Top 10 Highest Paid Airline Pilots in the World | Ultimate Guide

You would be intrigued by the awesomeness of piloting. Hence, the saying “If you could fly, your earnings fly higher” Giorgio.

The aviation industry offers the most lucrative career opportunities. The allowances enjoyed by pilots include luxurious tours, all-expense-paid hotels, free medical insurance, flexible schedules, and amazing salaries.

A freshman student, Jane, had the opportunity to interview a pilot, Giorgio Coleman, who worked in one of the top 10 highest-paid airlines in the United States. 

On the interview day, Jane arrived at the Hilton hotel, Fiumicino. She makes her way to the lobby to announce her arrival to the receptionist. Astonishingly, Giorgio was already waiting for her at the conference hall. Punctuality, of course, is one of the virtues of every successful pilot.

She reached out for handshakes but was reminded of the new global etiquette due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She introduced herself briefly and began the research.

Before we continue with the story, it is important to note that pilots enjoy allowances like luxurious tours, all-expense-paid hotels, free medical insurance, flexible schedules, and amazing salaries.

Now, back to the story!


Giorgio began by describing the procedures for becoming a pilot. To become a pilot, take a key interest in studying mathematics, languages, geography, physics, communications, and chemistry.

Good mathematical knowledge enables you to make basic calculations, a basic requirement for all pilots.

In addition, these and others are the requirements to work as a pilot to work and earn with one of the highest paying airlines.

Language is important, especially English, the official language of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. The ICAO requires a minimum English Language proficiency at level four, or level 6.0 score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL, or by the International English Language Testing Service, IELTS

Comprehensive knowledge of geography is also essential since countries are positioned differently across the globe. Hence, knowledge of countries’ longitudes, latitudes, and distances from the equator is crucial. It is pertinent to learn how to use a map reader correctly. Know your wind speed, climates, and seasons of countries. Knowledge of the characteristics of seas, oceans, and lakes is necessary.

Physics is one of the most important topics for piloting. A good pilot understands aerodynamics. A cognizant aerodynamic topic like forces, power, weight, lift, drag, and thrust makes piloting interesting. 

Communication and teamwork are also required, especially for commercial pilots. In fact, to fly with a single or multi-engine aircraft, you must communicate efficiently with your flight instructor, crew and many others.

Chemistry is one of the least important classes to become a pilot. Besides understanding weather reactions, knowing chemicals would help a pilot determine the kind of smell he perceives on board. 

Below we will list the highest Paid Airline Pilots in the world.


Licenses or Aviation certificates are required before piloting. Hence, one who already has a Private Piloting License, PPL, needs to have a Commercial Pilot License, CPL, before flying passengers.

You need to study the Instrument meteorological conditions, IMC conditions for single and multi-engine aircraft. Before achieving the CPL certification, you should be 18 years or older. Also, you will need to have a medical 1 certification.

In addition, you should have a theoretical knowledge of flight fundamentals. Undergo a Night rating of 50 hours total flight time and another 50 hours pilot in command sections.

Once those steps are completed, you’ll be licensed to fly commercial airlines. If you wish to fly with co-pilots, you’ll need a multi-crew pilot license. 

With this, you’ll realize that it takes a whole lot to become one of the highest Paid Airline Pilots.

How Much is an Airline Pilot Salary?

Airline pilot salary is dependent on a number of factors like age, certifications, employer, and a host of others.

According to epic flight academy, United Airlines pilots earn an average of $205, 000. While Delta Airlines pilot earns $192, 000 with top earners in the industry earning $526, 000.

In the US, the average charter pilot’s salary is approximately $75,000. On the other hand, commercial pilots’ salary is estimated to be $93, 000 annually.

It is important to note that airline pilot salary figures are estimates. They could depend more or less on one or more of the factors listed above.

How Much Do Pilots Make?

You can make a lot as a pilot. Forbes opines that an airline pilot earns an average of $174, 870. This pilot earning is more than triple the average wage for all occupations.

According to thrust flight, airline pilots’ salary is higher than most time-building jobs in the US. Other factors may influence how much you make as a pilot.

What Airline Pays the Most for Pilots?

