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Pilot salaries

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Well-known member
May 22, 2003
From today's New York Post -- so it must be true ...



September 14, 2005 -- After kids gets over their fantasies of becoming baseball players or ballerinas, responsible parents ought to point them to the real money — being an airline pilot.

Based on the Department of Labor's recently released occupational compensation survey for 2004, the fliers pull in more bucks per year than any other job category.

Commercial airline pilots and navigators pull down an average of $113.82 an hour — a high-flying $236,745.60 annually, based on an extrapolated 40-hour week.

They are not the highest earners per year, a distinction that goes to tweedy economics professors. Due to high demand, they tend to work year-round and pile up cash at a rate of $63.98 hourly for 40-plus hours a week.

But pilots rarely get close to that number, since regulations limit their work week to considerably fewer than 40 hours.

Even teaching at good old state college has become surprisingly lucrative for econ profs, accounting for more than half of the top 10 occupations in the survey.

Part of that result is due to the fact that the survey rated hourly employees only, discounting business owners such as doctors in private practice. Even so, doctors who are employees came in third at $57.90 an hour.

"One of the things about doctors that brings them down [on the list] is we pick up a lot of residents, and doctors in a private practice aren't employees," said Wayne Shelly, a Department of Labor spokesman.

"That's also true of lawyers," he added. Which explains why the average law professor earns more than an actual lawyer — by about $9 an hour, $57.05 compared to $48.60. The national average wage was $18.09 an hour, said the survey, details of which were first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Less startlingly, the lower end of the pay scale is occupied by service industry employees. At $7.69 an hour, bellhops and porters are fifth from the bottom, while bartenders are a notch lower at $6.71.

At the very bottom rungs are busboys, at $6, and waiters and waitresses at a how-low-can-you-go $4.44.

"That seems a little high, it's lower, usually," said Ari Leonia, a waiter at Heartland Brewery in Times Square. "Usually it's between $2 and $4. It doesn't matter much, we never see it anyway. It goes right to taxes. We make it up with tips."

Regionally, the survey showed America's best-paid employees are in the Pacific states, at $20.70 an hour, followed by the Middle Atlantic states (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey), at $20.59.

At the bottom are workers in the south. In the Department of Labor's sub-region of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, the average hourly wage totaled $14.49.

Additional reporting by Perry Chiaramonte

If we took every single airline pilots hourly wage an got the average of that would it come out to 113.82 an hour? I'm guessing just about every major airline captain is making that or higher. Top-end FO's but not all of them. Most regional captain don't. And let me go out on a limb and guess every regional FO doesn't. I can't speak much of the corporate world but that doesn't fall under airline pilot does it. Where is this average come from?
Owners just kidding man!

Right Owner?

Oh yeah, for American Airlines averages, don't forget you have to divide the number by 25%, (For the first pay cut), and that by 26% (for the second pay cut).

So 113 bucks an hour would end up bein about 56 bucks an hour.


What about when I'm off duty in LAX with my family? Oh wait! I don't live in LAX, so my family isn't there?

When I'm off work at home I can do what I want, right?

Well If I'm off work in the hotel in LAX, can I go to Walmart? I can? OK, now where did I park my car, Oh yeah! Dallas.

What a strange week it has been
It appears they took the average pilot salary based on working 8 hours a day 5 days a week 4 weeks a month. Obviously this is not realistic. If you take that average based on roughly 80-85 hours / month you get more like $115,000 not including per diem not including taxes. That would probably be based on the average of all pay on all equipment. I wonder if they used regional airline averages too.
More muck raking from the company boys.
Hugh Johnson said:

I was thinking the same thing. Did the author just watch "The High and the Mighty?"

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