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Salary ranges by position Position


Low


Primary School Instructor


Owner-Operator Pilots


Line Pilots Lead Pilots Chief Pilots


Advanced School Instructor


Director of Ops <45K (79%) <45K (13%)


<45K (5%) <45K (6%)


Training/Check Airman <45K (10%)


100-110K (20%)


100-110K (14%)


Median 50-60K (4%) 110-130K (13%)


90-110K (12%) 90-110K (11%)


70-80K (22%) 110-130K (17%)


High 60-70K (4%) >175K (13%)


>175K (8%) >175K (4%) >175K (17%)


110-130K (20%) >175K (10%) 110-130K (40%) 150-175K (20%)


150-175K (29%) >175K (43%)


This survey data was collected in the midst of the pandemic and the slowdown of the global economy. Anecdotally, the underlying demand for helicopter pilots still remains, but the shortage the industry was facing just 12 months ago has been temporarily satisfied.


From 2016 through the spring of 2020, fending off the pull of the airlines posed a serious challenge for the helicopter industry, as employers had lost many more seasoned pilots seeking better pay, benefits, and schedules.


These questions remain: What will happen once COVID-19 fears recede and the public returns to full travel? Will helicopter pilots furloughed by the airlines run back to the higher pay and benefits as their seniority numbers come up for reassignment?


Salary ranges by certificate/ratings


Pilots who hold an ATP not only have a $10,000 to $15,000 per year higher gross median salary than those who do not, but a larger percentage of them also make up the higher income brackets. Three factors may influence the higher earnings for ATP certificate holders:


1. Many employers pay an ATP bonus.


2. Higher-paying jobs generally require an ATP as a prerequisite to being hired.


3. Pilots may have more tenure as a working pilot prior to obtaining the ATP.


INSIGHT: The ATP rating could well be worth it! The illustration below shows a majority concentration of ATP holders (approx 51%) residing in the upper income brackets when compared to a similar concentration of CPL-Instrument certificate holders who continue to remain in the middle income brackets.


Many operations in the industry such as utility, tours, and training were irreparably damaged by travel restrictions. Additionally, these restrictions and stay- at-home orders meant that fewer people were moving about for work and recreation, which in turn reduced the call volumes of most air ambulance operators. That reduction in call volume equated to less hiring of pilots and less pressure to raise wages.


In this survey we asked pilots an additional question related to the coronavirus: “Has the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on your helicopter operations?” A full 34% of respondents indicated that the pandemic had a moderate to devastating impact on their operations.


EDITOR’S COMMENT ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC IMPACTS


rotorcraftpro.com


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