Although United airline is the best airline to work for as a pilot, Southwest airline pays the most for pilots.

Pilots who work for United Airline also earn a substantial amount. In fact, the pay for new pilots is highest with United Airlines.

Pilots at United Airline also enjoy excellent medical insurance, free flights, adoption assistance services, and many others.

What are the Salaries of International Commercial Pilots?

Currencies and exchange rates play vital roles when making arguments like this: do pilots make millions as salaries?

This is the fact: pilots on international flights are the highest-paid earning an average salary of $115,950.

Salaries of pilots vary across states in the USA. Factors like gender, education, the type of Boeing a pilot fly, and his experience in practice determine his salaries.

Generally, pilots make millions.

Also read: Top 10 Colleges with The Highest Paid Graduates in the World


1. Alaska Airline:

As one of the oldest airlines in the United States, Alaska Airlines maintains an impeccable reputation with its employees.

This 77-year-old aviation company came to light in 1944.

The salaries of pilots across this industry range from $93,000 to 190,000 for a first officer who has worked in the company for a year to 12 years, respectively.

For captains who just resumed, the airline pilot’s salary is $226,000, and they earn up to $266,000 in 12 years of service. 

Alaska Airlines has one of the highest-paid airline pilots in the world.

2. Delta Airline:

This airline has been operating for about 92 years since 1929. Its subsidiary airlines include Virginia Atlanta, Endeavor air, etc.

In the first year of practice, a first officer earns approximately $92,000. By her 12th year of practice, he earns $232,000 whereas a captain earns between $325,000 and $354,000.

This airline also has one of the highest paid pilots.

Read: Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs In The World

3. United airlines:

It was founded in 1926 and had its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

The annual salaries for pilots in the United States range from $91,000 to $240,000 for first officers. This makes it one of the airlines with the highest paid pilots in the world.

For Captains, the annual salary is approximately $323,000 to $352,000 depending on the years of experience in practice. 

4. American Airways:

This Airline has its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. It was founded on April 15, 1926.

As a long-lasting aviation company, it has one of the highest-paid airline pilots with salaries ranging from $90,000 to $245,000. For seniors, an annual salary ranges from 314,000 to 342,000.

5. Jet blue Airways:

Jetblue was founded in the year 1998. This 22-year-old aviation company has its headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

It pays its first officer pilots about $89,000 within the first years of service. Within 12 years of the pilot’s work, he earns $180,000. The captains are the highest paid airline pilots earning from $234,000 to $269,000.

6. Southwest Airline:

As a company founded on March 15, 1967, the fee for her pilots is rated number six in the United States in 2023. Her headquarters is situated in Dallas, Texas.

A first-time officer earns $84,000 to $191,000 annually. The salaries for Captains range from $241,000 to $274,000.

Also read: Highest Paid Truck Drivers in the World | 10 Best countries

7. Spirit Airlines: 

As a prominent company founded 39 years ago in 1983, Southwest Airline is one of the oldest operating Airlines in Miramar, Florida.

Pilots who work in this company earn $59,000 in the first year and progresses to $167,000. After a year of becoming a captain, the salaries increase from 189,000 to 252,000.

Captains are the highest paid airline pilots in Spirit.

8. Frontier Airlines: 

Frontier Airlines is founded in the year February 8, 1994. As a thriving young aviation company, it’s headquarters is situated in Denver, Colorado.

Its annual salary for first officers is from $58,000 to $162,000. For captains, a captain’s salary ranges from $184,000 to $1245,000.

9. Sun Country Airline:

The headquarters of this company is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in the year 1982.

It pays pilots from $52,000 to $122,000. For captains, the salary ranges from $116,000 to $189,000.

10. Hawaiin Airline:

The Headquarters is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was founded in the year 1929.

This airline is the last in the top 10 highest paying aviation companies/airlines for pilots.

First-time officers earn approximately 201,000 to 288,000. For captains, the salary ranges from $300,000 to $327,000.


Jane was delighted to have had this opportunity. She had learned the procedures for becoming an airline pilot and the annual salaries of the top 10 highest paid airlines pilots in the USA, and she made a great impact.

Indeed, pilots make millions and if you can fly, the higher your earnings.



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