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Helicopter Pilot Salary

Just below 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 $70K per year. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and geography. A fair number enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to slightly more than half. The majority of Helicopter Pilots claim high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$49,536 - $117,701
(Median)
50K
70K
89K
120K
MEDIAN: $69,703
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$20.69 - $50.23
(Median)
21
30
38
45
50
MEDIAN: $38.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$49,536 - $117,701  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,378  
Profit Sharing
$2,000 - $7,750  
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).
)
$50,076 - $121,733  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 285
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 - $50.23  
   
Overtime
$1.45 - $67.62  
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 - $15,378  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,000 - $7,750  
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).
)
$50,076 - $121,733  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 22
United States (change)

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


Air Methods Corporation offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $62K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $57K to $88K.


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. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $60K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $69K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $76K in this role. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $82K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 13%

Experienced
up arrow 6%

National Average
$72,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 58 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 55% employee benefits None: 17%