These Are The 10 Best Cities For Pilots

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Whether you’re just starting out your career, or looking to make a move, it can be important to know what part of the country offers the best chance for your long term career prospects. And for a very common profession like Pilots, the regional differences can have a big impact on your salary and career options.

To help you make the best decision possible, we at Zippia wanted to look at the cities that offer pilots the most for their career. These are the cities across the US where pilots get paid well, relative to the cost of living, and jobs are plentiful.

So we did what we do best and dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which cities have the best opportunities for pilots.The result is this list of the best cities pilots:

  1. Savannah, GA
  2. Midland, TX
  3. Houma, LA
  4. Santa Rosa, CA
  5. Killeen, TX
  6. Hattiesburg, MS
  7. Pensacola, FL
  8. Houston, TX
  9. Kingsport, TN
  10. Crestview, FL

So there you have it — Savannah is the best city when it comes to being a pilot.

And where should you consider avoiding if you’re a pilot? That would be Montgomery County.

Read on to see how we completed our research on the best cities for pilots and for more on the top ten cities.

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How we determined the best cities to be a pilots?




Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best cities for pilots in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well pilots get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given city.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across cities, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

This left us with enough data for 116 metro areas across the country. We then took the primary area of the metro and labeled that the ‘city’ for this analysis. So, for example, “Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division” became simply Boston.

In order to develop an overall ranking, we ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 116 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a city into a Job Score with the city having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best city for pilots in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each city so great for pilots.

1. Savannah, GA

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 360
Average Annual Salary: $115,320
Average Entry Level Salary: $66,100
Location Quotient: 7.68

2. Midland, TX

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 80
Average Annual Salary: $104,200
Average Entry Level Salary: $65,530
Location Quotient: 3.09

3. Houma, LA

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 310
Average Annual Salary: $91,360
Average Entry Level Salary: $63,350
Location Quotient: 11.26

4. Santa Rosa, CA

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 60
Average Annual Salary: $135,820
Average Entry Level Salary: $83,330
Location Quotient: 1.04

5. Killeen, TX

Best States For Pilots

Source: flickr

Total Jobs: 40
Average Annual Salary: $105,260
Average Entry Level Salary: $65,160
Location Quotient: 1.05

6. Hattiesburg, MS

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 40
Average Annual Salary: $77,930
Average Entry Level Salary: $66,520
Location Quotient: 2.5

7. Pensacola, FL

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 160
Average Annual Salary: $96,760
Average Entry Level Salary: $54,810
Location Quotient: 3.46

8. Houston, TX

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,340
Average Annual Salary: $117,780
Average Entry Level Salary: $48,670
Location Quotient: 1.59

9. Kingsport, TN

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 80
Average Annual Salary: $84,630
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,220
Location Quotient: 2.32

10. Crestview, FL

Best States For Pilots

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 210
Average Annual Salary: $93,210
Average Entry Level Salary: $50,580
Location Quotient: 7.15

And that’s our list of the best cities for pilots

If you’re looking to start out your career as a pilot these are the cities that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst cities to be a pilot in America:

