Pilot Salary 2023 – Ultimate Guide – Airline Pilot Salary

Airline Pilot Salary

Pilot Salary - How Much Do Pilots Make? - 2023

Pilot Salary - 15 min read

What does a commercial airline pilot salary look like?

It’s been known that some make well over $700,000 annually in America, and with some flight crew now receiving pay rises of 40%, this figure is only going up.

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the median salary for airline captains, first-officers and second-officers (sometimes known as copilots), and flight engineers in the United States is $203,010 as of 2021. 

However, that was 2021. In 2023, we expect this average pilot salary to increase by 20-40% over the next four years. 

If you want to know all about a Pilot Salary UK, then read our full dedicated guide.

Play Video about alt=""

Some will have the potential to earn over 10 million dollars during their careers.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom has just proposed a deal to American Airlines Pilots worth a 40% pay rise.

This deal will see a widebody captain at the top of the payscales, making a basic salary of $590,000 annually and you can read more about an American Airlines Pilot Salary here.

However, in this blog post, we are going to look at everything to d with a pilot salary.

Pilot career progression infographic. Step 1 - Becomming a pilot (cost $60,000-$100,000). Step 2 - Working as a flight instructor (pay - $25-45 per hour). Step 3 - Working at a regional airline (pay - $50,000 - $100,000). Step 4 - Become a regional airline captain (pay - $200,000). Or, join a major airline (pay - $100,000+) Step 5 - Become a major airline captain (pay - $400,000+).

Airline Pilot Salary - Who Is This Guide For?

This guide will focus on pay in America, Canada, the UK and Europe but also make examples of other regions.  

Although those in the UK and Europe aren’t quite as well paid as those in America and Canada, it’s still a handsome salary.

The most significant difference in pay between those in the USA/Canada and those in the UK/Europe is that flight crew in America need 1500 hours before they can apply to airlines.

Whereas those in the UK/Europe can enter immediately (read my story).

Therefore, UK/European flyers will earn more money more quickly. 

But those in America/Canada will eventually catch up and earn far more. 

Airline Pilot Salary - Why So High?

So why is an airline pilot salary so high?

Well, it’s partly to do with the cost of flight training/flight school being so high, but also due to the responsibility of the job.

Salaries are going sky-high at the moment due to the immense pilot shortage in America. 

This is causing the demand for qualified aviators to outweigh the supply, causing airlines to compete for workers with more lucrative salaries.

How Much Is An Airline Pilot’s Salary?

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the median salary for airline captains, first-officers, second-officers, and flight engineers in the United States is $203,010 as of 2021.

USA Pilot Salaires. How much do airline pilots make? Average Pilot Salary. First Officer Salary. Experienced Airline Captain Salary

However, those working for major airlines as airline transport pilots can earn a much higher airline pilot salary than this.

Let’s take a look at the American Airlines flight crew salary, for example:

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $121,000 a year.
  • The middle 50% earn between $121,000 and $298,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn between $298,000 and $768,000 annually.

However, at the time of writing (March 9th 2023), American Airlines flight crew have just been offered a 40% payrise, which will see the top earners making a basic salary of $590,000 annually. 

These payscales are similar at airline such as Delta, Southwest etc.

Additionally, flyers for major airlines can receive lucrative salaries and benefits packages that include annual leave, housing allowance, and flight pay (we’ll discuss all of this later).

Those in the UK and Europe are typically paid less than their colleagues in America.

The average pay for flight crew in the UK is roughly £82,000 a year. 

Some flyers earn up to £250,000 a year at top airlines when factoring in bonuses, flight pay and other variables, which we will discuss later.

In Europe, Air France flight crew earn an average of €150,000 a year, and Lufthansa flight crew make an average airline pilot salary of €9,000 monthly and can earn up to €21,000 per month!

The Average Pilot Salary in the UK is £81,666

How is a pilot’s salary calculated?

A basic salary is only part of a flight crew’s annual earnings.

