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.
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.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014: Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Airline and Commercial Pilots
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Airline and Commercial Pilots
- Career Trend: Airline and Commercial Pilots
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.