Average Airline Pilot Salary in United States for 2023

In this article, we will look at the average Airline Pilot salary for 2023 in United States and how that compares to other countries and professions. We'll also look at interesting salary data points like median salary, 25th and 75th percentile salaries, salary amounts based on experience, bonus ranges and more!

The data in this article has been compiled using official government salary data, salary surveys, and other sources such as job postings which contain salary information.

All salary information is in the local currency, which is the United States dollar. To keep things simple, we are using the USD currency code instead of the currency symbol $.

How Much Does an Airline Pilot Make in United States?

An Airline Pilot working in United States will typically earn around 161,300 USD per year, and this can range from the lowest average salary of about 83,400 USD to the highest average salary of 250,600 USD.

Average Annual Salary
161,300 USD
Average Monthly Salary
13,441 USD

Lowest Annual Salary
83,400 USD
Lowest Monthly Salary
6,950 USD

Highest Annual Salary
250,600 USD
Highest Monthly Salary
20,883 USD

These are average salaries for an Airline Pilot in United States and include benefits such as housing and transport. It's also possible for an Airline Pilot to earn more or less than the average salaries shown above.

Airline Pilot salaries will vary a lot based on your experience, location, skills, and gender. Keep reading below to research more data on each of these areas.

Distribution of Airline Pilot Salaries in United States

So we've looked at the average salaries an Airline Pilot will earn in United States. The next interesting data point is the distribution of salaries.

Salary ranges

We already know that an Airline Pilot can earn between 83,400 USD and 250,600 USD on average in United States. This is known as the range in statistics.

The difference between the maximum and minimum values is a good indicator of variability in salaries, and can be used by employers to figure out how much they can expect to pay, and for employees to know how much they can earn.

Median salary

The median salary for an Airline Pilot in United States is 158,700 USD. This is the middle value in the distribution of salaries.

What this means is that approximately 50% of the population earn less than 158,700 USD, and 50% of the population earn more than 158,700 USD.

If you are earning more than the median salary, that's a good indicator that you are being paid well.

If you're not earning more than the median salary, your objective should be to increase your earnings to be at least as high as the median salary (which you can do by asking for a pay rise, looking for a better paying job, etc).

Percentiles

Percentiles are similar to the median salary, but instead of looking at the middle value, they look at the values in the top and bottom half of the distribution.

For the average Airline Pilot salary in United States, 25% of the population are earning less than 109,700 USD while 75% of the population earn more than 109,700 USD.

75% of the population earn less than 200,600 USD, and 25% of the population earn more than 200,600 USD.

Like the median salary, the 25th and 75th percentile salaries can be used to determine which quartile you fall into so that you know whether you are being paid well enough compared to others in your profession and location.

The difference between a median and an average salary

The median and average salary are both indicators you can use to see if you are being paid fairly based on the overall population.

  • If your salary is higher than the average and the median salary, you are earning well compared to others.
  • If your salary is lower than the average and the median salary, it could indicate you are not being paid well enough.
  • If you are somewhere in between then it's tricky to determine if you are being paid well enough and you might need to research more closely.

Airline Pilot Salary by Experience Level in United States

The most important factor in determining your salary after the specific profession is the number of years experience you have. It stands to reason that more years of experience will result in a higher wage.

We have researched the average airline pilot salary based on years of experience to give you an idea of how the average changes once you've worked for a certain amount of time.

  • 0 - 2 Years Experience. An Airline Pilot in United States that has less than two years of experience can expect to earn somewhere in the region of 92,100 USD.
  • 2 - 5 Years Experience. With two to five years of experience the average Airline Pilot salary would increase to 121,800 USD.
  • 5 - 10 Years Experience. From five to ten years of experience as an Airline Pilot, the average salary would be 169,700 USD.
  • 10 - 15 Years Experience. Once you have more than ten years of experience the average salary reaches around 205,700 USD.
  • 15 - 20 Years Experience. An Airline Pilot with 15 to 20 years of experience can earn an average of 222,300 USD.
  • 20+ Years Experience. For an Airline Pilot with more than 20 years, the expected average salary increases to 238,200 USD.

Average Salary by Experience Chart

0-2 Years
92,100 USD
2-5 Years +31%
121,800 USD
5-10 Years +40%
169,700 USD
10-15 Years +20%
205,700 USD
15-20 Years +9%
222,300 USD
20+ Years +8%
238,200 USD

Airline Pilot Salary by Education Level in United States

As well as experience in a job, your education plays a big role in how much you can earn. A lot of higher paying positions require a high level of education, but how much can a degree increase your salary?

In our research we have compared the salaries of employees in the same job and career level with different levels of education to see how much more you can earn at each education level.

The salary you can earn based on your education is very specific to both your location and the career path you choose.

In our research, we looked at the average salary for an Airline Pilot in United States based on the education level of the employees in order to find out whether a better education level would increase your salary.

  • Certificate or Diploma. An Airline Pilot in United States with a certificate or diploma education can earn an average salary of 107,300 USD.