To get the complete picture of how much do pilots make, we need to look at the factors impacting how much an airline pilot salary.

Base Salary

When asking how much do pilots make, we must first examine the base pay (sometimes known as basic pay) or the average base salary.

This is the primary annual or monthly pay that the flight crew can expect.

This basic salary will be subject to pay increases by rank, experience or other factors such as yearly pay increases.

Flight Pay

This is how much someone earns per hour of flying, and it dramatically increases the flight crews take-home pay.

This usually doesn’t cover the duties carried out on the ground, such as briefing, setting up the aircraft etc. 

Some airlines offer lower basic salaries but high hourly flight pay rates to compensate. 

This isn’t included in their basic salary but can make up an additional 10-25% of their annual earnings.


The flight crew can make a large amount of money by working overtime. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) set limits on the maximum number of flying hours carried out per week, month and year.

This maximum is 100 flight hours in 28 days and 1000 flight hours per year. 

The flight crew can do overtime if they do not exceed these limits. 

Overtime rates can vary from hundreds of dollars/pounds per hour to thousands of dollars/pounds per hour. 

How much do pilots make from overtime?

As mentioned, some make over $50,000 a year doing overtime.

Away-From-Home Pay

On top of a basic airline pilot salary, we also must factor in away-from-home/base pay.

As with flight pay, the crew will usually be paid for their time away from home.

This is only relevant for those who work for airlines that conduct night stops. 

Most airlines will offer you a tax-free payment every hour from when you check in at work to when you check out the next day or multiple days later. 

This, again, can accumulate and make up a good amount of money per year and therefore increase an airline pilot salary.

Away-From-Home Pay

A huge factor when asking how much do pilots make as these pensions can create substantial wealth for the flight crew over their careers.

Most commercial airlines will offer a very lucrative pension package. 

Indeed, most airlines in the UK and Europe will offer 10-20% of your yearly salary paid directly into your pension pot.

These pensions aren’t usually as strong in America, but they can be. 

This is an exceptional benefit to an airline pilot salary.

When combined, an airline captain’s salary and pension package can be highly lucrative.

Other Bonuses, Profit Sharing, Commission or Share Schemes

It wouldn’t be right to discuss an airline pilot salary without these additional payments.

Some airlines, like Southwest Airlines, will offer very lucrative bonuses and share schemes.

These bonuses and profit-sharing schemes can be worth a lot of money in some airlines, with captains getting annual bonuses, share options and stock packages worth more than $50,000.

How Much Do Pilots Make? Factors Impacting A Pilot Salary

What are the factors that influence pay? 

You can read our full, detailed guide about the factors affecting pilot salaries here.

Want a quick guide to the factor? Then read on!

The Role of Pilot Seniority in Pay

Seniority is an essential factor when looking at the average airline pilot salary.

Seniority is all about how long you have been in the airline. 

The longer you have been employed, the more senior you will be and, therefore, the higher the median annual airline pilot salary.

The more senior crew will earn a much higher average salary. 

This is because commands (becoming a captain) are usually based on seniority. 

With this in mind, many airlines also work on a yearly payscale, meaning the longer you have worked for that airline, the more the pay will be.

This is one of the reasons why a year one first officer’s salary will always be far less than an experienced senior first officer or captain. 

It’s a huge factor when determining an airline pilot salary. 

Find out how to become a commercial airline pilot.

The Role of Flight Hours in Pay

As with many professions, experience pays.

Therefore, an airline pilot’s salary will vary depending on the experience level, namely the years of experience and their flight experience. 

Even though a starting pay can be relatively low, especially compared to the cost of the investment of pilot training, they do scale very quickly. 

Between years 1-5, their pay could triple.

Flight experience will ultimately deem when you are due for a progression in rank. 

This is why the median annual salary for captains is considerably more than for first officers. 

This means that the faster you get your flight experience and the more flight time you have, the faster you will likely achieve an airline captain’s salary.

Therefore, flight hours and experience are important factors when answering the question of how much do pilots make.

