How Much Money Do Helicopter Pilots Make?
From the Article: “The average helicopter pilot makes $93,883…”
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a professional helicopter pilot you also have probably wondered how much money they make. This article will cover the average pay for helicopter pilots as well as how that breaks down based on how much experience a pilot has and what industry they work in.
Like most professions, helicopter pilots start their careers with a much lower salary that that of more experienced pilots. Studies show that new pilots can expect to earn between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. Also, this pay is not technically a salary since helicopter pilots are paid hourly based on how much they fly.
At this stage in their careers, many helicopter pilots work as helicopter pilot instructors. This allows them to start gaining the experience and flight time that allow them to qualify for higher paying jobs in the future.
With More Experience
As a helicopter pilot gains experience and pass certain milestones, they can expect to earn more money. Once a pilot has over 1,000 hours of experience they can expect to see their income rise dramatically as they will then qualify for a more types of jobs and have more options.
Once this 1,000 hours of flight time milestone is passed, helicopter pilots can expect to earn anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 annually depending on what industry they are in and how much experience they have. The more years of experience a pilot has, the more they can expect to make.
Some examples include EMS helicopter pilots which average of $65,000 and Tour Pilots which average $50,000-$60,000.
Advanced Pay for the Most Experienced
As helicopter pilots continue in their careers and accumulate more experience they can start to earn some really great salaries. Helicopter Pilots with over 10 years of experience can earn as much as $120,000 per year depending on the industry they serve and their position.
Pilots that fly business executives and other very important people along with pilots who run routes to oil rigs are among the most experienced and highest paid pilots often earning over $100,000 per year.
Another factor that plays in to your salary is the market in which you work. Large cities well populated areas tend to pay more since the cost of living is higher in those cities. The same goes for pilots working in area that are considered to be remote, like in the arctic.
Another option for helicopter pilots looking to make a great salary (and serve their country) is being a pilot in the military. U.S. Army Helicopter Pilots earn an average of $85,000 with a range of $45,000 to $126,000 depending on rank and experience.
Average Salary and Experience
The overall average salary for a helicopter pilot is $93,883. This average includes all of the mentioned industries and a pilot with 12 years of experience. This is far more than what the average American worker earns and you’d hopefully get to earn this while doing something you love.
Future Career Opportunities
Trained helicopter pilots are in demand and future outlook of the profession looks good. There are many companies that struggle to find qualified helicopter pilots. There have even been recent articles about the shortage of helicopter pilots. Take a look one recent one here.
As you can see, being a helicopter pilot is not only a fun and exciting career but one that can pay a great salary if you are willing to put in the hard work and time required to climb the ranks. If being a helicopter pilot is something that appeals to you, you should take the time to reach out to a flight school in your area to discuss your options and learn more about the field.
You just might be the next helicopter pilot everyone looks up to.