Paycheck of a Pilot

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Let’s get real for a second and admit that pilots are basically the star of the show when it comes to aviation. That omnipotent and reassuringly confident voice, the owner of which holds the lives of every passenger and crew member on board in their hands, deserves a damn good paycheck, right?


Well the starting salary for co-pilots (which is what you’ll be at first) at regional airlines is around the $20,000 mark, rising to $45,000 range at major carriers, and FltOps reports the average at this level to be a respectable $36,283.


After five years, and having risen to first captain, you’ll be taking home a median rate of $87,101, and following 10 years of service that will have risen again to a very healthy $165,278. If you’re gunning for the big bucks and want to know which airline pays the most then The Boss Mag can reveal it’s UPS (the shipping giant), whose highest annual wage as of 2012 was $231,231.


Because of the health and fitness demands of the job all pilots are subject to enforced retirement at the age of 65—plenty of time to cultivate a sizable savings account for your twilight-years relocation to the Florida coast.

This post was penned by a staff writer for The Boss Mag.

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