The Impact of the Airline on Pilot Pay

Some airlines pay a better airline pilot salary than others, even within the same country.

Often, the major airlines will pay better than smaller, regional airlines.

For example, American Airlines will likely pay better than a smaller regional airline.

Therefore, the airline that employs you will greatly impact the median annual wage.

The Impact of Aircraft Type on Pay

When looking at how much do pilots make, we need to look at the aircraft type that is being flown.

The aircraft type is an essential factor in determining the pay, with larger aircraft generally paying a higher hourly rate.

Jobs flying jet aircraft nearly always pay more than jobs flying propellor aircraft.

Long-haul positions nearly always pay better than short-haul.

This is true even within the same airlines. A Boeing 747 airline pilot salary will be better paid than a 737 pilot salary, even if they have the same experience.

What is a pilot’s Median starting pay?

To earn considerable money as a flight crew, you must have many years in the industry, fly for a major airline and be relatively senior in an airline.

However, the new flight crew will often earn a fraction of what their more experienced colleagues make.

Let’s answer the questions of how much do pilots make in the early stages of their careers and look at the airline pilot salary they can expect once they are eligible to join the major airlines.

Wondering about a pilot salary UK? Check out our full Pilot Salary UK post for more!

Hour Building As A Flight Instructor

How much do pilots make as flight instructors?

Unlike those in the UK and Europe, the flight crews in America and Canada need a minimum number of hours of 1500 hours before being allowed to work for major airlines.

Even with a Commercial Pilot License (CPL).

One of the ways that they can achieve this is by working as flight instructors and by getting their required certification to instruct on smaller aircraft.

For example, according to Glassdoor, a flight instructor can expect to earn $25 per hour of instructing at Embry-Ruddle Aeronautical University. 

The rates vary, but most flight instructors with university flight schools/specialist flying schools can expect to earn between $17-$30 per hour or a rough pilot salary per year of $30-45,000.

Those in the UK/Europe can expect to enter an airline straight from flight school with just a CPL and 250 flight hours.

How Much Do Pilots Make? Average Starting Salaries In Aviation

Even after achieving the minimum number of hours of 1500 flight hours, those in America will require a certain number of hours on specific aircraft types before being given employment by a major airline.

Therefore, pilots in America and Canada will nearly always start with a regional airline before working for a major airline (like Southwest, Delta, etc.)

Good news, though – Southwest Airlines recently reduced their 1000 jet/large turbo-prop hours requirement to 500, meaning pilots at lower-paying regional airlines can join the better-paying major airlines quicker.

However, it must be recognized that regional airlines are now beginning to up their pilot salaries to entice pilots to stay in their airlines longer and to stop pilots from looking at regional airlines as ‘stepping-stones’ to the majors.

Because of the above, these regional airlines have had to increase their starting salaries.

Regional Airline Starting Pay in America

As of 2023, you can expect your first year at a regional airline to pay you, as a complete package (including per flight pay etc), an annual income of between $50,000 – $100,000+.

(These figures are rough guides and might not be 100% accurate at your reading time, it’s wise to assume that they are set to increase over the coming years).

Obviously, it depends on the massively on the airline you join. However, these salaries have absolutely rocketed up over the last few years, and we could see them further increase in the future as the pilot shortage continues.

Starting Pilot Pay In The UK/Europe (Major Airlines)

Again, pilots in the UK/Europe can expect to be employed by major airlines straight out of flight school.

Check out our full, Pilot Salary UK post for more!

That’s why it’s so important to pick the best flight school, one with a history of placing pilots with airlines!

With this, UK/European pilots can expect starting salaries in the region of £/€30,000 – £/€50,000+, depending on the type of aircraft they are flying and the airline they work for.

When we include flight pay, and other incentives, pilots at large, major airlines in the UK and Europe can expect to make between £/€45,000 – £65,000 in their first year.

It’s certainly not the big bucks you can expect to make later in your career, but it’s also a reasonable starting salary.

