Airline Captain Salary

Salaries for Airline Captains in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($149K) per year. Overall cash earnings for Airline Captains stretch from $82K on the lower end to $444K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $30K from bonuses and $41K from profit sharing. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The majority of Airline Captains claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$74,560 - $272,752
$75K
$150K
$270K
MEDIAN: $149,148
10%
50%
90%

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$68.25 - $269.61
$68
$210
$270
MEDIAN: $209.75
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$150K$300K$450K
Salary
$74,560 - $272,752  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $30,201  
Profit Sharing
$234.89 - $40,725  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$82,177 - $443,966  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 167
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$180$360$540
Hourly Rate
$68.25 - $269.61  
   
Overtime
$22.67 - $526  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$500K$1M$1M
Bonus
$0.00 - $30,201  
   
Profit Sharing
$234.89 - $40,725  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$82,177 - $443,966  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 31

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Airline Captain

Airline captains are responsible for safely flying the aircraft to its destination. In a commercial airliner, captains fly with a co-pilot who can fly the plane should something happen to the captain. The initial tasks performed by the captain before taking off include receiving weather information, conducting preflight checks on the navigation systems, and communicating with tower controllers to ensure no collisions occur. Once in the air, the captain and co-pilot rotate flying responsibilities to avoid either becoming too tired; additionally, modern aircraft include a cruise control or auto-pilot that helps keep the plane on course automatically. During flight, the captain also communicates the status of the flight to passengers, as well as checks location, flight path, and weather patterns periodically to confirm accuracy of the computer's flight plan.

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Airline Captain Tasks

  • Lead flight crew, monitor and evaluate data before and during flight.
  • Report and respond to emergency situations.
  • Communicate with ground control and authorities.
  • Evaluate situations and determine necessary changes to the flight pattern.
  • Responsible for safely flying aircraft and for the safety of passengers and crew.

Airline Captain Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Airline Captain


Those at United Airlines, Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $356K.

Pay by Experience Level for Airline Captain

Pay by Experience for an Airline Captain has a positive trend. An entry-level Airline Captain with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $137,000 based on 17 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. An Airline Captain with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $126,000 based on 26 salaries. An experienced Airline Captain which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $146,000 based on 79 salaries. An Airline Captain with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $224,000 based on 92 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $171,081

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 79 percent, Airline Captains in Denver receive some of the highest pay in the country. Airline Captains can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Phoenix (+64 percent), Seattle (+26 percent), Houston (+11 percent), and Chicago (+9 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Airline Captains in Minneapolis earning a whopping 57 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Philadelphia and Los Angeles (37 percent lower and 24 percent lower, respectively).

Key Stats for Airline Captain

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 19 votes.
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
55%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Airline Captain Salaries

▲31%

National Average
$171,000

▼14%

Entry-Level
▼20%

Mid-Career
▼26%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 19 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
55%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
vision benefits
Vision: 68%
no benefits
None: 6%
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