  • Bachelor's Degree. An Airline Pilot in United States with a bachelor's degree education can earn an average salary of 160,700 USD.

  • Master's Degree. An Airline Pilot in United States with a master's degree education can earn an average salary of 235,300 USD.

Average Salary by Education Chart

Certificate or Diploma
107,300 USD
Bachelor's Degree +50%
160,700 USD
Master's Degree +48%
235,300 USD

How Much is a Master's Degree or MBA Program?

The approximate cost of a master's degree or post-graduate program like an MBA in United States is around 39,500 to 118,000 USD and takes two years to complete.

As you can see above, there are financial benefits from reaching master's degree level, but don't expect to see much of a salary increase until you have completed the degree.

It's common for people to pursue an MBA or other post-graduate program in order to switch to a a job that pays more. On average, you can expect to earn around 10% more when switching to a new company.

Whether you decide to pursue a master's degree depends on many factors. If you are able to afford it, the numbers suggest that the return on investment is worth it and you could recover the costs in a few years from the salary increase you would receive.

Airline Pilot Salary Compared by Gender

In the modern age, we know that there should never be a pay gap between men and women. Unfortunately, in many professions, there is still a significant difference between the salaries earned by men when compared to the salary of women in the same job.

In United States, a male airline pilot will earn an average of 166,600 USD, while a female airline pilot will earn around 158,900 USD.

This means that a male airline pilot earns approximately 5% more than a female airline pilot for performing the same job.

Average Salary by Gender Chart in United States

Male
166,600 USD
Female -5%
158,900 USD

Airline Pilot Average Pay Raise in United States

In many countries, an annual pay raise is often given to employees to reward their service with a salary increase.

From our research, we can see that the average pay raise for an Airline Pilot in United States is around 12% every 17 months.

The national average pay raise across all professions and industries in United States is around 8% every 16 months.

In this case, we can see that the number of months between the average pay raise is higher than the typical 12 months.

To make the data more meaningful, we can calculate what the approximate annual pay raise would be using a simple formula:

Annual Increase = ( Increase Rate ÷ Months ) × 12

So for this example, it would be:

Annual Increase = ( 12 ÷ 17 ) × 12  = 8%

What this means is that an Airline Pilot in United States can expect to receive an average pay raise of around 8% every 12 months.

Annual Pay Raise by Industry in United States for 2023

In the chart below, you can see the average annual pay raise percentages for each of the major industries in United States.

You will see that companies in bigger and more lucrative industries tend to have the higher annual pay raises.

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

Airline Pilot Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

Another part of your overall compensation in a job is how much bonus you receive. Some job roles will be more likely to pay a bonus than others and also more likely to have higher bonus rates.

Generally speaking, jobs that are more involved with direct revenue generation will receive higher bonuses based on the performance towards revenue goals.

An Airline Pilot is a high bonus based job, with 82% of employees reporting at least one bonus in the last 12 months.

18% reported that they had not received any bonuses in the previous 12 months.

For the employees that did receive a bonus in the previous 12 months, the reported bonuses ranged from 6% to 8%.

Received Bonus
82%
No Bonus
18%

What are the Types of Bonus?

There are a number of difference types of bonus you can receive in a job. Including:

  • Individual performance bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to an individual employee for general performance in the job. It's the most common type of bonus.
  • Company performance bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to a company employees to share profit with the staff.
  • Goal based bonus - This is a bonus that is awarded to an individual employee (or a team) for achieving specific goals, objectives, or milestones.
  • Holiday bonus - This type of bonus is usually paid around the holidays, often the end of the year, and is a token of appreciation for the hard work throughout the year.

Government vs Private Sector Salaries

Another commonly asked question is whether you get paid a higher salary working in the public (government) sector or the private sector.

Public sector employees in United States earn approximately 6% more than private sector employees in the same role.

Public Sector
98,800 USD
Private Sector -6%
93,100 USD

Salaries for Jobs Similar to an Airline Pilot

In the table below, we have salary information for jobs that are similar to an Airline Pilot in United States.