For example, easyJet Second Officers (year one) will earn a salary of around £50,000 per year in their first year with the company.

These pilots will then see an hourly flight pay rate of around £25 an hour, meaning if they fly the roughly 800 hours scheduled per year, they will make an additional £20,000 per year.

This means a brand new pilot in the UK, with almost zero experience, can earn around £70,000 in their first year, not including their pension, profit sharing, and other top-ups.

Pay Increases Over Time

The flight crew will experience the most significant pilot salary increase in their first five years at work. 

If this interests you, then you need to read our blog post about a commercial pilot salary progression throughout their career!

As a first officer working for a major airline, they can expect the following:

First officer salaries (inexperienced/junior):

  • America/Canada –  $80,000-$150,000 (depending on how long the pilot has worked for a regional airline and the experience held/aircraft they are recruited on to.)
  • United Kingdom/Europe – £35,000 – 55,000

First officer salaries (experienced):

  • America/Canada – $150,000 – $225,000+
  • United Kingdom/Europe – £65,000 – £125,000+

Therefore, the latter years of their airline pilot career will always provide better pay than the earlier years.

After completing flight school and training, pilots typically experience a salary increase of more than 70% from their first year of employment to their fifth year, when they can earn some serious money.

Some airlines may pay flight crew based on their job title, with pay increasing as they progress through the ranks of the first officer, senior first officer, and then captain.

As well as these pay rises based on their job title, they might also see a yearly pay rise, progressing through a ‘pay scale’. 

For some airlines, these pilot salary pay scales can be short (around 10-12 years), whereas other airlines can operate a longer pilot salary pay scale of up to 40 years! 

This means some might earn their maximum pilot salary after just ten years.

Others must work through their career for many decades before receiving the top airline pilot salary!

Airline Captain Salary - Examples

  • UK – A senior long-haul airline captain’s salary is around £200,000
  • Europe – A senior long-haul airline captain’s salary can be as much as €250,000
  • America – A senior long-haul captain in America can be well over $400,000 yearly. It’s not unheard of for captains to make over $500,000 a year.
  • Middle East – A senior long-haul airline captain’s salary in The Middle East can be well over $220,000 yearly (though the additional packages such as living allowances top this figure up massively).
  • Asia – The average salary for an airline captain can be over $400,000 annually in Asia. 

What are some sample salaries for airline pilots?

So how much do pilots make at major airlines?

We have already discussed how much pilots make at American Airlines, so let’s look at other major airlines’ salaries.

It’s worth noting that all of these figures are base salaries.

These figures don’t include bonuses, share options, profit sharing and other potentially lucrative additions that can increase takehome pay by another 25%+.

How much do Southwest Airlines pilots make?

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $132,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $132,000 and $338,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn an airline pilot salary of between $338,000 and $613,000 annually.

How much do United Airlines pilots make?

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $127,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $127,000 and $299,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn an airline pilot salary of between $299,000 and $675,000 annually.

How Much Do Delta Airlines Pilots Make?

  • The bottom 25% up to $248,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $248,000 and $400,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn an airline pilot salary of  $404,000 annually.

British Airways airline pilot salary

  • The bottom 25% up to £67,000 annually. 
  • The middle 50% earn between £67,000 to £105,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn between £105,000 to £233,000 annually. 

easyJet airline pilot salary:

  • The bottom 25% up to £45,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between £45,000 and £109,000 annually. 
  • The top 25% earn between £109,000 – £141,000

Lufthansa airline pilot salary:

  • The bottom 25% earn up to €6,300 per month
  • The middle 50% earn between €6,300 to €11,000 monthly.
  • The top 25% earn between €11,000 and €21,000 monthly.

Sample Median Salaries for Regional Airlines

How much do pilots make at regional airlines? An example of a regional airline is Envoy Air.

Many see regional airlines as a ‘stepping stone’ into the major airlines. 

To counter this, regional airlines offer competitive salaries to stop the incredibly high churn of the flight crew.

