highest paying airlines

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highest paying airlines

Top 10 Highest Paid Airline Pilots in the World | 2022

  • bybright
  • November 17, 2021
  • No comments
  • 6 minute read
highest paid airline pilots
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You would be intrigued by the awesomeness of piloting. Hence, “If you could fly, your earnings fly higher” Giorgio. The aviation industry avails the most lucrative career opportunities. The allowances enjoyed by pilots include luxurious tours, all-expense-paid hotels, free medical insurance, flexible schedules, and obviously, amazing salaries. A freshman student, Jane, had the opportunity to interview a pilot, Giorgio Coleman, who worked in one of the top 10 highest-paid airlines in the United States. 

On the day of the interview, Jane arrived at the Hilton hotel, Fiumicino. She makes her way to the lobby to announce her arrival to the receptionist. Astonishingly, Giorgio was already waiting for her at the conference hall. Punctuality, of course, is one of the virtues of every successful pilot.

She reached out her hand for handshakes but was reminded of the new global etiquette due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She introduced herself briefly and began the research.

Before we continue with the story, it is important to note that pilots enjoy allowances like luxurious tours, all-expense-paid hotels, free medical insurance, flexible schedules, and obviously, amazing salaries.

Now, back to the story!


Giorgio began by describing the procedures for becoming a pilot. To become a pilot, take a key interest in studying mathematics, languages, geography, physics, communications, and chemistry.

Good mathematical knowledge enables you to make basic calculations which is a basic requirement for all Pilots.

In addition, these and others are the requirements to work as a pilot in order to work and earn with one of the highest paying airlines.

Languages are important, especially English, the official language of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. The ICAO requires a minimum English Language proficiency in level four, or level 6.0 score in the Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL, or by the International English Language Testing Service, IELTS. 

Comprehensive knowledge of geography is essential as well since countries are positioned differently across the globe. Hence, knowledge of countries’ longitudes, latitudes, and distances from the equator is crucial. It is pertinent to learn how to use a map reader correctly. Know your wind speed, climates, and seasons of countries. Knowledge of the characteristics of Seas, Oceans, and lakes is necessary.

Physics is one of the most important topics for piloting. A good pilot understands aerodynamics. A cognizant aerodynamic topic like forces, power, weight, lift, drag, and thrust makes piloting interesting. 

Communication and teamwork are also required, especially for commercial pilots. In fact, to fly with a single or multi-engine aircraft, you must communicate efficiently with your flight instructor, crew and many others.

Chemistry is one of the least important classes to become a pilot. Apart from understanding weather reactions, knowing chemicals would help a pilot determine the kind of smell he perceives on board. 

Below we will list the highest Paid Airline Pilots in the world.


Licenses or Aviation certificates are required before piloting. Hence, one who already has a Private Piloting License, PPL, needs to have a Commercial Pilot License, CPL, before flying passengers.

You need to study the Instrument meteorological conditions, IMC conditions for single and multi-Engine aircraft. Before achieving the CPL certification, you should be 18 years or older. Also, you will need to have a medical 1.

In addition, you should have a theoretical knowledge of flight fundamentals. Undergo a Night rating of 50 hours total flight time and another 50 hours pilot in command sections.

Once those steps are completed, you’ll be licensed to fly commercial airlines. Should you wish to fly with co-pilots, you’ll need to have a multi-crew pilot License. 

With this, you’ll realize that it takes a whole lot to become one of the highest Paid Airline Pilots.


Currencies and exchange rates play vital roles when making arguments like this: do pilots make millions as salaries?

This is the fact, pilots on international flights are the highest-paid earning an average salary of $115,950.

Salaries of pilots vary across states in the USA. Factors like gender, education, the type of Boeing a pilot fly, and his level of experience in practice determine his salaries.

Generally, pilots make millions.

Also read: Top 10 Colleges with The Highest Paid Graduates in the World |2022


1. Alaska Airline:

As one of the oldest airlines in the United States, Alaska Airline maintains an impeccable reputation with its employees.

This 77-year-old aviation company came to light in 1944.

The salaries of pilots across this industry range from $93,000 to 190,000 for a first officer who had worked in the company for a year to 12 years, respectively.

For captains who just resumed, the fee is $226,000 and earns up to $266,000 in 12 years of service. 

Alaska Airline has one of the highest paid airline pilots in the world.

2. Delta Airline:

This airline has been operating for about 92 years which is 1929. Its subsidiary airlines include Virginia Atlanta, Endeavor air, etc.

In the first year of practice, a first officer earns approximately $92,000. By her 12th year of practice, he earns $232,000. Whereas a captain earns between $325,000 to $354,000.

This airline also has one of the highest paid pilots.

Read: Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs In The World

3. United airlines:

It was founded in the year 1926, and has Its headquarters at Chicago, Illinois.

The annual salaries for pilots who work in United range from $91,000 to $240,000 for first officers.

For Captains, the annual salary is approximately $323,000 to $352,000 depending on the years of experience in practice. 

4. American Airways:

This Airline has its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. It was founded in April 15, 1926.

As a long-lasting aviation company, it has one of the highest-paid airline pilots with salaries ranging from $90,000 to $245,000. For seniors, an annual salary ranges from 314,000 to 342,000. See other top-paying jobs in America

5. Jet blue Airways:

Jetblue was founded in the year 1998. This 22 year old aviation company has it’s headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

It pays its first officer pilots about $89,000 within the first years of service. Within 12 years of the pilot’s work, he earns $180,000. The captains are the highest paid airline pilots and they earn from $234,000 to $269,000.

6. Southwest Airline:

As a company founded in March 15, 1967, the fee for her pilots is rated number six in the United States, 2022. Her headquarters is situated in Dallas, Texas.

A first-time officer earns $84,000 to $191,000 annually. The salaries for Captains range from $241,000 to $274,000.

Also read: Highest Paid Truck Drivers in the World | 10 Best countries

7. Spirit Airlines: 

As a prominent company founded 39 years ago in the year 1983, Southwest Airline is one of the oldest operating Airlines in Miramar, Florida.

Pilots who work in this company earn $59,000 in the first year and progresses to $167,000. After a year of becoming a captain, the salaries increase from 189,000 to 252,000.

Captains are the highest paid airline pilots in Spirit.

8. Frontier Airlines: 

Frontier Airlines is founded in the year February 8, 1994. As a thriving young aviation company, it’s headquarters is situated in Denver, Colorado.

Its annual salary for first officers is from $58,000 to $162,000. For captains, the salary of a captain is from $184,000 to $1245,000.

9. Sun Country Airline:

The headquarters of this company is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in the year 1982.

It pays pilots from $52,000 to $122,000. For captains, the salary ranges from $116,000 to $189,000.

10. Hawaiin Airline:

The Headquarters is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was founded in the year 1929.

This airline is the last in this top 10 highest paying aviation company/airline for pilots.

First-time officers earn approximately 201,000 to 288,000. For captains, the salary ranges from $300,000 to $327,000.

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