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how to go about a pay raise

acat

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Posts
46
Total Time
5000
I have come to the conclusion that I am severely underpaid. I make mid 40s and fly a cheyenne for a corporate flight department. I have been there for over 5 years and have 4k total time and an atp certificate. I like my schedule and location but its really starting to get to me that most my pilot friends are making close to double my salary. I keep saying the big raise will come next year but now I've been told that there will be no raises this year and I have my annual review in a couple of months. I am very thankful to still have a job but was wondering if you guys have any tips for me to convince my employers that I'm worth more. I know its not the best time to argue salary but thought i'd feel it out.
 

Fly91

Registered Pilot
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Posts
635
Total Time
lots
How easy are you to replace in your area???? If its easy, you might not want to push it too much. If your company isn't one of the many that are taking a big financial hit during these crappy times, they're really a bunch of low-lifes for not giving you annual raises of some sort for the past 5 years. 45K seems quite low. But maybe they're just waiting for you to ask for it.

All you can do is present your case.
 

acat

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Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Posts
46
Total Time
5000
they have givin me raises for the last 5 years. I started a lot lower. Unfortunately for me, I am probably easily replaceable in the current market. There are a million low time pilots that would jump at the chance to make 30k plus around here. I don't think my company bases much on experience. If insurance approves you to fly the plane, you must be just as good as anyone else. I have consistently let the head of the flight department know that I am underpaid but he says that he can't convince the owners to pay industry standard. I'd probably just let it go again, but I'm a little upset that I'm not even getting 3 percent this year. Compared to cost of living increases, my salary is actually going down!
 

chuckthepilot

Confused User
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Feb 19, 2007
Posts
65
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2000+
I know quite a few folks out there that had their annual raises cut this year. It just stinks all around.
 

SpeedRestricted

Active member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Posts
28
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.1
I'm in a similar situation about to ask for more money. The best you can do is arm yourself with data. Do your best to find out what others in similar jobs are making and present that you are underpaid. We are all replaceable, but depending on what the job is you can still have some leverage. Passengers don't like new faces. After several years they obviously like you and most importantly they trust you. That is worth something on the negotiation table. It's a tough time to ask for more money. Most likely the worst they will do is say no, if that's the case then take what they offer until a better job comes along. If they think they can get away with underpaying you they will continue to do so. Don't be afraid to try to get what you are worth. Good Luck

On a side note, can anybody help me out with getting some 2009 NBAA salary numbers? Specifically, maybe someone can send a copy of the page I need so I can have something to give my boss to back up what I am asking for? I would buy it if I could but I can't get the survey as a nonmember. PM me if you can help, it would be much appreciated.
 

Gulfstream 200

Database Expert
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Jan 21, 2002
Posts
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18,550
Not uncommon for pilots to take any salary thrown their way, expecially in small operations like yours....only to gripe about it once in the job. Who is to blame?

All you can do is arm yourself with as much data as possible and go for it. At least they will know you are not happy.

Not many numbers people/owners can keep a straight when the pilot walks in and wants his salary doubled.

And yes, bonuses and raises where somewhat off last year. My raise was flat yet bonus slightly up - I felt lucky in this environment. Lots of guys lost ALL their salary.

Good Luck.
 

BoilerUP

Citation style...
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Posts
5,311
Total Time
1500+
You're not gonna get what you feel you deserve all at once...but you might be able to get it in 10-15% chunks annually if you make a strong case supported by industry data. You also might be able to institute programs within your department (contract fuel or shopping insurance, for example) that produce tangible cost reductions which would help bolster your case for more salary...and maybe also improve your job security.

Another consideration (it can be argued if its valid or not) is to adjust the NBAA survey national averages up or down for your local cost of living compared to the national average to see what is a realistic expectation for your locale.

I'd love to make more money (wouldn't we all?) but I'm thankful that I got any bonus and a COLA bump this past year when so many had pay frozen, reduced, or cut all together.
 

fisherpilot

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Posts
79
Total Time
~5000
I'm underpaid for my plane (aren't we all). I have flown 5 days in the last two months though, and I figure I'm not going to be very popular if I go into the CP's office and ask for more dough. I feel lucky to still have a job so I don't want to do anything to remind them of the fact that we are overstaffed and our flying has dropped 75%. I'm hoping that when things pick back up and "I still have my job" that I will have a better chance at pleading my case. It seems like it's going to be a tough sell on most anyone to get a raise while our economy is still below what it was. More power to anyone who is getting raises, I'm just jealous of you.....
 
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pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
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14000
Not the time for a raise

Try to find out what the career pay rate is for your present position. Start shopping for your next job. Develope a Plan B, have it place. Times are bad now, so it will be tuff to find another place, but by 2012 their will another pilot experince shortage. Elect which you like better your present job, or Plan B. I would not rook the boat right now. At one corporate job I got a 12% rasie the month before I was laid off. BTW I understand flying RPV's in Afgan pays 6 figures plus. Would that be better?
 
