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Pilot Average Salary in United States 2020

How much money does a Pilot make in United States?


Average Yearly Salary
161,000 USD
( 13,400 USD monthly)

LOW
80,300
USD
AVERAGE
161,000
USD
HIGH
249,000
USD

A person working as a Pilot in United States typically earns around 161,000 USD per year. Salaries range from 80,300 USD (lowest) to 249,000 USD (highest).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Pilot salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Pilot Salary Distribution in United States

Median and salary distribution yearly United States Pilot
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Pilot salaries in United States range from 80,300 USD per year (minimum salary) to 249,000 USD per year (maximum salary).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 161,000 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Pilot(s) are earning less than 161,000 USD while the other half are earning more than 161,000 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Pilot(s) are earning less than 108,000 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 108,000 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Pilot(s) are earning less than 205,000 USD while 25% are earning more than 205,000 USD.


What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Pilot Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Pilot
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Pilot salaries by experience level and this is what we found.

A Pilot with less than two years of experience makes approximately 96,300 USD per year.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 128,000 USD per year, 32% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 171,000 USD per year, 34% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Additionally, Pilot(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 203,000 USD per year, 19% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 219,000 USD per year, 8% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 235,000 USD per year, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.


Pilot average salary change by experience in United States

0 - 2 Years
96,300 USD
2 - 5 Years+32%
128,000 USD
5 - 10 Years+34%
171,000 USD
10 - 15 Years+19%
203,000 USD
15 - 20 Years+8%
219,000 USD
20+ Years+7%
235,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Pilot Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Pilot(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Pilot
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Pilot salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is Certificate or Diploma, the average salary of a Pilot is 128,000 USD per year.

While someone with a Bachelor's Degree gets a salary of 175,000 USD per year, 37% more than someone having a Certificate or Diploma degree.

A Master's Degree gets its holder an average salary of 225,000 USD per year, 29% more than someone with a Bachelor's Degree.


Pilot average salary difference by education level in United States

Certificate or Diploma
128,000 USD
Bachelor's Degree+37%
175,000 USD
Master's Degree+29%
225,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in United States costs anywhere from 39,500 US Dollar(s) to 118,000 US Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support the thoery. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.


Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Pilot Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States Pilot
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Pilot employees in United States earn 4% more than their female counterparts on average.

Male
164,000 USD
Female-4%
157,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Pilot Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for Pilot(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Pilot

Pilot(s) in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 12% every 17 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Pilot
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2019

Banking
4%
Energy
8%
Information Technology
3%
Healthcare
7%
Travel
2%
Construction
6%
Education
1%

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year 2019. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.


Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Pilot Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Pilot
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A Pilot is considered to be a high bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

17% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 83% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 5% to 8% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
83%
No Bonus
17%

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.


What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

Example:
A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

Example:
A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.


Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Pilot Average Hourly Wage in United States


77 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in United States is 77 USD. This means that the average Pilot in United States earns approximately 77 USD for every worked hour.


Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Pilot VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Pilot and Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense yearly United States
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The average salary for Pilot is 65% more than that of Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense. Also, Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense salaries are 2% more than those of All Jobs.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Aeronautical Engineer101,000 USD-37%
Aerospace Engineer128,000 USD-20%
Aerospace Technician93,500 USD-42%
Air Crew Officer65,800 USD-59%
Air Traffic Assistant54,700 USD-66%
Air Traffic Controller103,000 USD-36%
Aircraft Captain152,000 USD-5%
Aircraft Electrician53,600 USD-67%
Aircraft Engineer101,000 USD-37%
Aircraft Fueler46,200 USD-71%
Aircraft Maintenance Manager150,000 USD-7%
Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor101,000 USD-37%
Aircraft Maintenance Technician48,000 USD-70%
Aircraft Mechanic51,500 USD-68%
Aircraft Quality Assurance133,000 USD-17%
Airfield Management Specialist147,000 USD-8%
Airfield Operations Specialist114,000 USD-29%
Airline Cabin Crew102,000 USD-37%
Airline Copilot103,000 USD-36%
Airlines Sales Manager169,000 USD+5%
Airlines Structural Assembler42,600 USD-73%
Airport Services Agent65,700 USD-59%
Airport Services Manager196,000 USD+22%
Assistant Aircraft Mechanic41,100 USD-74%
Aviation Analyst127,000 USD-21%
Aviation Inspector112,000 USD-30%
Aviation Manager203,000 USD+26%
Aviation Operations Controller110,000 USD-32%
Aviation Resources Manager178,000 USD+11%
Aviation Safety Manager188,000 USD+17%
Aviation Safety Officer104,000 USD-35%
Aviation Technician47,800 USD-70%
Cargo Executive92,100 USD-43%
Chief Pilot172,000 USD+7%
First Officer69,400 USD-57%
Fleet Management Officer66,300 USD-59%
Flight Attendant67,900 USD-58%
Flight Scheduler76,900 USD-52%
Flight Simulation Engineer86,300 USD-46%
Freight and Cargo Inspector70,600 USD-56%
Helicopter Pilot106,000 USD-34%
Loading Bridge Operator41,800 USD-74%
Pilot161,000 USD+0%
Ramp Agent44,400 USD-72%
Reservations Sales Agent52,400 USD-67%
Safety and Quality Specialist101,000 USD-37%
Test Pilot120,000 USD-25%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Atlanta149,000 USD
Austin180,000 USD
Baltimore157,000 USD
Boston172,000 USD
Bristol130,000 USD
Chicago186,000 USD
Cincinnati138,000 USD
Cleveland146,000 USD
Dallas187,000 USD
Denver176,000 USD
Detroit171,000 USD
Honolulu137,000 USD
Houston184,000 USD
Indianapolis168,000 USD
Iowa City140,000 USD
Jacksonville171,000 USD
Kansas City154,000 USD
Kent131,000 USD
Las Vegas162,000 USD
Long Beach157,000 USD
Los Angeles203,000 USD
Memphis172,000 USD
Miami159,000 USD
Minneapolis152,000 USD
New Orleans151,000 USD
New York189,000 USD
Oakland151,000 USD
Oklahoma City167,000 USD
Orlando137,000 USD
Philadelphia192,000 USD
Phoenix190,000 USD
Sacramento165,000 USD
San Antonio194,000 USD
San Diego189,000 USD
San Francisco173,000 USD
San Jose182,000 USD
Seattle181,000 USD
Tampa147,000 USD
Vancouver135,000 USD
Washington D.C.167,000 USD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama172,000 USD
Alaska148,000 USD
Arizona172,000 USD
Arkansas156,000 USD
California193,000 USD
Colorado171,000 USD
Connecticut162,000 USD
Delaware148,000 USD
District of Columbia142,000 USD
Florida191,000 USD
Georgia184,000 USD
Hawaii154,000 USD
Idaho151,000 USD
Illinois175,000 USD
Indiana181,000 USD
Iowa164,000 USD
Kansas161,000 USD
Kentucky162,000 USD
Louisiana159,000 USD
Maine159,000 USD
Maryland176,000 USD
Massachusetts172,000 USD
Michigan175,000 USD
Minnesota162,000 USD
Mississippi165,000 USD
Missouri174,000 USD
Montana151,000 USD
Nebraska153,000 USD
Nevada153,000 USD
New Hampshire159,000 USD
New Jersey181,000 USD
New Mexico157,000 USD
New York180,000 USD
North Carolina171,000 USD
North Dakota152,000 USD
Ohio184,000 USD
Oklahoma164,000 USD
Oregon161,000 USD
Pennsylvania175,000 USD
Rhode Island155,000 USD
South Carolina171,000 USD
South Dakota149,000 USD
Tennessee170,000 USD
Texas178,000 USD
Utah164,000 USD
Vermont149,000 USD
Virginia177,000 USD
Washington172,000 USD
West Virginia149,000 USD
Wisconsin177,000 USD
Wyoming147,000 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.

Private Sector
92,400 USD
Public Sector+5%
97,100 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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