Helicopter Pilot Salary

With close to three-fifths of Helicopter Pilots in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Helicopter Pilots is $71K per year and can range from $50K on the lower end to $122K per year near the higher end. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geography, followed by the company and experience level. A fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Most Helicopter Pilots like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$49,396 - $118,946
(Median)
$49K
$71K
$120K
MEDIAN: $71,243
10%
50%
90%

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$20.76 - $47.38
(Median)
$21
$34
$47
MEDIAN: $34.00
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
$49,396 - $118,946  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,884  
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).
)
$50,006 - $121,860  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 329
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
$20.76 - $47.38  
   
Overtime
$1.46 - $68.68  
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 - $14,884  
   
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).
)
$50,006 - $121,860  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 23
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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.


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. The average beginner in this position makes around $60K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $73K. Helicopter Pilots claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $78K. 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 $80K.

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Experience Affects Helicopter Pilot Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 9%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

Mid-Career
0%

National Average
$73,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

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
18%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
29%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 16%
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