The cost of training and employment of the pilot
In international practice, after at least 2 years of training, you take the place of the co-pilot. After 8-12 years, you will have the opportunity to become a captain. Accordingly, all this time you must prove your fitness to fly by passing exam tests.
Many future pilots have to take out loans for training since this is one of the professions that does not pay its interns, but the opposite is true. For example, in the German airline Lufthansa, the cost of training varies from 60,000 to 100,000 euros, gradually increasing during training.
The cost of training in the United States is much lower than in Germany, and nevertheless, the first salaries, as a rule, go towards paying off loans.
Pilot training for a commercial aircraft is possible in two ways:
- Airline training
The advantage of this training is that after the training program there is a high probability of finding a permanent job.
The requirements for candidates are the highest, in addition to physical data, you must have excellent knowledge in such disciplines as mathematics and physics, be stress-resistant, attentive, and well-oriented in space.
- Training in private flight schools
It is an alternative to the first method. The training program is more flexible in time, but it has one drawback related to employment since the first in line to work are pilots who were trained directly at the airline.
This gross salary summary was first published on handelszeitung.ch, and the current version shows the average monthly pilot salaries of 11 major foreign airlines.
|Airline||Average co-pilot salary||Captain’s starting salary||Captain’s Final Salary|
|Air France KLM (France)||4 400 €||12 200 €||21 000 €|
|Lufthansa (Germany)||5,700 €||9,700 €||20,600 €|
|Tui Fly (Germany)||5 700 €||9 700 €||18 700 €|
|British Airways (UK)||5,500 €||7,000 €||16,500 €|
|Swiss (Switzerland)||6,700 €||11,300 €||15,900 €|
|Easyjet Schweiz (Switzerland)||4,700 €||10,500 €||12,200 €|
|Easyjet Spanien (Spain)||4 400 €||10 300 €||12 000 €|
|SAS (Scandinavia)||3 400 €||5 600 €||11 000 €|
|Emirates (UAE)||6 300 €||8 900 €||8 900 €|
|Etihad (United Arab Emirates)||5 600 €||7 700 €||8 600 €|
|Ryanair (Ireland)||2,300 €||4,800 €||7,700 €|
It is necessary to take into account the fact that all salaries presented are base salaries that include taxes, except for Emirates and Etihad due to the absence of personal income tax in the United Arab Emirates.
How is the pilot’s salary calculated?
All the numbers listed are approximate and depend on many factors that are influenced by annual changes. The exact amount depends on the carrier company where the pilot works, on the flight route, type of aircraft, as well as on experience, position and education received.
In 2019, a US-led pilot income survey was conducted with hundreds of employees at various levels. The study found that the average American pilot earns $ 174,870 a year. However, more than half of the respondents earn much less. Usually, the more experience in a particular company, the greater the rate. It is also worth adding that a pilot’s salary directly depends on the number of flight hours he spent in the sky.
The number of hours a pilot can spend in the sky is regulated by law. For example, in Russia, an aircraft commander can fly up to 90 hours per month (1080 hours per year), in the United States – up to 1000 hours per year. An office worker works twice as long. But the difference is understandable: the pilot must recover from the flight for the next flight to be safe.
It is interesting to note that many pilots, especially those valuable to the airline, receive many bonuses for their work, from reimbursement of housing costs to free education. In addition, pilots, like office employees, are provided with medical insurance, pension, free meals, etc. If the pilot works on weekends, some airlines pay extra from 100 to 300% of the salary.
A particularly interesting bonus of being a pilot is the right to travel freely around the world. This also applies to family members. Another bonus is more free time: pilots can get additional vacation days, as well as retire much earlier: men after 25 years of experience, women after 20.