Pay Question...

acpilot

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If you had to guess at what the current average pay progression is among employed post CFI, non-military pilots, what would you estimate the first 7 years to be? I'm talking about all professional pilots, not just regional, corp, ag, fire, contract, charter, or cargo seperately. Lumping everyone together, what do you guys think the industry-wide average pay is for an airplane pilot years 1-7?
 
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transampilot

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Way to many variables for me to compute that one for you. Why would that info be advantageous anyways? You have to compare apples and apples not apples and oranges. Year 1 salary may be somewhat easy to compute, but with all the different segments of the industry in this equation over such a large time span (at least in aviation!), it going to be very hard to come up with an answer. Good Luck.
 

acpilot

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Asking for a guess. That's all.

Not asking for a particular reason. Just curious.
 

Erlanger

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If you had to guess at what the current average pay progression is among employed post CFI, non-military pilots, what would you estimate the first 7 years to be? I'm talking about all professional pilots, not just regional, corp, ag, fire, contract, charter, or cargo seperately. Lumping everyone together, what do you guys think the industry-wide average pay is for an airplane pilot years 1-7?
Dumb question. Do you think anyone here could answer that question? Why don't you ask Nostradamus or go up the block to your local fortune teller and ask her.
 

OCP

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eh...
Pick an airline and then a job and people MAY be able to tell you about the PAST 7 years, but any set of 7 years is vastly different at any airline, let alone any different type of flying.
 

Dubya

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Why don't you ask a question we can all get onboard with like...."Hey guys, do any of you know if Mesa really sucks?"

Unanimous answer: "Why yes...yes Mesa does suck."
 

BOX OFFICE

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acpilot, if you wanted a serious answer, you came to the wrong forum. Try APC.
 

acpilot

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acpilot, if you wanted a serious answer, you came to the wrong forum. Try APC.
Yeah. I knew that when I posted. I just though maybe somebody would give it some serious thought and be able to estimate what, in their opinion, the average 1-7 pay is.

I don't know why I'm being insulted for asking though.

"Hey guys, do any of you know if Mesa really sucks?" -Dubya

That is not like my question at all. Mesa's suck levels are high and everyone knows it. That's why I'm asking for GUESSES!

"Pick an airline and then a job and people MAY be able to tell you about the PAST 7 years, but any set of 7 years is vastly different at any airline, let alone any different type of flying." - OCP

I didn't ask for airline x's pay because (a) everyone can look that info up, (b) I'm not interested in what only pilots at airline x make and (c) because I have not seen figures for average industry-wide aircraft pilot pay.

I was hoping that you would like to contribute to generate some figures, but I guess not.

"Dumb question. Do you think anyone here could answer that question? Why don't you ask Nostradamus or go up the block to your local fortune teller and ask her." -Erlanger

You know, just becasue a thread is there doesn't mean you have to respond to it. Why so hostile? I don't believe in that fortune telling or Nostradamus stuff, anyway.
 
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Dubya

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Yeah. I knew that when I posted. I just though maybe somebody would give it some serious thought and be able to estimate what, in their opinion, the average 1-7 pay is.

I don't know why I'm being insulted for asking though.

"Hey guys, do any of you know if Mesa really sucks?" -Dubya

That is not like my question at all. Mesa's suck levels are high and everyone knows it. That's why I'm asking for GUESSES!

"Pick an airline and then a job and people MAY be able to tell you about the PAST 7 years, but any set of 7 years is vastly different at any airline, let alone any different type of flying." - OCP

I didn't ask for airline x's pay because (a) everyone can look that info up, (b) I'm not interested in what only pilots at airline x make and (c) because I have not seen figures for average industry-wide aircraft pilot pay.

I was hoping that you would like to contribute to generate some figures, but I guess not.

"Dumb question. Do you think anyone here could answer that question? Why don't you ask Nostradamus or go up the block to your local fortune teller and ask her." -Erlanger

You know, just becasue a thread is there doesn't mean you have to respond to it. Why so hostile? I don't believe in that fortune telling or Nostradamus stuff, anyway.

I didn't say my question was "like" your question...I said you should have asked a question we are better able to answer.

Don't you think you could produce a guess by yourself?

Comprehension is a terrible thing to waste.
 

acpilot

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I didn't say my question was "like" your question...I said you should have asked a question we are better able to answer.

Don't you think you could produce a guess by yourself?

Comprehension is a terrible thing to waste.
You are right. You did type that. My mistake.

I have my guess. I also have a suprisingly high number of ligitimate, sincere guesses from FI.com users: one.

Thanks anyway.
 

Minimaniac

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The answer to your question is that there is no answer. While regional airline pay (and major pay should you find yourself there in the first 7 years) is pretty much set by current contracts, and unless a truly labor friendly government administration is installed, airline pay will not change much from what it is today. However, once you get outside the airlines, pay is not governed by a contract, and open to way too many variables. If you are going into corporate or charter flying, a connection with the right company could net you twice or three times the pay, and knowing someone on the inside could get you into a left seat or a large aircraft far quicker than the next guy. Airline pay progression is based on seniority. Same goes for some of the fractionals and larger corporate flight departments. Outside of that, promotion is at the will of the employer, and you could easily find yourself passed over countless times while guys three or four years junior to you make double your pay.

I guess a few generalizations can be made. In just seven years, coming from strictly a flight instructing background, I would say that right now, you can expect to not exceed $100,000 per year. While it is possible, a lot of stars would need to align in your favor. Starting pay can vary from 20k to 50k, but around year 5, I think you will see that all jobs start to catch up with each other and pay in the 60-75k range. Some stop there. Some may not ever get there. Non-union segments of the industry may pay well one day, but that pay can be halved without warning if the employer hits tough times.