Job Title Category Salary
Aeronautical Engineer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 100,700 USD
Aerospace Engineer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 127,600 USD
Aerospace Technician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 93,800 USD
Air Crew Member Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 58,700 USD
Air Crew Officer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 64,400 USD
Air Traffic Assistant Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 55,100 USD
Air Traffic Controller Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 102,700 USD
Aircraft Assembler Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 51,300 USD
Aircraft Body Repairer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 46,700 USD
Aircraft Captain Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 153,800 USD
Aircraft Electrician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 54,100 USD
Aircraft Electronics Techician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 51,300 USD
Aircraft Engineer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 100,700 USD
Aircraft Fueler Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 45,000 USD
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 98,100 USD
Aircraft Maintenance Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 151,800 USD
Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 100,700 USD
Aircraft Maintenance Technician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 47,400 USD
Aircraft Mechanic Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 52,000 USD
Aircraft Pilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 172,200 USD
Aircraft Pneudraulics Repairer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 49,400 USD
Aircraft Quality Assurance Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 132,000 USD
Aircraft Rigging Assembler Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 52,300 USD
Aircraft Service Technician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 45,600 USD
Airfield Management Specialist Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 148,300 USD
Airfield Operations Specialist Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 114,900 USD
Airline Cabin Crew Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 103,600 USD
Airline Copilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 102,700 USD
Airlines Sales Director Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 192,600 USD
Airlines Sales Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 168,700 USD
Airlines Structural Assembler Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 44,300 USD
Airport Services Agent Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 65,900 USD
Airport Services Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 195,200 USD
Airport Services Supervisor Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 111,700 USD
Assistant Aircraft Mechanic Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 40,200 USD
Aviation Analyst Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 128,200 USD
Aviation Inspector Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 112,700 USD
Aviation Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 204,900 USD
Aviation Operations Controller Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 108,200 USD
Aviation Resources Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 177,100 USD
Aviation Safety Assistant Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 56,100 USD
Aviation Safety Manager Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 189,800 USD
Aviation Safety Officer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 105,200 USD
Aviation Technician Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 49,400 USD
Cargo and Freight Agent Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 40,300 USD
Cargo Executive Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 93,200 USD
Chief Pilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 172,300 USD
First Officer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 68,800 USD
Fleet Controller Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 153,800 USD
Fleet Management Officer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 66,900 USD
Flight Attendant Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 69,400 USD
Flight Planner Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 91,500 USD
Flight Scheduler Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 78,200 USD
Flight Simulation Engineer Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 87,400 USD
Freight and Cargo Inspector Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 69,700 USD
Helicopter Pilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 107,300 USD
Loading Bridge Operator Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 41,400 USD
Pilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 160,600 USD
Ramp Agent Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 45,600 USD
Reservations Sales Agent Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 50,600 USD
Safety and Quality Specialist Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 100,700 USD
Test Pilot Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense 119,700 USD

Salary Comparison by City

If you want to compare salaries with different cities in United States, you can use the links below to explore the data for each specific city we have researched.

City Average Salary
Atlanta 150,100 USD
Austin 176,300 USD
Baltimore 166,600 USD
Boston 175,100 USD
Bristol 139,100 USD
Chicago 187,500 USD
Cincinnati 148,300 USD
Cleveland 142,100 USD
Dallas 183,600 USD
Denver 182,400 USD
Detroit 175,200 USD
Honolulu 138,700 USD
Houston 183,600 USD
Indianapolis 167,100 USD
Iowa City 130,400 USD
Jacksonville 171,300 USD
Kansas City 163,500 USD
Kent 138,700 USD
Las Vegas 165,900 USD
Long Beach 152,700 USD
Los Angeles 190,400 USD
Memphis 171,300 USD
Miami 156,200 USD
Minneapolis 156,200 USD
New Orleans 146,900 USD
New York 199,700 USD
Oakland 147,900 USD
Oklahoma City 163,500 USD
Orlando 146,700 USD
Philadelphia 187,500 USD
Phoenix 193,400 USD
Sacramento 163,500 USD
San Antonio 191,100 USD
San Diego 193,200 USD
San Francisco 176,300 USD
San Jose 187,500 USD
Seattle 169,700 USD
Tampa 142,300 USD
Vancouver 137,100 USD
Washington D.C. 168,700 USD

Salary Comparison by State

The table below includes links to the average salary for each state in United States.

City Average Salary
Alabama 175,100 USD
Alaska 151,800 USD
Arizona 172,200 USD
Arkansas 157,600 USD
California 190,400 USD
Colorado 166,600 USD
Connecticut 156,200 USD
Delaware 156,200 USD
District of Columbia 150,100 USD
Florida 180,500 USD
Georgia 187,500 USD
Hawaii 156,200 USD
Idaho 152,900 USD
Illinois 176,300 USD
Indiana 177,200 USD
Iowa 160,600 USD
Kansas 157,600 USD
Kentucky 172,300 USD
Louisiana 166,600 USD
Maine 150,100 USD
Maryland 182,400 USD
Massachusetts 175,200 USD
Michigan 175,100 USD
Minnesota 161,300 USD
Mississippi 163,500 USD
Missouri 171,300 USD
Montana 147,900 USD
Nebraska 161,300 USD
Nevada 160,600 USD
New Hampshire 150,100 USD
New Jersey 187,500 USD
New Mexico 160,600 USD
New York 183,900 USD
North Carolina 171,300 USD
North Dakota 151,800 USD
Ohio 180,500 USD
Oklahoma 158,700 USD
Oregon 171,300 USD
Pennsylvania 183,600 USD
Rhode Island 147,900 USD
South Carolina 175,200 USD
South Dakota 153,800 USD
Tennessee 172,300 USD
Texas 177,100 USD
Utah 161,300 USD
Vermont 147,900 USD
Virginia 172,300 USD
Washington 184,700 USD
West Virginia 156,200 USD
Wisconsin 166,600 USD
Wyoming 153,800 USD

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