As experienced pilots know, there are a ton of high-paying jobs in the aviation industry for those with the right skills and qualifications. As a commercial license holder, you’re now able to work for pay, flying around the world chartering passengers, hauling cargo or providing a specialized air-based service, among other responsibilities. If you’re about to enter the exciting world of commercial aviation, here is the salary you can expect to make from the industry’s top jobs.
Government pilot average salary: $102,450
Working for the government will give you plenty of steady flying hours, great benefits and retirement packages, and the largest average salary on this list. A large majority of government agencies are constantly on the search for qualified aviators, from the National Park Service to National Weather Service to the FAA and many more.
Corporate pilot average salary: $102,000
Flying the nicest twin-engine jets while chartering VIPs. Like business executives or celebrities on non-scheduled flights is one of the most sought-after positions among professional pilots. And one of the highest paying. With a corporate gig, you can expect to work for a transportation service company or a large corporation, providing a safe, comfortable and luxurious experience to high-profile clients.
Cargo pilot average salary: $94,000
As a cargo pilot, you’ll be responsible for transporting items rather than people. You may carry such items like government mail, freight for companies or emergency supplies that require rush delivery. In this position, you can expect your salary to be dependent upon experience and seniority, but with an average salary approaching $100,000, you can expect to make a decent wage hauling cargo.
Firefighter pilot average salary: $93,700
One of the most exciting career pursuits of a commercial pilot is that of an aerial firefighter. Not only will it provide thrills as you eject a few-thousand gallons of water from the sky, but you’ll feel a sense of reward by helping people stay out of harm’s way. As a firefighter pilot, you’ll be tasked with supporting ground crews, evacuations, taming wildfires and managing observational efforts.
Regional Airline Pilot
Regional airline pilot average salary: $90,000
Because the demand for airline travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels. The pilot shortage continues to surge into 2023 and beyond. As such, regional airlines are hiring like crazy while offering unprecedented salary rates – $90,000+ for rookie pilots in some cases – in addition to generous signing bonuses and benefits packages. You’ll need to be certified commercially, in addition to a multi-engine rating and approaching ATP certification. But, you’ll be in demand. If you can earn the proper credentials, as hundreds of thousands of pilots will be needed throughout the next two decades in order for the industry to keep up with passenger demand.
Ambulatory pilot average salary: $88,550
Those who are always ready to go should consider becoming an emergency responder as an ambulatory pilot. Your responsibilities may include hauling those with life-threatening injuries, conducting rescue operations in risky environments. Delivering transplant organs and biohazardous materials on a tight timeline. This subset is in need of pilots as well, with a strong outlook of almost eight percent job growth over the next decade.
Agriculture pilot average salary: $85,620
As an ag pilot, sometimes also called a crop duster, you’ll be responsible for helping farmer’s fields grow strong around the country. You’ll be flying over crops, dropping pest-control, weed or fertilizer chemicals over smaller single-engine airplanes. In this job, you’ll mainly work for either larger agricultural operations or independent farmers.
Sightseeing pilot average salary: $76,550
A sightseeing pilot usually works out of tourist towns or major metropolitan areas. Where providing clients with a view from the cockpit becomes a profitable endeavor. These are typically short flights in single-engine planes that give the passengers a way to see the world from a few thousand feet off the ground.
Law Enforcement Pilot
Police pilot average salary: $65,000
A subset of government pilot positions, law enforcement pilots also make a solid average salary. As a member of the police force, FBI or Homeland Security, you’ll be responsible for supporting officers on the ground, performing raids, surveillance, traffic, or search and rescue operations. While one of the lower salaries on the list, you’ll be occupying a position that’s sure to be exciting day in and day out as you help capture criminals.
Certified Flight Instructor
Flight instructor average salary: $60,000
Becoming a certified flight instructor (CFI) is one of the primary ways pilots make money while simultaneously building time in the cockpit that can be applied toward future certifications. In this job, you’ll be charged with teaching others the proper techniques and skills involved with flying small aircraft. Going a step further, achieving an instructor-instrument rating (CFII) can push your salary even higher, while putting you on a fast-track toward an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license.
Aviation entrepreneur average salary: Varies
If you’d rather work for yourself in the aviation industry, there’s nothing stopping you from starting your own business with you as chief executive — or chief pilot. Whether that’s the head of a skydiving service, tourist charter, flight school or airplane brokerage, anyone with a commercial pilot license can take it upon themselves to build a career that’s unique. The outcomes of attending a professional pilot program are endless!
Get Out There And Pursue A New Commercial Pilot Job!
Whether you’re searching for a career change or just starting out with your training, there are plenty of rewarding jobs available to ambitious commercial pilot license holders. And, because of pilot shortage issues affecting the industry. There’s plenty of time to apply for a position that’s perfect for you. Just look to the above list to see some of the top-paying jobs that will provide you with the lifestyle you deserve as an experienced and skilled commercial aviator – best of luck!
Ready to take off in a new career as a pilot? Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today!
Inflight Pilot Training will put you on the path toward a new job that you love as a professional pilot. With a reputable training program and deep roster of experienced CFIs, our organization aims to help those who’ve dreamed of flying take the helm of a commercial aircraft and successfully navigate the skies. We can help you pursue a career that you’re passionate about with our Pro Pilot Program. Get in touch with our team of flight instructors to find out more.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.