75k
Avg US Salary
9.4%
Growth
3.8/5
Rating
37k
Employment
Cert. Associates
Education

How much does a Commercial Pilot make in the United States?

Average Commercial Pilot Yearly Salary in the United States

Commercial Pilots earn a median salary of $75,620 per year. Salaries typically start from $35,250 and go up to $141,210.

These numbers may vary depending on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location.

Learn more about the Commercial Pilot job market for salaries of real jobs in your area.

A senior pilot is referred to as the captain, while the co-pilot is called the first officer. In general, captains are paid substantially more than first officers, and salaries tend to rise as pilots gain experience.

Commercial pilot salaries naturally vary according the type of aircraft that they’re flying. The median annual salary for the pilot of a large jet is ~$120,000. For a small jet, the median annual salary is ~$104,000. Non-jet aircraft pilots make significantly less. The pilot of a large non-jet aircraft earns a median annual salary of ~$79,000. For a small non-jet, the median annual salary is ~$85,000. Pilots undergo different training for each type of aircraft that they’re certified to fly, so it’s worth considering these facts before beginning your education.

According to FltOps, average entry-level salaries for first officers can range from a low of ~$22,000 at U.S. Airways to a high of ~$49,000 at Southwest. Continental and United also pay between $26,000 and $28,000, while Delta pays an average starting salary of ~$40,000. With five years of experience, average first officer salaries range from a low of ~$60,000 at AirTran to a high of $108,000 at Southwest.

Captains (or senior pilots), earn considerably more than first officers. According to the FltOps salary survey, the average maximum pay for a senior pilot across the airline industry was ~$165,000. JetBlue, at ~$123,000, has the lowest maximum captain's salary. Southwest has a maximum captain salary of ~$180,000. Among major carriers, U.S. Airways reported a maximum captain salary of ~$135,000, Delta ~$155,000, and United ~$156,000. Captain salaries at Continental Airlines were reported as ~$166,000, while those at American earned ~$167,000.

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

Interested in becoming a commercial pilot? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good commercial pilot? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A certificate or associates degree is required to be a Commercial Pilot.

  3. Get Hired

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    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.

Commercial Pilot Earnings by Seniority

Top End Commercial Pilot Earnings

The highest earning Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

N/A an hour $141,210
per year
Senior Commercial Pilot Earnings

Senior Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

N/A an hour $104,160
per year
Experienced Commercial Pilot Earnings

Experienced Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

N/A an hour $75,620
per year
Junior Commercial Pilot Earnings

Junior Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

N/A an hour $52,450
per year
Starting Commercial Pilot Earnings

Starting Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

N/A an hour $35,250
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Commercial Pilot salary comparison

Commercial Pilots earn more than 96% percent of Services careers. Commercial Pilot salaries are in the top 91% of all careers in the United States.

Commercial Pilot Salary $75k
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Hazardous Materials Removal Worker Salary $38k
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Historical salary for Commercial Pilots in the United States

Commercial Pilot salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Jersey - $110,160 # 1
Commercial Pilot Salary in Connecticut - $104,730 # 2
Commercial Pilot Salary in Illinois - $93,900 # 3
Commercial Pilot Salary in Pennsylvania - $86,200 # 4
Commercial Pilot Salary in Texas - $85,050 # 5
Commercial Pilot Salary in New York - $84,020 # 6
Commercial Pilot Salary in California - $86,760 # 7
Commercial Pilot Salary in Georgia - $76,830 # 8
Commercial Pilot Salary in Virginia - $89,730 # 9
Commercial Pilot Salary in Colorado - $77,000 # 10
Commercial Pilot Salary in Delaware - $95,690 # 11
Commercial Pilot Salary in Washington - $81,070 # 12
Commercial Pilot Salary in Alabama - $91,970 # 13
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Mexico - $85,020 # 14
Commercial Pilot Salary in Arkansas - $98,180 # 15
Commercial Pilot Salary in Mississippi - $84,950 # 16
Commercial Pilot Salary in Hawaii - $87,610 # 17
Commercial Pilot Salary in South Carolina - $85,060 # 18
Commercial Pilot Salary in Minnesota - $67,510 # 19
Commercial Pilot Salary in Florida - $72,000 # 20
Commercial Pilot Salary in Maryland - $72,970 # 21
Commercial Pilot Salary in North Carolina - $74,800 # 22
Commercial Pilot Salary in West Virginia - $54,390 # 23
Commercial Pilot Salary in Iowa - $76,820 # 24
Commercial Pilot Salary in Louisiana - $76,050 # 25
Commercial Pilot Salary in Montana - $67,030 # 26
Commercial Pilot Salary in Nevada - $70,380 # 27
Commercial Pilot Salary in Oklahoma - $72,290 # 28
Commercial Pilot Salary in Alaska - $71,820 # 29
Commercial Pilot Salary in Kansas - $71,160 # 30
Commercial Pilot Salary in Michigan - $71,040 # 31
Commercial Pilot Salary in Tennessee - $75,240 # 32
Commercial Pilot Salary in Idaho - $60,120 # 33
Commercial Pilot Salary in Wyoming - $71,120 # 34
Commercial Pilot Salary in Wisconsin - $67,110 # 35
Commercial Pilot Salary in Missouri - $66,820 # 36
Commercial Pilot Salary in Massachusetts - $56,160 # 37
Commercial Pilot Salary in Arizona - $62,350 # 38
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Hampshire - $68,260 # 39
Commercial Pilot Salary in Nebraska - $64,460 # 40
Commercial Pilot Salary in Kentucky - $72,610 # 41
Commercial Pilot Salary in Indiana - $64,570 # 42
Commercial Pilot Salary in South Dakota - $60,210 # 43
Commercial Pilot Salary in Oregon - $51,190 # 44
Commercial Pilot Salary in Ohio - $47,880 # 45
Commercial Pilot Salary in Maine - $46,660 # 46
Commercial Pilot Salary in North Dakota - $57,030 # 47
Commercial Pilot Salary in Vermont - $55,300 # 48
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

Interested in becoming a commercial pilot? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good commercial pilot? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A certificate or associates degree is required to be a Commercial Pilot.

  3. Get Hired

      Loading jobs...

    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.