U.S. military helicopter pilots receive a base pay that is based on their rank and time served. They also get additional allowances and incentive payments. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps all have officers who serve as helicopter pilots.
Officer Base Pay
Helicopter pilots in the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force are officers with a rank of at least O-1. At the O-1 pay grade officers earn between $2,934.30 and $3,692.10 per month in base pay for up to four years of service, as of 2015. At the O-8 pay grade pilots earn between $9,946.20 and $14,338.50 per month for up to 30 years of service. Officers must have at least 20 years of service to reach the O-10 pay grade; at this level they earn between $16,072.20 and $19,762.50 for over 38 years of service.
Warrant Officer Base Pay
Helicopter pilots in the Army are warrant officers, whose pay grades range from W-1 to W-5. As of 2015, at the W-1 pay grade, a warrant officer earns between $2,868.30 and $4,956 per month for up to 20 years of service. At the W-4 pay grade, officers earn between $4,043.40 and $7,531.80 per month for up to 30 years of service. Warrant officers must have at least 20 years of service to reach the W-5 pay grade, at which they earn between $7,189.50 and $9,408.30 per month for up to 38 years of service.
Helicopter pilots may also qualify to receive additional allowances for housing and subsistence. Officers receive $253.38 per month as a basic allowance for subsistence. Officers with dependents may receive up to $1100 as a family subsistence supplemental allowance.
The basic allowance for housing varies based on rank and the number of dependents a pilot has. Without dependents, officers receive between $697.50 and $1,563.60 per month based on rank. Officers with dependents receive between $929.70 and $1,923.30. Warrant officers receive between $722.10 and $1,299.90 if they do not have dependents and between $949.50 and $1,420.80 with dependents.
Aviation Incentive Pay
Pilots also receive two types of incentive pay: aviation career incentive pay and hazardous duty incentive pay. Aviation career incentive pay is based on the number of years a pilot has been serving in aviation, including flight training. As of 2015, pilots can receive between $125 and $250 per month.
Helicopter pilots also receive hazardous duty incentive pay, also called flight pay, based on rank. As of 2015, hazardous duty incentive pay ranges between $150 and $250 per month.