Helicopter Pilot Salary

Helicopter Pilots in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — about three-fifths have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $50K to $121K per year, median earnings come to $71K per year. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and experience level. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Helicopter Pilots. A fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$49,598 - $118,027

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$20.69 - $47.60

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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
$49,598 - $118,027  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,504  
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).
)
$50,186 - $120,739  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 327
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
$20.69 - $47.60  
   
Overtime
$1.46 - $68.68  
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 - $14,504  
   
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).
)
$50,186 - $120,739  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 22
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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


Employees at Air Methods Corporation take home the smallest paychecks, and $62K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $57K and quickly nearing the top at only $88K.


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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $60K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $73K. Helicopter Pilots claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $78K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $79K.

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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 60 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
32%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 16%
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