Helicopter Pilot Salary

Helicopter Pilots in the United States earn an average of $72K per year; salaries are particularly strong in Jacksonville, where workers earn around $108K. Helicopter Pilots will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+40 percent), New York (+34 percent), Lafayette (+32 percent), and Savannah (+19 percent). This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$49,739 - $118,060
$50K
$72K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,157
10%
50%
90%

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$17.81 - $51.95
$18
$31
$52
MEDIAN: $31.22
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,739 - $118,060  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $18,000  
Profit Sharing
$3,000  
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).
)
$49,381 - $120,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 236
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$17.81 - $51.95  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.29  
Overtime
$1.71 - $65.62  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $18,000  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,000  
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).
)
$49,381 - $120,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 35
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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Job Description for Helicopter Pilot

Helicopter pilots are primarily responsible for ensuring the smooth and safe operation of helicopters before, during, and after flight missions. They work in a variety of areas, such as health and safety (including in rescue work, forest fire fighting, and health transport operations), law enforcement, news gathering, tourism, and commercial transport. Helicopter pilots are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are mission-ready, which involves examining maintenance and regulatory compliance records and checking that their helicopters meet industry, federal, and state standards. Pilots must seek out repairs and inspections as needed. In flight, helicopter pilots guide the vehicle and communicate with air traffic personnel, following all guidelines for safe travel in the skies. Additionally, they ensure that all passengers and cargo are properly secured prior to take off and at all times during flight. In cases of inclement weather, helicopter pilots must monitor conditions and determine the safety of flying conditions.

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Helicopter Pilot Tasks

  • Inspect and conduct pre-flight tests and fly helicopters to designated locations.
  • Communicate with ground control, home office and other aircraft.
  • Monitor navigational aids and flight instrumentation.
  • Register flight plans, load helicopters, calculate weight and monitor and adjust fuel levels.

Helicopter Pilot Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Helicopter Pilots — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $62K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $72K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $79K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $84K.

Helicopter Pilot Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Helicopter Pilot?

Helicopter Pilot in Portland:
`"$Military Aviation."`
Pros: I've absolutely enjoyed my training and mission while serving in the U.S. Army Reserves Aviation. I've vastly improved my career and desire to continue flying.
Cons: The hours and locations are not always suiting for my next step in life.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Helicopter Pilot

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 27 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
25%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
▲16%

Experienced
▲8%

National Average
$73,000

Mid-Career
▼1%

Entry-Level
▼15%

Skills That Affect Helicopter Pilot Salaries

INSTRUCTOR
▲24%

National Average
$73,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 27 votes.

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 79%
dental benefits
Dental: 68%
vision benefits
Vision: 58%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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