Airline Captain Salary

Salaries for Airline Captains in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($149K) per year. In the world of Airline Captains, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $31K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $41K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $78K and $441K. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the specific employer and tenure. Most Airline Captains like their work and job satisfaction is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$72,280 - $280,275
$72K
$150K
$280K
MEDIAN: $149,178
10%
50%
90%

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$68.25 - $263.49
$68
$210
$260
MEDIAN: $211.07
10%
50%
90%

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$0$441K
Salary $72,280 - $280,275
Bonus $0.00 - $30,639
Profit Sharing $148.99 - $40,746
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).
)
$78,483 - $441,041
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 175
Hourly Data $0$520
Hourly Rate $68.25 - $263.49
Overtime $31.00 - $521
Annual Data $0$441K
Bonus $0.00 - $30,639
Profit Sharing $148.99 - $40,746
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).
)
$78,483 - $441,041
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 31

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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

  • 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

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: $173,970

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

Airline Captains will find that Denver offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 76 percent. Airline Captains can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Phoenix (+62 percent), Seattle (+24 percent), Houston (+10 percent), and Chicago (+7 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Airline Captains is geography, with workers in Minneapolis earning a whopping 58 percent below the national average. Philadelphia and Los Angeles are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 38 percent lower and 25 percent lower, respectively.

Airline Captain Reviews

Q: What is it like working as an Airline Captain?

Airline Captain in San Francisco:
"Airline Pilot."
Pros: I get to fly the giant boeing 777.
Cons: The communication is terrible and I'd like to fly international.

Airline Captain in Memphis:
Pros: Flexible hours.
Cons: Flying in bad weather. Working nights, weekends. Time away from home.

Key Stats for Airline Captain

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 20 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
53%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Airline Captain Salaries

▲29%

National Average
$174,000

▼16%

Entry-Level
▼21%

Mid-Career
▼28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 20 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
53%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 76%
vision benefits
Vision: 63%
no benefits
None: 7%
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