PSA Airlines pilot salary:

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $82,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $82,000 to $124,000 annually.
  • The top 25% is between $124,000 and $210,000 annually.

Republic Airways pilot salary:

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $62,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $62,000 to $121,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn between $121,000 and $281,000 annually.

Endeavor Air pilot salary:

  • The bottom 25% earn up to $60,000 annually.
  • The middle 50% earn between $60,000 to $142,000 annually.
  • The top 25% earn between $142,000 and $229,000 annually.

International Pilot Salary Vs American Pilot Salary

How much do pilots make around the world?

How Much Do Pilots Make In The UK and Europe?

How much do pilots make in the UK and Europe?

Inexperienced first officers can expect to make around £50,000 in year one and close to £80,000 after a few years with an airline.

Captains usually earn at least £100,000, with some long-haul experienced captains making over £200,000 annually.

The average base airline pilot salary in the United Kingdom is around £90,000.

In Europe the average pilot salary is around €125,000. Most experienced long-haul captains in Europe can expect to earn around €250,000 at the latter end of their careers. 

This figure does not include flight pay, which can add £/€10-25,000 to an airline pilot salary.

European flight crew tend to get paid more than those in the UK, with higher average airline pay rates.

Pre-pandemic, many first-officers could expect to become short-haul captains in around 5-6 years, giving them a higher pilot salary than the averages mentioned above. 

Most commercial airlines in the UK offer a pension package of 10-20% of the yearly pilot salary, which can create a vast wealth over a 40+ year career. 

Overall, those flight crew in the UK/Europe enjoy generous benefits and reasonable salaries. 

What do easyJet pilots earn?

easyJet Captains can expect a basic salary of roughly £115,000 per year. Plus a 5%-15% bonus once they have been in the airline for some time.

  • They will see a 5% increase in their yearly salary after 2-4 years of service.
  • They will see a 10% increase in their yearly salary after 5-9 years of service.
  • They will see a 15% increase in their yearly salary after their 10th year of service.

This means that after working for the airline for 10+ years, an easyJet captain will likely earn a basic salary of over £130,000 annually.

They will then also make ~£35 per flight hour. At the typical 700-900 flight hours they will fly per year, this will see a captain potentially earning over £150,000 a year.

This doesn’t include other incentives such as pensions, share schemes, profit sharing etc. 

Considering that you could become an easyJet captain in around 5 years, this is a fantastic salary.

A First officer pilot salary at EasyJet ranges between £40,000-£75,000, with the same length of service bonuses as mentioned above.

A first officer flight pays around £25 per hour.

This means first officers at easyJet can make almost £100k a year!

What do Ryanair pilots earn?

How much do Ryanair pilots make? Let’s explore a Ryanair pilot salary. Lets base this on 750 flying hours per year! 

PSBH (Per Scheduled Block Hour Flown) – From park brake released to park brake reset at destination!

  • Line Training/Cadet Pay: £16,800 Basic + £12 PSBH – £25,800
  • Second Officer (Post Line Training – 500 hours): £32,500 Basic + £16 PSBH – Roughly – £44,500
  • Junior First Officer: (500 Hours – 1500 Hours): £44,500 Basic + £20 PSBH – £59,500
  • First Officer: (1500+ Hours): £55,500 Basic + £10 PSBH – £63,000
  • Captain: £111,000 Basic + £17 PSBH – £123,000
  • Annual Leave Rate: £104 Per Day (29 days a year)
  • Working Day Off: FO £266 CP £525
  • Night Stop: £68

Airline Pilot Salary Asia

How much do flight crew make in Asia?

It’s not unheard of for experienced long-haul contractors to make an airline pilot salary of over $400,000 annually in these destinations.

Additional incentives include huge bonuses, accommodation allowances, and more.

As mentioned, Asia is desperate to attract Western flight crew to their airlines. 

Pre-pandemic, some of the contracts offered eyewatering amounts of money, and as we head into a worldwide shortage of professional flight crew.

I’m sure we will see the return of these contracts.

