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Airline Captain Salary

Salaries for Airline Captains in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($132K) per year. Total cash earnings of Airline Captains range from $62K on the low end to $311K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $24K and $15K, respectively. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geographic location, followed by career duration and the specific company. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Airline Captains, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$59,826 - $210,458
(Median)
60K
77K
110K
170K
210K
MEDIAN: $113,400
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$44.31 - $222.10
(Median)
44
87
150
190
220
MEDIAN: $148.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$110K$220K$330K
Salary
$59,826 - $210,458  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,427  
Profit Sharing
$503 - $15,456  
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).
)
$61,933 - $311,206  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 152
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$160$320$480
Hourly Rate
$44.31 - $222.10  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $458.18  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$320K$640K$960K
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,427  
   
Profit Sharing
$503 - $15,456  
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).
)
$61,933 - $311,206  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 33
United States (change)

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

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

Airline Captain Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Airline Captain


The biggest paychecks can be found at Delta Air Lines Inc — the median salary there is $207K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $120K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $483K.

Experience Affects Airline Captain Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 26%

National Average
$132,000

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Mid-Career
up arrow 27%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
10%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
46%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 54% employee benefits None: 11%