MedEvac pilots transport critically injured patients who are located in remote areas or are too far from critical care centers to be transported by traditional ambulance. According to the Association of Air Medical Services, over 400,000 patients are transported by MedEvac helicopter in the United States every year, and a MedEvac helicopter responds to a call approximately every 90 seconds.
MedEvac vs. Average Pay
As of 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that commercial pilots working in the United States earned an average of $80,140 per year across all industries. This includes helicopter pilots flying in many other industries, such as charter tourism, for oil companies and for police departments. As of 2012, the average pay for a commercial pilot employed by ambulatory health care services was $72,510 per year.
Pay by Geographic Area
According to the BLS, commercial pilots can expect different wages depending on the state in which they work. As of 2012, commercial pilots based in Georgia earned the highest average pay, $105,030 per year. Other high-paying states for this occupation included Minnesota at $101,210, Massachusetts at $100,920, New Jersey at $100,350 and Connecticut at $100,340. The lowest average pay rates in the country were reported by commercial pilots based in North Dakota at $53,500, and Maine, at $55,030.
Pay by Helicopter Type
According to a salary survey conducted by Pro Pilot magazine in 2012, MedEvac helicopter pilot salaries can vary considerably depending on the type of helicopter being flown. The lowest average pay, $65,000 per year, was reported by MedEvac helicopter pilots flying helicopters in the MD900 series. The highest average pay among MedEvac helicopter pilots was reported by those flying the AgustaWestland AW139, who averaged $90,000 per year, and those who flew the Sikorsky S76, who earned an average of $93,000 per year.
The job outlook for MedEvac pilots should be good through 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for commercial pilots in all industries to increase at an average rate of 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the 14 percent average rate of job growth expected for the American economy, and much faster than the 6 percent job growth projected for airline pilots. In 2013 alone, website GuidanceAviation.com reports that the nation's largest MedEvac company is set to hire 300 new pilots.