Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport Pilot certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, National, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

  • Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings.
  • Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor.
  • Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.
Read more about what does an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$169560 per year


Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $65690 and $94380 while the more experienced ones can earn over $208,000 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
WA$-$237,150
MI$-$233,550
NV$-$220,400
OR$-$205,660
CA$-$205,520

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like WA. Right now, the highest paying states for Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers are WA, MI, NV, OR and CA.

However, a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew
Flight Instructor
Read more about how to become an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.
One of the highest paid careers in the world
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Demand for this career is declining
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
74%

Is this job meaningful
53%


74% of Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 53% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.




Learn more about Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers

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Related career information

Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers job description, Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers salary, Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers information, what is the job of an Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer like, pros and cons about Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers, colleges and universities for Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers, is Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight Engineers the right career for me, careers in Transportation

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