Airline Pilot Salary Overview: What You Need to Know


Becoming an airline pilot is a dream come true for many people, but what about the salary? In this article, we will explore the world of airline pilot salaries and provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions.

Factors Affecting Airline Pilot Salary

There are several factors that affect an airline pilot’s salary. These include:

  1. Experience: The longer a pilot has been working, the more they will earn. Generally, new pilots start at around $30,000 per year, while experienced pilots can earn over $200,000 annually.
  2. Airline: Different airlines have different salary ranges. For example, Delta Airlines pays its pilots an average of $135,000 per year, while United Airlines pays its pilots an average of $140,000 per year.
  3. Flight Type: The type of flight also affects the pilot’s salary. For instance, long-haul flights pay more than short-haul flights.
  4. Seniority: Pilots with more seniority, i.e., those who have been with the airline for longer periods, earn more than newer pilots.
  5. Flight Hours: The number of flight hours also affects a pilot’s salary. Pilots who fly more hours earn more money.

Comparison to Other Careers

To give you an idea of how much airline pilots are paid, let’s compare their salaries to other careers. For instance, the average salary for a doctor in the United States is $357,000 per year, while the average salary for a lawyer is $129,486 per year.

As you can see, airline pilots earn more than lawyers and doctors on average, but their salaries are lower than those of surgeons and anesthesiologists who earn an average of $530,000 and $467,000 per year respectively.


  1. Do airline pilots get paid overtime?

Yes, airline pilots do get paid overtime for any flight that exceeds their scheduled hours.

  1. How much do airline pilots pay in taxes?

Airline pilots pay a significant portion of their salaries in taxes. The exact percentage varies depending on the country and tax laws.

  1. Do airline pilots have any benefits?

Yes, airline pilots are entitled to several benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.


In conclusion, becoming an airline pilot can be a lucrative career, especially for those with experience and seniority. While the salary ranges vary depending on the factors mentioned above, airline pilots earn more than many other careers. However, it’s important to note that taxes and other deductions can significantly reduce their take-home pay.

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