One thing will hold true though: you are going to have to make some serious sacrifice along the way to get a high pay after 7 years. If you go through the airlines, you have to deal with pitiful pay for the first 4 or so years at a regional before either making it to a better paying major or getting comfortable at a regional. You will have given up years to reserve, and made a laughable wage during that time. If you go corporate, you will find that higher pay comes with more strings, be it control over where you live, less days off, more hours on call, or flying to more places that you may not feel you or your assigned aircraft are suited to. Larger companies are better, but then you start falling into a pecking order that will limit your fast rise in pay. Small cargo jobs will rarely pay well. Charter can be feast or famine, and the most of the high paying charter jobs are occupied and will not free up in the near future. Odd jobs like firefighting and the like may pay well, but there is a lot more risk involved.
 

acpilot

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I agree with a lot of you said.

Thank you.
1-4: 20-50
5-6: 60-75
+7: >100 (unlikely over 100)

Make that two responses from FI.
 

Ben Johnson

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check http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/ and work with what is stated in pay and in upgrade times and in layoffs. at one point cal was going with a 3yr upgrade while usair had guys as far back as 1987 on furlow (not a fact but a best guess) and then look at the reg.s the same way. this job is nutz one month they are hiring everyone and anyone the next month laying off at one place while another was laying off more the whole time. point in fact this job is like play craps. one guy can hit a wave and ride it threw and have the perfect experiance and be making that 100k after 7 years, yet the next guy gets pounded by that same wave and is on a first name basis with the unemployment office and has never seen a pay check that didnt require food stamps, basically what mini said, its a crap shoot and the spectrum is between heaven and hell
 

LearLove

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this is from my june 2009 social security statement:

got my cfi in 1997 instructed for a few months until nov 97 when got a job as an FO with a 135 airline. I will start with 1998 to give full years, these are taxable wages from the earning part of the SS statement record.

1998 - $13,456: PA31 FO, 135 airline
1999 - $23,870: PA31 CA, 135 airline (in Aug99 started at a 121 airline, Dash8 FO)
2000 - $32,974: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2001 - $35,972: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2002 - $35,925: FO/CA 121 airline, 5 months CA pay then downgraded then 10% paycut on top. (dash8)
2003 - $30,798: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2004 - $32,784: FO 121 airline (dash8 to ERJ170)
2005 - $44,097: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2006 - $41,079: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2007 - $75,077: CA 121 airline (erj170)
2008 - $63,335: CA 121 airline (erj170) until April then FO 121 airline (erj190).

This year 2009, my gross will be just over 41K. 2010 is shaping up to be 2 months pay (jan and feb) then the music stops and March 2010 = furlough time.

I'm going to go shoot myself now.
 
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BRA

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this is from my june 2009 social security statement:

got my cfi in 1997 instructed for a few months until nov 97 when got a job as an FO with a 135 airline. I will start with 1998 to give full years, these are taxable wages from the earning part of the SS statement record.

1998 - $13,456: PA31 FO, 135 airline
1999 - $23,870: PA31 CA, 135 airline (in Aug99 started at a 121 airline, Dash8 FO)
2000 - $32,974: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2001 - $35,972: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2002 - $35,925: FO/CA 121 airline, 5 months CA pay then downgraded then 10% paycut on top. (dash8)
2003 - $30,798: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2004 - $32,784: FO 121 airline (dash8 to ERJ170)
2005 - $44,097: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2006 - $41,079: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2007 - $75,077: CA 121 airline (erj170)
2008 - $63,335: CA 121 airline (erj170) until April then FO 121 airline (erj190).

This year 2009, my gross will be just over 41K. 2010 is shaping up to be 2 months pay (jan and feb) then the music stops and March 2010 = furlough time.

I'm going to go shoot myself now.

This is very eye opening. I think it is also fair to say that the entire time you made the decisions that you felt were best at the time. I have read your posts for years and you are no dummy. You could have left for another regional during those years but who really knew back then if that would have worked out any better. I remember being at an ACA interview in 2002 and my interview partner was with Allegheny (FO) at the time. He got the job. ACA was out of business within a few years. One would have to think the luck would fall in your favor the next ten years.
 

acpilot

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this is from my june 2009 social security statement:

got my cfi in 1997 instructed for a few months until nov 97 when got a job as an FO with a 135 airline. I will start with 1998 to give full years, these are taxable wages from the earning part of the SS statement record.

1998 - $13,456: PA31 FO, 135 airline
1999 - $23,870: PA31 CA, 135 airline (in Aug99 started at a 121 airline, Dash8 FO)
2000 - $32,974: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2001 - $35,972: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2002 - $35,925: FO/CA 121 airline, 5 months CA pay then downgraded then 10% paycut on top. (dash8)
2003 - $30,798: FO 121 airline (dash8)
2004 - $32,784: FO 121 airline (dash8 to ERJ170)
2005 - $44,097: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2006 - $41,079: FO 121 airline (erj170)
2007 - $75,077: CA 121 airline (erj170)
2008 - $63,335: CA 121 airline (erj170) until April then FO 121 airline (erj190).

This year 2009, my gross will be just over 41K. 2010 is shaping up to be 2 months pay (jan and feb) then the music stops and March 2010 = furlough time.

I'm going to go shoot myself now.
Great information. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please don't shoot yourself.
 
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