The average salary for Helicopter Pilots in the United States is $72K per year, and pay runs especially high in Jacksonville, where the average is $108K. Helicopter Pilots will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+37 percent), New York (+32 percent), Lafayette (+31 percent), and Savannah (+18 percent). Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$49,444 - $112,231
(Median)
$49K
$72K
$110K
MEDIAN: $72,080
10%
50%
90%

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$20.00 - $55.00
(Median)
$20
$33
$55
MEDIAN: $33.00
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
$49,444 - $112,231  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $17,617  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $19,866  
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).
)
$49,643 - $114,272  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 267
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
$20.00 - $55.00  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.29  
Overtime
$1.77 - $67.31  
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 - $17,617  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $19,866  
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).
)
$49,643 - $114,272  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 34
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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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Pay by Experience Level for Helicopter Pilot

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


Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $62K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $74K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $81K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make about the same as folks in the 10-to-20 year range.

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

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Late-Career
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$74,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Helicopter Pilot Salaries

INSTRUCTOR
up arrow 23%

National Average
$74,000

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 33 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 79%
dental benefits
Dental: 69%
medical benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 14%
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