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Helicopter Pilot Salary

Helicopter Pilots in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — about three-fifths have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $50K to $122K per year, median earnings come to $71K per year. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by career length and the particular employer. The majority of Helicopter Pilots claim high levels of job satisfaction. A fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$49,050 - $118,765
(Median)
$49K
$71K
$120K
MEDIAN: $70,524
10%
50%
90%

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$20.62 - $47.84
(Median)
$21
$35
$48
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
$49,050 - $118,765  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,858  
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).
)
$49,606 - $122,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 305
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
$20.62 - $47.84  
   
Overtime
$1.49 - $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 - $14,858  
   
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).
)
$49,606 - $122,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 21

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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


Helicopter Pilots will find the worst pay at Air Methods Corporation, where the median salary crawls in at $62K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $88K, leaving little room for growth.


Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


Helicopter Pilots with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. 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 bring in $78K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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 $80K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

National Average
$72,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 62 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
29%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 76% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 16%
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