Does the Airline Pilot Career Pay Well?
If you happen to like being on an aircraft and travel across the globe with a dream to fly, then a pilot career may just be cut out for you. As a pilot, you would be responsible for flying passengers and cargo around the world across tons of destinations. Ideally, a pilot career would necessitate that you often work on weekends and even holidays. Regardless of the season or day of the week, passengers and cargo are constantly on the move. Occasionally, pilots on shorter routes would make it be home almost every other day. Similarly, special operation pilots, for instance, medical emergency responders, crop spraying, flight testing, and flight training are more likely to spend more time closer to home than their commercial long-haul counterparts.
Duties and Responsibilities
As a pilot, your duties and responsibilities would primarily entail the checking of instruments, fuel, and engines before any flight to ensure that everything performs at its best. This procedure is designed to ensure that all safety systems are working properly. Your entry in a pilot career would also entrust you with the role of drawing up routes which are based on existing weather conditions and any other information provided by ground units’ traffic controllers. Importantly, the pilot is supposed to follow all the approach and landing instructions as and when directed by the controllers. Further, a pilot career also places one in a position of communication with other cabin crew members and passengers and updating them on the journey’s progress. On small flights, a pilot may be responsible for loading and offloading any cargo which may be transported.
Pilot Career Profile
A pilot career calls for individuals with a myriad of skills and abilities. First and foremost, a pilot is supposed to have great teamwork skills to enable them to work well with their co-pilots and other flight operators. Additionally, a pilot should have high levels of concentration to eliminate the chances of distractions which may result in fatal repercussions. Moreover, a pilot should be someone who can remain calm even when faced with bizarre scenarios like harsh weather conditions.
Notably, the survival of all persons on board an aircraft is dependent on the actions of the pilot hence the need for anyone eying a pilot career to have the ability to operate thoroughly under stressful conditions. Good judgement is also an important skill to possess. Further, hand to eye coordination is imperative for a successful pilot career. Arithmetic ability is also essential as it helps in among others calculate the amount of fuel needed for the journey, taking off and landing optimum weight, runway distances and much more.
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Pilot Career Income
Like any career, remuneration is a key factor to consider amongst many people in their interest in pursuing a pilot career. Most airlines give a starting salary with a majority basing them as an hourly calculation. Ideally, most airlines average hourly range from $73.47 for starting pilots with these amounts shooting to $230 over some time. However, pilots are tasked with ground work duties too; hence the pay is inclusive of their ground work hours logged while attending to ground duties. However, pilots’ hourly wage is not the only compensation for pilots.
Pilots receive per diems when they are working away from home. This type of allowance is supposed to cover their meals and other minor incidentals that they may expense. Additionally, their employers are responsible for accommodating them while they are way from their homes.
On the other hand, the amount of pay is largely dependent on the type of aircraft that pilots fly. As expected, the larger and more complicated an aircraft is, the more the salary is. Again, the pay increases with the amount of experience that the pilot has. Captains are paid more as compared to their copilots or first officers. The pilot career salaries raises are unique to different airlines. However, almost all of them would offer an annual increase. It has been documented that pilots receive their biggest annual raise within the first five years of their pilot career.
Another key determinant of the amount of pay received by a pilot would also be the consideration of the status and regional reach of the airline. For instance, international airlines are more poised to pay higher than their regional airlines. However, with all these variables in place, an average pilot salary can be anywhere from $28,000 each year to a couple of hundred thousand for the same period. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics documents a median package for pilots at $114,200. Similarly, payscale.com has the median at $100,191 with a value range from $37,774 to $273,010 per year.
In China, for example, the pilot career is in steady high demand which has seen recruiters in the field offer very high salaries for pilots. Specifically, some airlines have resulted in rewarding as high as $300,000 for their pilots per year. This demand for pilots has been necessitated by the increasingly growing presence of low-cost carriers that have resulted in responding to handle the growing number of air travelers.
All in all, individuals enthusiastic about the pilot career who are also dedicated could potentially earn very attractive benefits within a decade of hard work and determination.