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

Average Commercial Pilot Yearly Salary in the United States

Commercial Pilots earn an average yearly salary of $85,513. Salaries typically start from $38,796 and go up to $146,103.

Average Commercial Pilot Hourly Wage in the United States

Commercial Pilots earn an average hourly wage of $41.11. Hourly wages typically start from $18.65 and go up to $70.24.

Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

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.

Employment Type Mix

91%
Full-Time
9%
Part-Time

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Commercial Pilot demographics

Salary Satisfaction

3.6
SCORE
85
RATINGS
Commercial Pilots average a score of 3.6 out of 5 on our salary satisfaction scale. This places Commercial Pilots in the 92th percentile of salary satisfaction.

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Commercial Pilot satisfaction

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

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Commercial Pilot Earnings by Seniority

Top End Commercial Pilot Earnings

The highest earning Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

$70.24
an hour
$146,102.6
per year
Senior Commercial Pilot Earnings

Senior Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

$50.35
an hour
$104,718.9
per year
Experienced Commercial Pilot Earnings

Experienced Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

$36.57
an hour
$76,064.7
per year
Junior Commercial Pilot Earnings

Junior Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

$26.36
an hour
$54,831.2
per year
Starting Commercial Pilot Earnings

Starting Commercial Pilots in the United States earn:

$18.65
an hour
$38,796.4
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Commercial Pilot Salary Comparison

Commercial Pilots earn more than 91% percent of similar careers in the United States.

Pilot Salary $139k
Air Traffic Controller Salary $109k
Commercial Pilot Salary $85k
Ship Captain Salary $79k
Customs Broker Salary $74k
Transportation Planner Salary $74k
Ship Engineer Salary $74k
Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

Commercial Pilot salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Commercial Pilot Salary in Connecticut $60.88 $126,630 # 1
Commercial Pilot Salary in Illinois $53.62 $111,520 # 2
Commercial Pilot Salary in Georgia $51.97 $108,090 # 3
Commercial Pilot Salary in Maryland $48.20 $100,260 # 4
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Mexico $47.71 $99,230 # 5
Commercial Pilot Salary in Texas $46.84 $97,430 # 6
Commercial Pilot Salary in Rhode Island $46.47 $96,660 # 7
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Jersey $46.26 $96,220 # 8
Commercial Pilot Salary in New York $46.21 $96,120 # 9
Commercial Pilot Salary in Delaware $46.17 $96,030 # 10
Commercial Pilot Salary in Washington $46.07 $95,830 # 11
Commercial Pilot Salary in Virginia $45.73 $95,110 # 12
Commercial Pilot Salary in South Carolina $45.63 $94,910 # 13
Commercial Pilot Salary in California $45.27 $94,170 # 14
Commercial Pilot Salary in Colorado $44.86 $93,300 # 15
Commercial Pilot Salary in Pennsylvania $44.03 $91,580 # 16
Commercial Pilot Salary in Kansas $43.63 $90,750 # 17
Commercial Pilot Salary in Alabama $43.22 $89,890 # 18
Commercial Pilot Salary in Oklahoma $41.99 $87,340 # 19
Commercial Pilot Salary in United States $41.11 $85,513.0 # 20
Commercial Pilot Salary in Missouri $40.97 $85,220 # 21
Commercial Pilot Salary in Ohio $40.65 $84,550 # 22
Commercial Pilot Salary in Michigan $40.01 $83,220 # 23
Commercial Pilot Salary in Mississippi $39.88 $82,940 # 24
Commercial Pilot Salary in Wisconsin $39.49 $82,130 # 25
Commercial Pilot Salary in North Carolina $39.04 $81,200 # 26
Commercial Pilot Salary in Nebraska $38.95 $81,010 # 27
Commercial Pilot Salary in Nevada $38.53 $80,140 # 28
Commercial Pilot Salary in Idaho $37.87 $78,770 # 29
Commercial Pilot Salary in Iowa $37.42 $77,830 # 30
Commercial Pilot Salary in Hawaii $37.23 $77,430 # 31
Commercial Pilot Salary in Wyoming $37.21 $77,400 # 32
Commercial Pilot Salary in Alaska $37.07 $77,100 # 33
Commercial Pilot Salary in Arizona $36.49 $75,890 # 34
Commercial Pilot Salary in Florida $36.14 $75,170 # 35
Commercial Pilot Salary in Kentucky $35.90 $74,670 # 36
Commercial Pilot Salary in Louisiana $35.64 $74,140 # 37
Commercial Pilot Salary in Massachusetts $34.80 $72,380 # 38
Commercial Pilot Salary in Montana $33.56 $69,810 # 39
Commercial Pilot Salary in New Hampshire $33.34 $69,350 # 40
Commercial Pilot Salary in North Dakota $33.31 $69,280 # 41
Commercial Pilot Salary in Indiana $32.59 $67,780 # 42
Commercial Pilot Salary in Minnesota $31.79 $66,120 # 43
Commercial Pilot Salary in Tennessee $31.63 $65,800 # 44
Commercial Pilot Salary in South Dakota $29.68 $61,730 # 45
Commercial Pilot Salary in Vermont $29.67 $61,720 # 46
Commercial Pilot Salary in Utah $29.26 $60,870 # 47
Commercial Pilot Salary in Oregon $29.03 $60,380 # 48
Commercial Pilot Salary in Maine $28.99 $60,290 # 49