Airline Pilot Salary Middle East

How much do pilots make in the Middle East at airlines like Emirates?

Experienced long-haul operators in the Middle East can expect an average basic pilot salary of $220,000 annually.

This figure might sound small, but most airlines will also offer highly generous accommodation, education and health allowances, massively taking the total package up.

The Middle East and Asia are desperate for experienced Western flight crew. 

This is due to the excellent safety standards we are lucky enough to enjoy, and the excellent flight training offered in Europe and the USA. 

An airline pilot salary in the Middle East isn’t quite what it used to be.

However, the pilot salary is still very generous and offers incredible pay rates. Many UK pilots are drawn to both the lifestyle and the salaries offered.

First officers’ salaries can be enough to bring home well over £10,000 a month! A staggering amount for many in their twenties.

Best-Paying States for Pilots

Airline Pilot Salary By State. The top paying states in America for pilot pay.

As you can see from the image above, Florida, California and Washington have the highest average pilot salary in America. 

The five states in the image above pay America’s best airline pilot salary.

However, one must also factor in that these states are associated with some of the country’s highest living costs.

How much do airline pilots make per hour? Per Diem Pay

How much do pilots make per hour?

Airlines often provide additional pay called flight pay, or sector pay, as it’s often known. 

This is often broken down into how many hours per month they fly.

Therefore, the total airline pilot salary increases the more they fly.

This flight pay is additional for each flying hour or sector you complete. 

It can be a substantial amount of money and significantly increase take-home pay. 

The hourly pay, or the flight pay as it is known, can be hundreds of dollars/pounds per hour.

It depends on the contract offered by the airline as to how much you’ll earn from flight pay.

Some airlines have a heavily reduced basic wage but a high hourly flight rate.

Others will pay a substantial basic wage but offer a reduced rate for hours flown.

Can Pilots Earn Overtime Pay?

When looking at an airline pilot salary, we must factor in overtime.

A flight crew can earn tens of thousands of pounds or dollars annually when working overtime. 

This can massively boost the annual take-home wage and is how some can make £250,000+ a year in the UK or even $500,000+ a year in America! 

Indeed, this overtime pay can be an hourly rate of thousands of pounds/dollars per hour!

Will Pilot Pay Increase in the Future?

We are seeing a significant increase in airline pilot salaries due to a severe pilot shortage taking America by storm.

Indeed, Delta Airlines flight crew will receive a 34% pay uplift over the next three years. 

As airlines compete to attract new flight crew and retain current ones, which will cause an airline pilot salary to go up. 

This pilot shortage hasn’t taken full effect in the UK/Europe yet, due to newly qualified cadets being able to enter the airlines without first acquiring 1500 hours, as required in America. 

Therefore, the airline pilot salary in the UK and Europe have remained relatively low compared to those in America.

Are Pilots Being Offered Signing Bonuses?

Yes, they can receive a very lucrative signing bonus when they join airlines.

Some larger airlines offer huge signing-on or joining bonuses worth over $50,000!

These sign-on bonuses can be life-changing for some! Especially those with a lower number of flight hours, such as those working for regional airlines. 

How Much Do Pilots Make - The Bottom Line In Aviation

How much do pilots make? Do aviators still earn a good airline pilot salary?

Yes, an airline pilot salary will rival many of the highest-paying salaries worldwide.

However, this is valid due to the incredibly high entry cost to becoming a pilot – usually around £100,000. 

With this, flight crew carry great responsibility and must make more considerable lifestyle compromises than most other industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the Bureau Of Labour Statistics, the average airline pilot salary in America ranges from $202,180 to $208,000.

The average pilot salary in the United Kingdom is £81,666 (Source Glassdoor)

A Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL) and multi-engine endorsement are both required for most airlines.

With this in mind, those in America and Canada must have at least 1500 hours before they can fly for the major airlines.

The FAA and CAA set out strict limits on how often a pilot can fly.

They can work a maximum of 60 duty hours every 7 days.

