salary of an international pilot in india and how many years it takes to become a international pilot and what is the minimum height requirments for it to be a pilot….??

  2. Ruhi says:

    i want to ask that is there any scope for woman pilots??

  3. aakash says:

    i want to ask what is the salary of an international pilot.
    and height requirement….

  4. Shweta raj says:

    my question is same as ruhi

    • Capt SK Sharma says:

      Becoming an airline pilot is quite difficult. It’s easy to do your license and type rating since this would involve only money, time and dedication from you. But getting a job would be difficult in today’s scenario . Cost of license would be from Rs 20 to 30 lakh and about Rs 20 lake for type rating as well with no guarantee for the job.

      Therefore be wise before committing to this career.

  5. vicky kumar says:

    i want to become a pilot what a process..

  6. sanjulika says:

    what is the hieght requirement

  7. Capt Karan Singh says:

    Its a very expensive profession to get into.Getting a job also very tough.There are thousands of people in India who have done their CPL and type rating on Airbus and Boeing but are still unable to get a job.

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