Airline Pilot Salary

Listed by State

We all wanted to be pilots when we were younger. My grandfather flew planes in WWII, and ever since I was able to sit in a car seat, I was taken up into one of his airplanes. The joy and the freedom that comes with flying can sometimes be unmatched. So if you’re contemplating the profession of airline pilot, keep reading and you’ll find useful information like an airline pilot’s salary, their job description, and what it takes to actually become an airline pilot.


Pilots fly all types of aircraft. Some are considered commercial pilots, others are known for flying the passenger jets: the airline pilot. For this article we won’t be discussing the commercial pilots because they are in a different category. Their salary is lower, they fly smaller planes specifically designed to carry cargo, and it doesn’t take as much training as an airline pilot.

The airline pilot is responsible for many things:

  • Passengers
  • Cargo
  • Crew
  • The airplane itself

Before every flight, the pilot and the first officer (copilot) check all of the plane’s instruments to see if they’re in working order. Then they check weather and flight conditions in their flight plans and get them approved through the air traffic controllers. As the pilot is doing this, the copilot is charting the flight time. This is followed by the request to taxi (move down the runway) the airplane. After receiving clearance for takeoff, the plane moves faster until liftoff.

Once airborne, the plane’s computer system pretty much flies the plane itself while the captain and the copilot consistently report back to air-route control stations for any issues that may arise.


If you’re intrigued by the idea of becoming an airline pilot, know that 4/5 pilots work for the major airlines. The educational requirements for an airline pilot consist of a college degree, specifically engineering. This would put you a step closer than other applicants. You must also obtain your commercial pilot’s license, and the best route would be to enter an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved training program. This way you will be required to have less flying hours than those who don’t attend one of these courses. Some other requirements include:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Pass extensive physical testing
  • Good hearing
  • 20/20 Correctible vision
  • Pass the FAA written exam
  • Pass the flying tests
  • Some need instrument flying experience

The reason for the engineering degree is that most pilots begin their career as flight engineers, stationed in the cockpit to observe and make certain the instruments are in flying shape. This could be for the first 5 years of your employment. The next step is to become the first officer (copilot). And the best way to move quicker through the ranks is through smaller airline companies.


On average, the airline pilot makes $117,060 per year in the U.S. Following I have added a list of airline pilot salaries by state for your convenience. If you find anything helpful, feel free to leave a comment below. If you’re interested in knowing salaries for other positions, check out a few of these career paths:

1.    List of General Manager Salaries

2.    List of Paramedic Salaries

3.    List of Advertising Manager Salaries

4.    List of CEO Salaries

5.    List of Train Engineer Salaries

6.    List of Air Traffic Controller Salaries

7.    List of Taxi Salaries

8.    List of Public Relations Manager Salaries

9.    List of IT Manager Salaries

You’ll be sure to find great information for each of these professions listed. Now, let’s get to the airline pilot salary information. This data is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and calculated by multiplying the hourly mean by 2,080 hrs.


            Salary: $87,970


            Salary: $92,390


            Salary: $111,600


            Salary: $95,600


            Salary: $119,270


            Salary: $83,830


            Salary: $93,020


            Salary: $148,940


            Salary: $90,850


            Salary: $81,770


            Salary: $126,320


            Salary: $93,040


            Salary: $131,560


            Salary: $88,390


            Salary: $132,690


            Salary: $129,870


            Salary: $103,970


            Salary: $87,630


            Salary: $79,790


            Salary: $77,860

New Jersey

            Salary: $137,930

New Mexico

            Salary: $73,170

New York

            Salary: $137,250

North Carolina

            Salary: $114,000

North Dakota

            Salary: $66,700


            Salary: $99,810


            Salary: $88,410

Puerto Rico

            Salary: $65,010

South Carolina

            Salary: $89,480


            Salary: $92,390


            Salary: $121,250


            Salary: $80,810


            Salary: $97,670


            Salary: $115,780


If you continue to be fascinated by this career choice, then I’d say, “Go for it”. Your future and satisfaction is in your hands. What would you love doing for the rest of your life? Do you enjoy flying? Has the airline pilot salary give you second thoughts? Consider wisely and find that passion that is within you. And if all else fails, get back up and try something else. Good luck to you!