Helicopter Pilot Salary

Helicopter Pilots in the United States earn an average of $73K per year; salaries are particularly strong in Jacksonville, where workers earn around $108K. Helicopter Pilots will also find cushy salaries in New York (+32 percent), San Diego (+30 percent), Lafayette (+30 percent), and Savannah (+16 percent). Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$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


Salaries are easily beat at Air Methods Corporation, where median pay comes to just $62K, the lowest in the field. What's more, with base pay starting at $57K and ending at $88K, range in salary is rather small.


Helicopter Pilots typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Fortunate workers who know INSTRUCTOR command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 21 percent above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Emergency Medical Services.

Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


Helicopter Pilots do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. 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. Helicopter Pilots who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $79K. 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 $82K.

Helicopter Pilot Reviews

What is it like working as a Helicopter Pilot at U.S. Army?

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.

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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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