Helicopter Pilot Salary

The average salary for Helicopter Pilots in the United States is $73K per year, and pay runs especially high in Jacksonville, where the average is $108K. Helicopter Pilots will also find cushy salaries in New York (+32 percent), San Diego (+30 percent), Lafayette (+30 percent), and Savannah (+16 percent). The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$50,084 - $117,156
(Median)
$50K
$73K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,708
10%
50%
90%

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$20.39 - $45.43
(Median)
$20
$31
$45
MEDIAN: $31.00
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
$50,084 - $117,156  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,401  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $9,787  
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).
)
$50,574 - $119,005  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 367
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
$20.39 - $45.43  
   
Overtime
$1.53 - $69.49  
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 - $15,401  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $9,787  
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).
)
$50,574 - $119,005  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 28
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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.


Helicopter Pilots note just a narrow range of job skills. Fortunate workers who know INSTRUCTOR command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 21 percent above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Emergency Medical Services.

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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $61K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $74K. For Helicopter Pilots, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $79K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $82K.

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Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 6%

Mid-Career
0%

National Average
$74,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

Skills That Affect Helicopter Pilot Salaries

INSTRUCTOR
up arrow 21%

National Average
$74,000

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 61 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
27%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 78%
dental benefits
Dental: 68%
medical benefits
Vision: 57%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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