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Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
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Dec 28, 2005
Posts
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.
You should've asked a couple of years ago when things were more prosperous. Did you get periodic raises over the course of 5 years or has it been static. At a minimum, you should ensure that there's some form of yearly COLA built in to your salary. As things are, I'd wait until early 2010 to make big waves. Other than that, it's fair to ask for at least a minimal increase in salary for now. Certainly be WELL PREPARED to document/explain why you deseve it.

Lastly, be happy to have a job. It's tough out there.
 

Freight Dog

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Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,232
Total Time
7500+
Exactly what Amish Rakefight said... it's fair to ask for a minimal increase now. Just remember though - when you leave that job for another one, I hope you learned something here - you'll never get a big payraise if you take a below-market salary just to get in. You'll almost always struggle at below-market salary.
 

acat

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Feb 18, 2006
Posts
46
Total Time
5000
thanks for all the advise. They have been pretty similar raises annually for the last 5 years. I have argued to the chief pilot at each review that I am underpaid but he doesn't seem to do much about it. I thought about going over his head to the owner but I don't believe that would be the smartest thing to do. I probably did accept the job for too low of pay years ago but at the time it was better than flying freight and the pay was slightly higher. Plus I got to move back home instead of living in craphole apartments. It didn't bother me as much until I realized what most my pilot friends are making. I suppose I will continue to ride out the storm and hope things get better in the next couple of years.
 

acat

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Feb 18, 2006
Posts
46
Total Time
5000
I used to fly about 400 a year. Its down significantly this year but starting to pick back up. I do more sitting at fbos than anything else.
 

Hugh Johnson

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Apr 28, 2004
Posts
684
Total Time
Yep
If there's no cash coming, ask if they will pay for or upgrade your cell phone or something flight related like that. New headset, etc. It doesn't show in your check, but it might be stuff you're having to pay for so effectively it's a raise. Better health care plan, 401k bump, loss of license insurance.
 

Jetdriver69

High Speed, Low Drag
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
Posts
272
Total Time
10000+
Even fortune 25 companies are not being generous with raises this year. I got a whole 2.5%, but better than a pay cut. I'm pretty sure the powers that be would let a senior international captain walk out the door over pay issues. Hopefully, this year will be a little better for everyone. I flew a Cheyenne for a small company in the south that paid $60,000 a year with bennies a few years ago. I sold the Cheyenne and bought the owner a 1993 Citation II with low hours. He offered me $125,000 to run his one airplane aviation department when I told him I was quitting to fly for my present company. You never know what will be offered until you ask, just don't talk yourself out of a job!
 
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semperfido

Keep Humpin
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Posts
1,873
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11K+
I have come to the conclusion that I am severely underpaid. I make mid 40s and fly a cheyenne for a corporate flight department. I have been there for over 5 years and have 4k total time and an atp certificate. I like my schedule and location but its really starting to get to me that most my pilot friends are making close to double my salary. I keep saying the big raise will come next year but now I've been told that there will be no raises this year and I have my annual review in a couple of months. I am very thankful to still have a job but was wondering if you guys have any tips for me to convince my employers that I'm worth more. I know its not the best time to argue salary but thought i'd feel it out.

Look, it is time to move on. You are 2nd fiddle in a two man show on a turboprop (not that there is anything wrong with that), but where is your ambition? Look down the road. Don't bitch it is tough out there, just start looking. Talk to people. You may have to move. That is a good thing. There is no big raise coming, ever. This isn't a dress rehearsal. Move on.
 

siouxicide

Gimme yo' change
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Posts
153
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0-9000
If there's no cash coming, ask if they will pay for or upgrade your cell phone or something flight related like that. New headset, etc. It doesn't show in your check, but it might be stuff you're having to pay for so effectively it's a raise. Better health care plan, 401k bump, loss of license insurance.

I second what Hugh said. They'll tend to choke at any pay increase and they unfortunately have several excuses why they shouldn't, ie economy, pilots on the street, cheaper low timers, etc. Like others have said, don't rock the boat and start getting your feelers out there. If they've continuously kept you underpaid, why would it ever change? If that's where you want to stay then arm yourself with NBAA numbers, etc. Keep the faith because the pilot pool is drying up. Who wants to pay like a doctor in order to get the pay and respect of a doorman?
 

2000Easyguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Posts
204
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...
FWIW, I took a pay cut 1st Q. Ever since then, flying has increased by maybe +/- 30%. Somewhere I crossed over to Bizarro world.:confused:

If you've been there 5+ years, you should have a good rapport with the boss man. Good luck!
 

pushntin

Gear Up, Flaps 10.
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
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32.789
Don't feel bad... I took a 65% pay cut flying a large cabin aircraft, just to keep my job. It doesn't even cover the bills anymore.
 
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