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.
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.
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.
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 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
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||
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
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.
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%.
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.
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.
|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.
|Iowa City||130,400 USD|
|Kansas City||163,500 USD|
|Las Vegas||165,900 USD|
|Long Beach||152,700 USD|
|Los Angeles||190,400 USD|
|New Orleans||146,900 USD|
|New York||199,700 USD|
|Oklahoma City||163,500 USD|
|San Antonio||191,100 USD|
|San Diego||193,200 USD|
|San Francisco||176,300 USD|
|San Jose||187,500 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.
|District of Columbia||150,100 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|
|Rhode Island||147,900 USD|
|South Carolina||175,200 USD|
|South Dakota||153,800 USD|
|West Virginia||156,200 USD|
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"Average Airline Pilot Salary in United States for 2023". World Salaries. Accessed on February 5, 2023. https://worldsalaries.com/average-airline-pilot-salary-in-united-states/.
"Average Airline Pilot Salary in United States for 2023". World Salaries, https://worldsalaries.com/average-airline-pilot-salary-in-united-states/. Accessed 5 February, 2023
Average Airline Pilot Salary in United States for 2023. World Salaries. Retrieved from https://worldsalaries.com/average-airline-pilot-salary-in-united-states/.