Helicopter Pilot Salary

The majority of Helicopter Pilots in the United States — around three in five — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $50K to $121K per year, and the median is $70K annually. While experience level and the individual firm impact pay for this group, residence is the most influential factor. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. A strong majority enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$49,324 - $118,213
(Median)
$49K
$70K
$120K
MEDIAN: $70,197
10%
50%
90%

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$20.69 - $49.44
(Median)
$21
$36
$49
MEDIAN: $35.00
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
$49,324 - $118,213  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,982  
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).
)
$49,917 - $121,301  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 304
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
$20.69 - $49.44  
   
Overtime
$1.43 - $67.15  
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 - $14,982  
   
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).
)
$49,917 - $121,301  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 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


With a median salary of $62K, Air Methods Corporation provides Helicopter Pilots with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $88K, limiting employee salary growth.


Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $60K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $72K. Helicopter Pilots with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $77K. 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 12%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

Mid-Career
0%

National Average
$72,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 63 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
30%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 15%