KAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1964 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 139886 times:
Easily 400,000? Who makes that much? Maybe .00001% of airline pilots, if that.
Most regional airline First Officers (copilots) make less than 30,000/yr. Starting pay is usually around 17k/yr. Regional captains make between 30k starting up to 80k or so for the most senior.
Mainline first officers usually make 30-70k per year, captains 60-200k on average, but a few airlines like united and delta have very senior widebody captains making close to 300k.
In summary, the pay is good at the mainline level, but it takes at least 7-15 years of low paying work (military, flight instructor, charter pilot, regional pilot, etc) before your eligible for a decent paying mainline job. On top of that you need a college degree, must be in good health, have decent vision, and the will to constantly away from home. Major airline pilots "pay their dues" before they earn the privledge of making that kind of money. It's not easy, and definitely not for those who lack commitment and dedication.
Type-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 139424 times:
Since you asked about pilots in general don't forget that there are flying jobs out there that are not with the airlines. Corporate pilots get paid very well too (but not quite as good as airline pilots) We have a lot of responsibility flying important people around, or at least THEY think the're important!
XFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4235 posts, RR: 36
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 139172 times:
I don't know of any pilots that make 400,000 a year. The ones that make 300,000 are very very very very...very rare. Ive never heard of any, personally. What airline is that? Imagine-air?
I personally make 18-20,000 a year. I'm responsible for a 25,000,000 dollar airplane and fly hundreds of people safely to their destination everyday. Is that really overpaid?
Most major airline pilots make around 100,000. The average in the regionals is closer to 50,000. (FO's around the mid to upper 20's-, captains in the 50's-60's).
When I was a flight instructor (for 2 years), I made 12,000 a year.
People don't realize how little you make working your way up in the industry, esp considering how qualified we are. 40,000 dollars in licenses, 4 year degree or higher... I have been very lucky only having to instruct for 2 years and going straight to the CRJ...hopefully will be a captain sometime next year. Its rare that things go this well so quickly. Most people are instructors for years..then FO's for years... It takes a long time to get to a major carrier, if you ever make it.
United Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9218 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 139035 times:
Cathay Pacific has the world's best paid pilots from what I heard. According to Next Magazine a few years ago during the industrial action, a few pilots were making HK$ 4-5 million a year. Not sure if this is true......
Francoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3892 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 138862 times:
The problem is that many people think that $200,000 is too much for one sitting in a cockipt all day "doing nothing"...
Of course, those many people absolutely do not know what goes on there, and what is at stake.
We are talking about a profesional, a guy/girl who has been on a constant training, checked for his/her perfect health, been away from home for many many years. He/she has years of experience flying, started out as a flight instructor on a c152 and barely made $30,000 for the first 10 years or so of his/her career, after having paid anywhere between 50 to 100 G's for training.
And that is without considering the responsability and the danger involved, and the fact that he/she could hold on to his/her dream (and licence) for so long.
Pilots are overpaid? Then why do lawyers and doctors make more than pilots? Is pilot just another basic profesion now? A regular technician?
Oh, and why do you think some airlines still pay up to $400,000 for an experience jet captain? because of the unions?
I don't think so. If another pilot, as experienced as that guy, was willing to do it for less, believe me, they'd hire him...
I'm early on my way there, and if I miraculously reach that level one day, I'll probably say it has been a whole lot of sacrifice to get here.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
Aa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 138814 times:
My flight instructor and neighbor is in the top 1% of AA pilots. He is a senior Captain and AirCheck man and he makes around $250k/yr. I don't know of any of this friends higher on the food chain (QF, NWA, AA, UA, etc) that make more than him. There are no $400k/yr pilots. Cheers.