What are the perks and benefits of an Airline Pilot?
Being a pilot is one of the most respected occupations in the world. To most people, airline pilots are just shy of being super heroes. They get to do something very difficult that most people dream of, are well respected, and get to wear that incredible uniform.
Being a pilot also comes with a lot of great benefits. If you’re always wanted to be a pilot or if you’re just curious just how great their benefits are, read on.
Note: The benefits listed are generally expected for pilots in the aviation industry. As always, keep in mind that different airlines have different policies. The exact policies and value of these benefits depend on the specific airline you work for.
#1 Great Pay
It’s no secret that airline pilots earn a great salary. The starting salary is typically over $50,000 per year while the average annual salary is well over $85,000. While that sounds great, it only gets better from there as experienced pilots at larger airlines can earn over $200,000 per year.
Between the great pay and all the other benefits you’re about to read about, it’s no surprise that a vast majority of pilots are very happy with their career choice.
For more specific info on how much pilots earn, read our full breakdown here.
#2 Retirement Plan
Airlines also have very generous retirement plans for their pilots.
This includes everything from 401 (k) plans that have a company match to pension plan most would be jealous of.
Getting to fly the world as a pilot is great, but the day will come when you want to retire. These retirement plan benefits will allow you to sleep well knowing that you’ll be taken care of after your working days are over.
#3 Health Benefits
It should come as no surprise that airlines provide great health insurance benefits for their pilots.
The benefits included consist of health insurance benefits as well as dental and vision.
With healthcare and insurance costs rising, this is an amazing benefit that fewer and fewer occupations have access to. If you have (or plan to have) a family, this is even more valuable.
#4 Travel While Working
While working as a pilot, you’ll get to travel quite a bit. This includes flying to other cities domestically, dream destinations abroad, as well as far flung places you might never have thought you’d ever get to see.
While flying to these locations you’ll also have the opportunity between flights to visit and explore these cities/countries.
How could this get even better?
You’ll often get to stay in a hotel for free (paid by the airline) for a night or two until your return flight. That means you’ll essentially get a mini-vacation in a part of the world most people would have to pay thousands of dollars to visit.
#5 Travel Passes for Family
When you aren’t travelling while flying the airplane, you might want to take a vacation with your family. In this case, you’ll have access to yet another great benefit.
You’re family will get to fly free using travel passes issued by your employer. This gives you the opportunity to take vacations for a very low cost. There are even agreements between airlines to let their employees travel for free or discounted prices in case you want to go somewhere your airline doesn’t have flights to.
As a special bonus, some airlines even offer this to friends as well as family.
It’s worth noting that each airline has a specific policy about this and the details can vary quite a bit. Make sure you ask about it when interviewing for a job.
#6 Flexible Schedule
Airline Pilots have a notoriously flexible schedule. Once you’ve built up seniority and have the ability to choose the flights and schedule you want, you’ll get to have a lifestyle most people dream of.
It’s not uncommon for pilots to arrange their schedule so that they get a week or two off every month. They can then use that free time to do everything from start and operate a small business or spend their days golfing.
When you’re first starting out you might have to take flights you aren’t crazy about (including nights, weekends, and holidays) but it won’t be long before you can organize your life to meet your needs.
#7 Travel for Life
Many airlines now have an added benefit for their retired pilots – they get to fly for free even when they are done working. Talk about a huge “Thank You” for a successful career as a pilot.
Many people look forward to traveling after they retire. In this case you’ll get to do it for free or at a heavily discounted rate.
#8 Paid Vacation
In addition to being able to arrange your schedule to have plenty of time off, airlines offer pilots a very generous vacation plan.
It’s not uncommon for new pilots to get several weeks of paid vacation while more experienced pilots can get significantly more than that. It just goes to show just how much airlines value their pilots and want to ensure they have a great work/life balance.
#9 In Demand
Not only is there a huge demand for airline pilots, there is currently a huge worldwide shortage of qualified applicants. (Here’s a great article from CNBC on it.)
This benefits those that are pilots in several ways.
One way is that you almost never have to worry about getting laid off or losing your job. Most people with jobs in almost any other industry always have to worry about what happened if their skills or position are no longer needed. This is not the case for pilots as people are always going to need a safe way to fly to their next destination.
Another great benefit of being in demand as a pilot is getting to earn more money (and have all these amazing benefits). Airlines know how rare a good pilot is so they make sure to take care of their pilots so they never leave. This means always getting competitive pay!
#10 You Get Paid to FLY!
This benefit might sound obvious, but think about it. While most people are sitting in a cubicle or stuck in a dead end job they hate, you get to earn a great living doing something incredible. If you went down the road of earning your pilots license and earning the required education and experience to be an airline pilot, odds are you love to fly.
They say if you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work another day in your life. Being an airline pilot very much fits that statement.
Being a pilot is a very rewarding job. You get to provide a very important service to people that they desperately need. You also are directly responsible for their safety.
Thanks to you and your hard work, people get to travel to vacations, weddings, to visit loved ones, for work, and a thousand other reasons. You’re making a difference in people’s lives each and every time you show up to work.
And while most people are at least nervous (if not afraid) to fly, you do this all for them without any hesitation.
#12 Vacation for Free
We already mentioned how you can take short mini-vacations for free and will also get a lot of paid vacation time. Well, you’ll also get to travel for free on your own when you aren’t working. This is a life changer.
You’ll be able to take advantage of this benefit and have the opportunity to see nearly any place you’d like to… with no concerns of paying for airfare.
#13 Meet New People
Being a pilot puts you in a position to meet a lot of great people. You’ll get to know your colleagues (other pilots, flight attendants, etc) and build long term relationships with them while working and travelling together.
You’ll also get to meet a ton of great people at airports and while travelling between flights. Everyone wants the opportunity to meet a pilot since the profession is so respected and it opens the doors for you to make a lot of friends all over the world.
As we all know, being a pilot comes with a lot of benefits. This is a career that includes everything from great pay to benefits no other industry could never offer. If you think you would love to be a pilot and earn all these benefits while getting to fly airplanes, then you should consider contacting a flight school near you.
- What are the different types of pilot licenses?
- Ever wonder if you need a college degree to be a pilot?