The median salary for Helicopter Pilots in the United States is $72K per year, and compared to other cities, Jacksonville offers the biggest paychecks at around $108K on average. Helicopter Pilots will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+38 percent), New York (+34 percent), Lafayette (+32 percent), and Savannah (+19 percent). This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$49,208 - $116,264
$49K
$72K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,086
10%
50%
90%

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$17.94 - $51.52
$18
$31
$52
MEDIAN: $30.80
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
$49,208 - $116,264  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $17,272  
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).
)
$49,108 - $117,438  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 258
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
$17.94 - $51.52  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.29  
Overtime
$1.64 - $64.61  
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 - $17,272  
   
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).
)
$49,108 - $117,438  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 37

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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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Popular Employer Salaries for Helicopter Pilot


Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


For Helicopter Pilots, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $61K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $74K. On average, Helicopter Pilots make $80K following one to two decades on the job. 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 $83K.

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

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 30 votes.
030
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
24%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$73,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Helicopter Pilot Salaries

INSTRUCTOR
up arrow 24%

National Average
$73,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 30 votes.

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 79%
dental benefits
Dental: 68%
vision benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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