QUOTE(SF3aviatrix @ Jul 3 2005, 05:14 AM) [snapback]36065[/snapback]
It is very difficult to 'average' airline pilot pay. Airline pilot pay is something the general public often has a lot of misconceptions about and they think everyone makes a ton of money. The general 'glamorization' of the career leads many people to think that airline pilots make $250-300K+ a year and that they work two weeks or less a month. While there are a select few captains at the major carriers that do, they are by far the minority.
According to the Air Line Pilots Association, their average major* airline member Captain is 50 years old, with 18 years seniority and makes $182,000 a year. A non-major airline Captain is 41 years old with 10 years of seniority and makes $70,000 a year.
The average ALPA First Officer member at a major airline is 43 years old with 10 years of seniority and makes $121,000 per year, while an ALPA non major First Officer is age 35 with 3 years of service and makes $33,000.
*A major airline is a carrier with more than a billion in sales annually. American, Delta, Northwest, United, Continental, US Airways, Southwest, Alaska (and even several 'regional' carriers) are considered majors by that definition. However, not all major carriers pilots are members of the ALPA union, notably AA & SWA who have their own in house unions.
Factors affecting pilot pay:
~ Time with the company (seniority)
~ Aircraft flown
~ Whether they are a Captain or First Officer (seat)
~ The hours in their monthly schedule
~ The payscale at their specific airline
A pilots pay is figured upon the hourly rate for their seat and their equipment based upon the pay grade for their seniority. Each company also has a set 'minimum guarantee' flight hour pay in their pilot contract. This is generally about 75 hours per month but varies slightly by airline. (A few majors guarantee is only 65!) However, in no case will the pilot earn less than the 'minimum guarantee'. They may fly less than 75 actual flight hours, but they will still be paid for the 75 per their guarantee. If they get a flight schedule that is blocked for more flight hours than the minimum guarantee, they will then get paid for the greater amount of time flown instead, plus per diem. Flight crew make from $1-3 per hour in 'per diem' for every hour they are away from their domicile on a trip to cover expenses. This generally adds a few hundred dollars to their pay check.
A general comparison of starting monthly First Officer pay by airline*:
~ AMERICAN - $2,240
~ CONTINENTAL - $2,500
~ DELTA - $3,640
~ FED EX - $3,700
~ NORTHWEST - $2,574
~ SOUTHWEST - $3,744
~ UNITED - $1,950
~ US AIRWAYS - $1,875
~ UPS - $2,187
*all without per diem, based on minimum monthly guarantee, first year pay in smallest fleet type
Here is a Captain pay comparison* at 12 years of seniority, by the largest type in fleet (best paying):
~ American 777 - $12,352
~ Continental 777 - $14,688
~ Delta 777 - $14,040
~ Fed EX widebody $14,874
~ Northwest 747 - $14,586
~ Southwest 737 - $14,196
~ United 747 - $11,570
~ US Airways A330 $11,520
~ UPS (all a/c) $15,390
(*all without per diem, based on minimum monthly guarantee, 12 pay in largest fleet type)
To find out what the specific base pay is for each major, cargo or charter operator by seat & seniority visit-
I was just reading over this forum and I think it is very interesting how much a Captian and a First Officer is paid. Thanks for the information and i sure will take this into consideration. As you might have notice yeah i want to become a Commerical Airline Pilot. If you can could you explain to me what do you got to go through to become a Commerical Airline Pilot. Do I have to do solo and then go to fly a smaller airline before i go into a big field? thanks for you r time