Most short-haul pilots won't work for more than 12 hours per day.

  • Getting Paid To Travel The World
  • No Real Takehome Work
  • You get more time off of work than most other jobs.
  • No two days are the same.
  • You earn a very good Airline Pilot Salary.

More about the best and worst parts of being a pilot.

You don't need a college degree, though it could be preferable. 

  • Find a flight school
  • Pick the best training route
  • Complete your ATPL ground school exams.
  • Complete your basic flying training
  • Complete your multi-engine and instrument rating
  • Once you have your CPL, get enough hours to work for an airline.

Read our detailed guide about how to become a pilot.

You can achieve your Commercial Pilots License in 18 months.

It takes pilots in America around 4+ years to work for an airline (due to needing 1500 hours) and around 2 years in the UK/Europe.

Read More - How Long Does It Take To Become An Airline Pilot?

An airline pilot’s workweek can be varied. It all depends on how a pilot’s rest period or days off fall.

In the UK and USA/Canada, long-haul and short-haul pilots can fly a maximum of 100 flight hours in 28 days.


Major airlines in the US, such as American Airlines, Delta and Southwest, cannot source pilots with enough experience.

The pilot shortage is due to needing 1500 hours before being eligible to work for an airline in America/Canada.

Read our in-depth blog post all about the global pilot shortage. 

Prepare examples of when you have demonstrated:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Recovering From A Setback
  • Responsibility

Practice how you would take about each event.

Prepare facts and information regarding the airline you are applying for.

Stay up to date with the industry.

How to pass your pilot interview.

Inexperienced pilots can earn as little as $2000-$3000 monthly.

However, once experienced, they can earn a monthly airline pilot salary of over $15,000.

Some will earn well over $25,000 monthly.

easyJet Captains can expect a yearly salary of roughly £115,000 Plus a 5%-15% bonus after serving for a length of time. They will then also make ~£35 per flight hour.

Total = roughly £150,000 annually.

First Officer Salary ranges between £40,000-£75,000 plus £25 an hour flight pay.

Pilot training is very intensive, and there is a huge amount to learn.

You never stop learning as a pilot, and you must work hard to make sure you keep to the same high safety standards throughout your career.

Yes, as well as a basic salary, pilots will also get flight pay or per diem pay, as it’s known in America.

Some pilots will receive a lower salary but a higher hourly flight pay rate.

Whereas others might experience the opposite.

It depends on what you define as rich.

Most airline captains will be in the top 1% of earners in their country, with UK Captains earning up to £200k a year and American Captains potentially earning over $500,000 a year!

Trainee pilots need to hold GCSE passes in Mathematics, English and Science as a minimum.

Most flight schools will require basic GCSEs such as maths, English, and science.

However, having A Levels or equivalent to be selected by certain flight schools/airline programs can prove helpful.

Physics and Maths A Levels will prove helpful but aren’t required.

Inexperienced first officers can expect to make around £50,000 in year one, and close to £80,000 after a few years with an airline. 

Captains can expect at least £100,000, with some long-haul experienced captains making over £200,000 annually.


When answering “how much do pilots make?” we must examine multiple variables.

However, it’s certainly clear that an airline pilot salary is very generous, making them some of the top earners in the world.

Scroll to Top
A pilot riding on a Boeing 747 with ThePilotGuys logo on the side!

Subscribe Today!

You don’t want to miss new blog posts and updates, do you?!

How To Become An Airline Pilot. Airline Pilot Salary. Boeing 737 Cockpit.

Subscribe For Everything Pilot Related

With regular content being posted and updated, you don't want to miss anything!

How To Become A Pilot

Everything You Need To Become An Airline Pilot.

Stop wasting your time with out-of-date and unhelpful information.

How To Become A Pilot - an ebook with the title of 'How To Become An Airline Pilot' with an airplane on top of a world map and clouds present.

Everything You Need To Become An Airline Pilot.

Stop reading out of date and unhelpful information. All of the information you could ever need, in one place.

Written By A Real Pilot!