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Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineer Salary Information

The salary statistics of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014 and published in May 2015 [1].

Table 1. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineer Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
90th Percentile Wage
No Data
75th Percentile Wage
$160,520
50th Percentile Wage
$118,140
25th Percentile Wage
$88,830
10th Percentile Wage
$64,780

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers. The average annual salary for the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is $160,520. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $118,140. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $64,780. It is noted that in the United States, the annual salary of the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is almost 147% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Table 2. Salary Trend

YearAverage Annual SalaryGrowth (%)
2014 $118,140 2.56%
2013 $115,190 0.87%
2012 $114,200 8.16%
2011 $105,580 2.30%
2010 $103,210 -

Table 2 shows the salary trend for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers from 2010 to 2014. We note that from 2010 to 2014 the average salary has increased by 14.47%. We note that in 2013 the average salary increased by 0.87%. We also note that the average annual wage had a sizable growth of 8.16% in 2012 and a moderate growth of 2.30% in 2011.

Table 3. Average Salary of Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers vs. Related Jobs

OccupationAverage Wage
Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
$103,390
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
$118,140
Commercial Pilots
$75,620
Air Traffic Controllers and Airfield Operations Specialists
$101,460
Air Traffic Controllers
$122,340
Airfield Operations Specialists
$49,180
Flight Attendants
$42,290

Table 4. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineer Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in 9 major industry sectors are shown in Table 4. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers occupations is the wholesale trade sector with an annual salary $125,450. The lowest paying sector is the health care and social assistance sector (annual salary $73,500).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Wholesale Trade
$125,450
Transportation and Warehousing
$120,810
Manufacturing
$116,660
Finance and Insurance
$112,350
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$104,290
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$99,670
Federal, State, and Local Government
$97,020
Educational Services
$84,110
Health Care and Social Assistance
$73,500

Table 5. Median Annual Wage of Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers by States

From the above tables we note that not only airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $55,060 to $139,420. The highest paying state for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers is Florida with a median annual salary of $139,420. The lowest paying state is Virgin Islands with a median annual salary of $55,060. For more salary information of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.

State Name Median Annual Salary
Florida
$139,420
Georgia
$135,800
Arizona
$129,770
Alaska
$125,430
California
$122,930
New York
$120,330
Colorado
$119,700
North Carolina
$119,430
New Jersey
$116,820
Virginia
$111,260
Illinois
$110,440
New Hampshire
$102,380
Iowa
$99,160
Oklahoma
$99,160
Alabama
$98,860
Tennessee
$98,830
Louisiana
$97,300
South Carolina
$96,420
Arkansas
$94,110
Kansas
$94,110
Wisconsin
$90,900
Indiana
$90,130
West Virginia
$85,880
New Mexico
$85,400
Missouri
$84,890
Ohio
$84,810
Mississippi
$82,650
Montana
$75,950
Puerto Rico
$72,410
Wyoming
$66,100
Virgin Islands
$55,060