It is common knowledge that being an airline pilot is a good career — with good pay, benefits, flexibility and time off for family and recreation. But exactly how much do pilots really make in salary?
Keeping in mind that a beginning pilot makes a modest salary, but a senior captain with 30-35 years with a major airline makes a very significant salary — I have averaged the salaries for pilots of major U.S. airlines. Over your entire career of 35 years, flying for a major U.S. airline such as American Airlines or United Airlines, you will make an average of USD $249,000 to $297,000 per year. The most highly paid pilots are those working for the world-wide cargo company, UPS. These pilots, averaging their pay over a 35 year career, make approximately $408,000 per year.
These figures are courtesy of Kim Darby, U.S. airline consultant.