The Average Salary of Airplane Pilots

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The average annual salary for commercial airline pilots was $131,760 as of May 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The dominant employment sector, scheduled air transportation, was also the highest-paying sector at $132,850 per year.

Pilot Pay Basics

The median income for pilots was $118,140 per year as of May 2014 BLS data. Twenty-five percent of pilots earned salaries at or above $160,520 per year. At the low end, 25 percent earned $88,830 per year or less, and 10 percent earned $64,780 a year or less.

Geographical Influence

Commercial pilot pay is influenced somewhat by location. May 2014 BLS data showed that Florida was the top-paying state for pilots at $158,220 per year. Georgia had the second-highest average pay among states at $145,060 annually. Other top-paying states for pilots included:

  • Colorado at $139,030
  • Alaska at $135,850
  • California at $134,010

2016 Salary Information for Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline and commercial pilots earned a median annual salary of $111,270 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, airline and commercial pilots earned a 25th percentile salary of $77,450, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $166,140, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 124,800 people were employed in the U.S. as airline and commercial pilots.


About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.