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what is considered "good" salary/benefits?

satpak77

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I know this is very subjective, but looking for comments on what everyone considers a "sh1t, I am making good salary" type wages and benefits. This could be finished with "I am staying till retirement. No more resumes, no more Kit Darby. This is it till I retire."

Throw out LA, New York, San Fran and assume you live in non-high cost of living area.

For me, 100K a year, with 401(k), medical plan, and retirement plan (age 50) makes me happy. However I will never be a B-777 pilot at our flight department.
Oh well....

How about everyone else?

:)


** I got to thinking about this subject due to the obvious changes to the "airline career" that alot of us dreamed about. Someone told me that you need to be at US Air at least 17 years to have been not laid off yet. Jesus freaking christ.

Just curious how many of us have re-defined the "dream job"...I know I have.

later
 
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Swede

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It hurts a lot more to have it, then lose it. I think that's what causes the bitterness we see on this board. We've seen what it used to be, what it could be, and watching a great profesion turn to shiite before your eyes is quite painful.

Enough flying, and the equipment becomes irrelevent, IMO. Guys pursue pay/schedule. If they paid more on a Saab than a 777, I'd fly the Saab. A while back, there was a bit of movement to rearrange pay based upon Seniority + seat, which would allow the poor 59 yr old fellow to fly narrowbody domestic if that's what he wanted rather than getting flogged across 14 time zones doing Tokyo.

Anyway, to answer your question, I think it's very subjective. Take me back pre 9/11 and I'd be ecstatic, not only for the pay and schedule but just the thought of being able to take a whiz without congressional oversight is a fond dream.

A wise Capt once told me no matter how much you're paid, you'll find ways to spend it, and pretty soon your possessions own you rather than visa-versa. I think he's right. There's a lot to be said for a simple lifestyle.
 

Gulfstream 200

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For me, 100K a year, with 401(k), medical plan, and retirement plan (age 50) makes me happy


In a reasonable area to live and a stable job, nothing wrong with the above!!

Im sure everyone has a diffrent answer..

.some want to fly domestic in a 737 for thier careers doing 37 legs a day (Southwest), some want to fly piston twins around the islands and play Jimmy Buffett, some want to fly junk around Alaska in some of the nastiest conditions in aviation (these guys are fuked up!), some to hub and spoke it and be home every night, some want to fly once a month 10 day trip all over the planet....

I think above all, pilots want to have fun and get just a little bit of respect and a decent salary....

sadly this is very rare anymore and hence the $hitty attitudes in aviation.
 

filejw

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One thing to think about is what your college clasmates are making. My job as a major capt doesn't come close.Sales guys are making 250 plus.Sister at big corp in marketing 300.Long time contractor friend does 325.If I added in the lawyers and dr's it would make every body sick.We need to make sure we are paid with and keep up with the rest of the hi end W2 population.Its up to the younger guys to keep the pressure on these airlines large and small.At a min a jet cap. should make 130 yr.
 

old_av8er

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What makes YOU happy

I took a check ride from a line guy who had just turned 60 a day or so before the ride, this was in the early 80's. I ask him if he had any regrets, thinking he would miss pushing around the heavy iron. He said yes he had some regrets, he regretted not being there when his son hit his first home run. He regretted not being there when his daughter went to her first prom. He regretted not being there when his first grand child was born. These boys and girls are what the important things in life are all about. He told me he was going to take his grand kid and teach him how to fish.

In the ensueing years I have attempted to teach my new FOs' this
1. How much money did you put in the bank at the end of the month?
2. How many nights did you get to sleep with the person you REALLY wanted to sleep with?
3. What will happen if and when you should bust a medical or reach 60?

Don't matter what kind of plane you fly, where you fly it too or how much status you may thank you have, just go back to the 3 items above.

Back to the original question, how do they fit into the three items? If you are happy with never being a 777 Capt with a major and you have the life you need to fullfill the inner you, then live long and prosper.

Peace brother
 

satpak77

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my take on this....

One thing to think about is what your college clasmates are making. My job as a major capt doesn't come close.Sales guys are making 250 plus.Sister at big corp in marketing 300.Long time contractor friend does 325.If I added in the lawyers and dr's it would make every body sick.We need to make sure we are paid with and keep up with the rest of the hi end W2 population
not being sarcastic (really, this is a real point I am trying to make...) but if we all wanted to make what doctors, lawyers, and Fortune 500 companies, maybe we should have gone to medical school, law school, or MBA school and not pilot school.

Yes, I know a 747 Captain "controls" 200 passengers lives with his decisions and all that stuff, believe me, I hear you loud and clear, plus every 6 months he gets sim check, medical ,etc. Trust me, I hear you.

However the end-of-the-day-reality is that if we all wanted to make what cardiac surgeons made, well, we might have instead gone to cardiac surgeon school.

On the other end of the spectrum, should FO's at regionals make 17K a year? Of course fu**ing not!

Anyway, I think you see my point, from a choose-your-career type perspective.

Trying to keep this thread on topic

Basic question is "how much is enough" to include salary, benefits, off-duty life, etc.

later
 
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typhoonpilot

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I think your first post was very close Satpack. For me the answer would be enough to buy a nice house in a middle class neighborhood, have two cars, be able to send my children to college, take one nice vacation per year, and then retire at age 60 without having to worry about money or health insurance.


Typhoonpilot
 

cynic

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100K?!?!?

Heck, I'd be happy with 18K a year if I get to fly a jet!
 

swahopeful

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cynic said:
100K?!?!?

Heck, I'd be happy with 18K a year if I get to fly a jet!
that about sums up why many pilots will be under paid. no one needs to earn a fortune but flying a jet deserves more than 18k.
 
