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I was wondering how much a commercial airline pilot makes annually on average?

I would like to be a pilot. i want to know if being a pilot will benefit me financially. #pilot #airplane #flying

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Justina’s Answer

Glassdoor.com gives the salary ranges for positions and you can even limit the data to geographical location.

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Gary’s Answer

Here is a good link with some information about being a pilot...you can make good money but it will take you time to learn, log flight hours and gain experience with smaller aircraft and you may not make a lot of money initially. It will take time...if you are really interested, it is a great career...I am not a pilot but I have pilots in my family. If you are in it for just the money, I would suggest rethinking your career options. Pilots work a lot of hours, are gone for long periods of time and spend a lot of time sleeping at airports. Good luck!


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Kevin’s Answer

The initial investment required to become a commercial pilot is, on average, north of $100,000. That's a major hurdle that you'll have to overcome right off the bat. These days, a lot of pilots are starting their careers beneath a mountain of debt. I was able to avoid that because I'm a veteran, and was able to put my GI Bill benefits to use.

Salaries start low in aviation - in the mid-$20K range - but can go very high - north of $250K for captains with a lot of seniority at a major airline. It takes years to get to that point, though.

At airlines, typically, you'll be quoted an hourly rate that sounds high, but that's only for actual flight time - all the other time you spend doing your job is technically unpaid. Most airlines guarantee a minimum number of flight hours per month, so you are essentially being paid a base salary. For example, $45/hr x minimum 60 hours per month = approximately $32K per year. If you fly more than that, of course, you'll be paid more. The company, however, will do what they can to limit such "overtime" on your part. Some jobs will also have per diem pay and flight benefits, which are fun to use with your family.

Avoid limiting your sights to the airlines. There are myriad opportunities you can pursue as a commercial pilot that have nothing to do with flying for an airline. Most of my flying is air ambulance operations. You can tow banners, haul cargo, do aerial photography/survey, agricultural spraying, firefighting, law enforcement, or teach others to fly as an instructor.

The salary ladder in aviation is a long one to climb, and you need to be in it because you love flying, or you'll probably have a hard time summoning the motivation to put up with some of this career's pitfalls. It's certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you care about maximizing the return on your educational investment, it may not be a wise choice - but if you love flying, you won't be able to imagine doing anything else.