Helicopter pilot salary

Helicopter pilot’s salary is around $70,000 in the United States.Helicopter pilots are often employed in package delivery, private passenger transport, news, military, and hospital industries. For some, flying a helicopter may simply be a hobby. But for those who use their flying skills to earn money, they make an average of $70,000 per year. This may help get back the money spent in training, which runs from $10,000 to $15,000. This is the typical cost of getting a basic helicopter pilot certification. Flight time in itself is already expensive at $200 an hour. To get a commercial license, aspiring pilos has to put in more flight hours for additional training. The written exams usually cost around $200 to $300, while the flight exams often amount to $500, depending on the testing company. Still, the sense of accomplishment of being able to fly a helicopter and possibly join the military is more than enough reason to try and qualify as a helicopter pilot. Keep reading for more information about helicopter pilot salary and career requirements.

Helicopter pilot job description

A helicopter pilot can work in different industries involving flying cargo or passengers. Some may choose to work for hospitals transporting patients, accident victims, or survivors of natural disasters. Their work may also involve transporting medical supplies, food, or emergency workers. Those who work for commercial helicopter flights usually provide passenger tours, aerial photography, or communicate traffic information. Some pilots serve in charter flights or as private pilots to individuals.

Helicopter pilot checks the aircraft, systems, controls, and instruments before flying the aircraft. They also consult with dispatchers and weather forecasters to carefully map out their flight plan. This is necessary to ensure the safety and efficiency of the flight. The main duties of a helicopter pilot during a flight include manning the controls, monitoring the systems and the instruments, and checking if the helicopter is working properly.

How much does a helicopter pilot make ?

Average helicopter salary

Based on PayScale’s salary reports as of October 2013, the typical helicopter pilot’s salary ranges from $50,601 to $128,675.

Helicopter pilot salary in the USA

As of January of 2014, the median salary for helicopter pilot is around $71,834. Their salary ranges from $51,024 to $125,981.

As the experience of a helicopter pilot increases so does their salary. For someone with one to four years of experience, the usual salary is between $46,369 and $98,353. This increases to a salary ranging from $45,018 to $110,541 for pilots with five to nine years in the cockpit. The usual helicopter pilot’s salary for those with 10 to 19 years in the business is around $55,000 to $115,200. It becomes even better for pilots with over 20 years of experience as they earn between $56,162 and $138,560.

PayScale also reported about helicopter pilot’s salary based on the certification obtained by the pilots. Those who hold an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate can make around $56,051 to $156,261. This is higher than the annual pay of pilots with an FAA Pilot license, who earn around $48,330 to $110,138.

Comparing the salaries of helicopter pilots based on the industry where they are employed, pilots in the oil and gas industry make the most with annual earnings of $47,315 to $147,065. Those working in the transportation industry make between $59,997 and $85,000, while those in the police department take home around $64,854 to $86,746 per year.

helicopter pilot salary in USA

helicopter pilot salary

Helicopter pilot salary by state/city in the USA

According to Indeed’s salary report in 2013, the average helicopter pilot’s salary was more varied in the West. It is where California paid the pilots $82,000 per year as the top paying state, while Hawaii was shown to be the lowest paying state with an average salary of $50,000. Pilots in New York and Maine earn as much as $92,000 and $65,000 per year, respectively. Those working in Washington, D.C. and Louisiana receive around $90,000 and $65,000, respectively, completing the highest and lowest ranks in the South. Pilots in the Midwest also get varied range of salaries with the highest being $82,000 in Illinois and the lowest being $57,000 in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Commercial helicopter pilot salary

Commercial helicopter pilots fly passengers and products for business clients. They are paid between $52,918 and $69,422 per year.

EMS helicopter pilot salary

The usual EMS helicopter pilot’s salary ranges from $51,000 to $64,000 in 2010. However, this is a job with an unpredictable number of flight hours since EMS pilots are only required to fly during emergencies. This is something that cannot be foreseen in terms of when or how long the flight will be.

Army helicopter pilot salary

The army helicopter pilot’s salary depends on the military grade and years of service of the pilot. The lowest salary that a military officer/pilot gets is around $2,828.40 a month. This is for a grade O-1 officer with less than two years in this profession. With promotion and experience comes an increase in salary. An O-4 and 10-year military pilot can make $6,007.80 a month. It increases to around $9,370.50 a month for a military helicopter pilot with rank O-6 and two decades of military service.

Helicopter pilot salary in Canada

The typical helicopter pilot’s salary in Canada ranges from C$34,543 to C$117,209. PayScale reported their median pay to be around C$61,673. Some employers also provide a bonus of up to C$30,639.

Helicopter pilots with less than four years of experience earn around C$35,375 to C$60,000. Those who have been in this line of work for over 20 years make between C$59,033 and C$115,771 per year.

Helicopter pilot salary in Australia

Australia-based helicopter pilot salary is AU$41,421 and AU$146,963, with their median pay being AU$63,810. Bonuses of up to AU$5,152 may be provided for some pilots.

The typical helicopter pilot’s salary is around AU$41,712 and AU$76.631 for those with less than four years of experience. This goes up to a salary range of AU$45,769 to AU$117,916 for pilots with five to nine years in the business.

Helicopter pilot salary in the UK

Helicopter pilots based in the UK are often compensated around £16,768 to £72,985. They may also receive a bonus of up to £10,304. The total annual pay may range from £17,000 to £89,010. The median salary, according to PayScale, is £45,096.

Helicopter pilot salary in South Africa

The median helicopter pilot salary working in South Africa is around R296,494. It ranges from R99,619 to R790,666. Bonuses may amount to R58,175 for some pilots.

Starting salary for helicopter pilots with less than four years of experience is between R48,656 and R545,475.

Helicopter pilot salary in India

PayScale reported that the usual helicopter pilot salary in India is from Rs782,971 to Rs4,815,507. Their median pay is about Rs2,368,615. Their total annual pay may also include bonuses of up to Rs304,102.

Helicopter pilots with five to nine years of experience earn between Rs860,000 and Rs2,950,000. Then comes the huge leap to a minimum salary of Rs1,520,511 and a maximum salary of Rs5,207,000 for pilots with over 20 years of experience.

Helicopter pilot salary in New Zealand

Entry-level helicopter pilots in New Zealand earn an average of NZ$41,000 per year. Those with three to five years of experience make between NZ$45,000 to NZ$80,000. Senior pilots take home even more with a salary of $100,000 or more.

How to become a helicopter pilot

To become a helicopter pilot, one has to complete a degree from a reputable college or aviation school. A pilot with a bachelor’s degree has an advantage over someone with an associate’s degree. A major in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, computer science or physics can be a good foundation for aspiring pilots.

The second step in becoming a pilot is to accumulate at least 250 hours. This can be obtained through the US Armed Forces or as flight instructors.

To get a pilot’s license, one has to be at least 18 years old. Aspiring pilots should pass a physical exam, especially in terms of hearing and vision, and the fact that they don’t have any physical impairment. A written exam should be passed as well.

There are various types of certifications from the FAA as well from medical certificates to airworthiness certificates. Some airline companies may require pilots to pass intelligence and psychological tests too.

Conclusion about helicopter pilot salary

The average helicopter pilot salary as of 2013 is $76,000. Despite costing around $15,000 and hundreds of flying hours, the satisfaction of controlling a helicopter, staying airborne, and getting to watch the world from the air is more than enough reward for the hardships a pilot has to go through before becoming a licensed flyer.

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