How Much Do Commercial Pilots Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Commercial Pilots

Commercial Pilots pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots. Excludes regional, national, and international airline pilots.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$110830 per year

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$47,570 to $67,070 per year

Entry-level Commercial Pilots with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $47,570 to $67,070 per year. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Commercial Pilots to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $* $200,920
Senior (Top 25%) $* $132,850
Middle (Mid 50%) $* $93,300
Junior (Bottom 25%) $* $67,070
No experience (Bottom 10%) $* $47,570

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
MA $* $151,640
CT $* $144,600
CA $* $137,180
FL $* $126,440
AK $* $123,540
MD $* $119,420
AR $* $118,570
PA $* $112,860
SC $* $111,860
MN $* $111,690

* Commercial Pilots are generally paid on an annual basis not hourly.

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Commercial Pilot is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like MA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at MA might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Commercial Pilots are in the states of MA, CT, CA, FL and AK.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Scheduled Air Transportation $187940 $*
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $153160 $*
Scientific Research and Development Services $149140 $*
Legal Services $144380 $*
Support Activities for Water Transportation $142900 $*
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $139320 $*
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers $135380 $*
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $133690 $*
Management of Companies and Enterprises $132220 $*
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $130180 $*
Rail Transportation $130110 $*
Spectator Sports $125620 $*
Oil and Gas Extraction $125350 $*
Nonscheduled Air Transportation $118550 $*
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $116740 $*
Real Estate $112870 $*
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $112100 $*
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities $111610 $*
Machinery Manufacturing $108500 $*
Insurance Carriers $107110 $*
Nonresidential Building Construction $105950 $*
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $105280 $*
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $103240 $*
Support Activities for Air Transportation $101920 $*
Utility System Construction $100860 $*
Support Activities for Crop Production $99840 $*
Local Government $92070 $*
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $89730 $*
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Other $88260 $*
Technical and Trade Schools $86680 $*

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