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filejw

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Just don't underestamate your worth guys.Teachers are paid enought but is that what you really want? And big airplane pilots are paid more not because of more people.Its more money coming in for the operator.Kind of like sales people getting a bigger cut.Has nothing to do with Dr's or lawyers.I'm just about done as 60 is coming soon.Take it as free advice.
 

Gulfstream 200

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100K?!?!?

Heck, I'd be happy with 18K a year if I get to fly a jet!




cynic sums it up.

Now I hope that all those fools posting about "Im getting into flying, advice please"...read what cynic had to say.
 

SharkBait

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I used to think like cynic, but I have found the error of my ways as a new regional FO. How long should one wait to find a "starting" job at 50K? If I don't take the job, should I continue as a flight instructor (or a F.L.A.P) and work a second job just so I can have benefits? Unfortunately, all savvy CEO's know that they can get cheaper employees.

As regionals are on my mind at this time, a reasonable starting salary would be the ability to afford a down payment on a house and support a family where my company wants me to live. (Usually in a major metro area.) I have invested A LOT of money in my education and I would like to see a decent return on it.
 

414Flyer

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old_av8er said:
I took a check ride from a line guy who had just turned 60 a day or so before the ride, this was in the early 80's. I ask him if he had any regrets, thinking he would miss pushing around the heavy iron. He said yes he had some regrets, he regretted not being there when his son hit his first home run. He regretted not being there when his daughter went to her first prom. He regretted not being there when his first grand child was born. These boys and girls are what the important things in life are all about. He told me he was going to take his grand kid and teach him how to fish.

In the ensueing years I have attempted to teach my new FOs' this
1. How much money did you put in the bank at the end of the month?
2. How many nights did you get to sleep with the person you REALLY wanted to sleep with?
3. What will happen if and when you should bust a medical or reach 60?

Don't matter what kind of plane you fly, where you fly it too or how much status you may thank you have, just go back to the 3 items above.

Back to the original question, how do they fit into the three items? If you are happy with never being a 777 Capt with a major and you have the life you need to fullfill the inner you, then live long and prosper.

Peace brother
Good words. I think a lot of pilots think that only if they can get into a 757, or some kind of major airline job, it will be personally fulfilling, rewarding and make them happy fir life, and all will be good in the world.

A plane is a plane, and with a few exceptions, its all the same after you have a couple hundred hours in it.

I am hesitant to go for the airlines, although I may still do it, but I would find it boring and meaningless. I like jobs with a mission, something different. its why I enjoyed tanker flying, for at least those three weeks. While pay was good, had half the year off and could live wherever I wanted in the off season, it was still rewarding for me to be part of something bigger than myself.

Flying passengers around or being in a airliner isnt something I would look back on with accomplishment or meaning.

There are a lot more important things in life than aviation anyways. I certainly want to have a lot I can look back on later in life besides flying.
 

AA717driver

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It's what you make of it. I've run into a whole lot of bitter and pi$$ed off big airplane pilots who were making top dollar. I've made a whole lot more money than I am now but I'm a lot happier.

Like I've told some of those "what should I do" posters, if you want to fly, do it. If you don't, you'll never be happy. If you want to make money, get into another business. If you don't, you'll never be happy.

Gotta run, my kid wants me to watch Sponge Bob with him! :) TC
 

MW44

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AA717driver "If you want to make money, get into another business."

I don't agree. Of course mgt is going to complain that labor costs are too high and the market has permanently changed forever, etc, etc. But that is there job as managers of a company to do anything they can to reduce total costs. It is their fudiciary (sp?) responsibility. The airline business has always been a rocky one yet pilots at dal, nwa, ual, etc. all managed to make 200k plus before the meltdown.

I don't think pilots will ever command surgeon pay but 200-350k seems reasonable for widebody international type flying. We've already seen Swa captains making two hundred per year flying 737's. I would think flying a 744 through multiple timezones with the inevitable complexities of that kind of flying deserves a premium wage. Also I don't think pilots should be priced out of desirable areas to live such as San fran, Ny, etc.
 

pilotyip

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No college degree required

100K is very obtainable in the flying business, you do not need a college degree to get there either. You will be further ahead by going right into flying out of high school and going for TJ PIC and then pick your job, now of course there is a very low chance of being hired by a major corp, UPS or DAL. You can make 100K/yr in the non-sked business, national airlines, int'l cargo, and you will not have the debt of the college degree. You have to decide to you want to fly airplanes and be happy making decent living at 100K/yr.
 

Gulfstream 200

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think of all the money you can save by skipping college!!


:eek: :eek:
 

Frontier1

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As a major captain flying the 747 I bring in about 200k/year.
I am satisfied with it. Each month I can buy a new car with cash.
I have descent benefits here.
I am single and I love the layovers. The layovers are the best benefit for me.
Meat lots of women on the road and go from there.
 

satpak77

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uhh?

As a major captain flying the 747 I bring in about 200k/year.
I am satisfied with it. Each month I can buy a new car with cash.
I have descent benefits here.
I am single and I love the layovers. The layovers are the best benefit for me.
Meat lots of women on the road and go from there.
"about 200K?"

If my data serves me correct, you should be banging 170 to 183,000 a year mas/menos as a 744 Capt at UAL.

"Meat lots of women..."

try spell check

You just joined the message board July 16. Frontier1? Nice username for a senior UAL pilot

I would expect "Guppy" or "Jumbo" or "UAL747dude" or something along those lines. However not Frontier1.

Kinda like a Delta Captain with a username of LUVer1

hey man, its 10 PM, bed time. You got Algebra 1 in the morning.

later
 
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Frontier1

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Excuse me for the minor spelling error. I am getting ready for a long flight and the beer must of got the best of me.
I am pulling in around 200K after everything.
 
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