Helicopter Pilot Salary

Nearly three-fifths of Helicopter Pilots in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $50K to $122K per year, and the average comes out to $71K per year. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by career length and the specific company. For the most part, Helicopter Pilots enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and the larger part earn dental coverage. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$49,365 - $118,896
(Median)
$49K
$71K
$120K
MEDIAN: $71,198
10%
50%
90%

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$20.76 - $47.38
(Median)
$21
$34
$47
MEDIAN: $34.00
10%
50%
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,365 - $118,896  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,927  
Profit Sharing
$900 - $5,500  
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).
)
$49,946 - $121,795  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 330
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$20.76 - $47.38  
   
Overtime
$1.46 - $68.68  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,927  
   
Profit Sharing
$900 - $5,500  
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).
)
$49,946 - $121,795  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 23
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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

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

Helicopter Pilot Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Helicopter Pilot


Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $57K to just $88K — but Air Methods Corporation offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $62K.


Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $60K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $73K. On average, Helicopter Pilots make $78K following one to two decades on the job. Helicopter Pilots who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $80K.

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Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 9%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

Mid-Career
0%

National Average
$73,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 62 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
18%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
29%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 16%
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