  1. Montgomery County, PA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Nashville, TN

Detailed List Of The Best Cities For Pilots

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Savannah, GA $115,320 $66,100 360
2 Midland, TX $104,200 $65,530 80
3 Houma, LA $91,360 $63,350 310
4 Santa Rosa, CA $135,820 $83,330 60
5 Killeen, TX $105,260 $65,160 40
6 Hattiesburg, MS $77,930 $66,520 40
7 Pensacola, FL $96,760 $54,810 160
8 Houston, TX $117,780 $48,670 1,340
9 Kingsport, TN $84,630 $51,220 80
10 Crestview, FL $93,210 $50,580 210
11 Seattle, WA $100,220 $56,480 530
12 Fort Worth, TX $94,780 $40,580 730
13 Anchorage, AK $101,810 $44,230 190
14 Lubbock, TX $86,030 $56,920 40
15 Palm Bay, FL $90,780 $44,950 310
16 Birmingham, AL $94,430 $65,490 90
17 St. Louis, MO $86,920 $49,770 440
18 Greenville, SC $99,040 $70,870 50
19 Toledo, OH $84,570 $53,330 80
20 Oakland, CA $111,580 $64,540 250
21 Spokane, WA $72,010 $59,650 170
22 Casper, WY $69,260 $54,020 40
23 Rapid City, SD $67,810 $52,480 30
24 Ann Arbor, MI $80,310 $43,790 310
25 Los Angeles, CA $115,370 $64,680 870
26 West Palm Beach, FL $111,860 $36,000 380
27 Winston, NC $87,080 $55,830 80
28 Shreveport, LA $78,330 $55,290 70
29 Lake Charles, LA $70,320 $51,480 100
30 Tulsa, OK $92,190 $50,650 100
31 Cleveland, OH $94,490 $35,460 390
32 Reading, PA $90,690 $54,360 50
33 Jackson, MS $70,570 $52,710 120
34 Richmond, VA $102,990 $65,500 110
35 Bismarck, ND $74,670 $50,060 40
36 Wilmington, DE $98,320 $59,580 80
37 Anaheim, CA $89,560 $66,170 550
38 Miami, FL $92,450 $38,520 950
39 Tyler, TX $69,110 $48,540 60
40 Baltimore, MD $95,600 $67,110 300
41 Bakersfield, CA $105,290 $56,400 70
42 Huntsville, AL $68,130 $40,380 150
43 Wichita, KS $85,650 $24,770 350
44 Durham, NC $69,890 $52,490 130
45 New Orleans, LA $85,010 $52,140 80
46 Lake County, IL $103,190 $49,010 50
47 Raleigh, NC $75,500 $50,670 170
48 Allentown, PA $77,020 $54,730 80
49 Boise City, ID $85,490 $40,730 60
50 North Port, FL $100,850 $41,610 60
51 Atlanta, GA $94,040 $37,490 520
52 San Antonio, TX $80,640 $45,020 230
53 Fairbanks, AK $74,610 $40,920 60
54 Reno, NV $104,080 $18,480 80
55 Ocala, FL $63,660 $42,200 120
56 Sacramento, CA $111,150 $53,330 70
57 Newark, NJ $89,000 $51,940 310
58 Nassau County, NY $99,660 $55,170 270
59 Denver, CO $92,800 $39,740 410
60 New York, NY $103,360 $62,510 760
61 Fort Lauderdale, FL $88,560 $33,890 330
62 Detroit, MI $75,690 $35,990 340
63 Charlotte, NC $91,400 $32,900 320
64 Kansas City, MO $79,190 $46,250 140
65 Indianapolis, IN $73,900 $51,180 140
66 Grand Forks, ND $53,200 $35,250 110
67 Omaha, NE $78,540 $35,030 160
68 Napa, CA $71,530 $49,940 30
69 Greensboro, NC $83,080 $52,410 40
70 Oxnard, CA $72,090 $45,090 160
71 Des Moines, IA $81,450 $36,910 80
72 Evansville, IN $67,830 $49,620 30
73 Medford, OR $71,500 $36,530 50
74 Las Vegas, NV $70,200 $40,600 460
75 Austin, TX $80,800 $29,450 310
76 Naples, FL $71,730 $34,400 90
77 Cincinnati, OH $78,380 $28,050 300
78 Kahului, HI $79,120 $45,820 30
79 Chicago, IL $109,000 $34,050 410
80 Green Bay, WI $71,280 $54,020 40
81 Jacksonville, FL $75,510 $29,840 340
82 Fayetteville, NC $61,080 $40,740 40
83 Bend, OR $53,900 $41,550 30
84 Phoenix, AZ $67,190 $36,040 970
85 Warren, MI $80,120 $42,870 150
86 Akron, OH $66,690 $38,740 70
87 Odessa, TX $66,760 $27,210 40
88 Boston, MA $63,800 $43,640 990
89 Columbus, OH $47,600 $26,200 1,750
90 Knoxville, TN $84,070 $31,820 50
91 Dallas, TX $81,330 $29,150 510
92 Rochester, NY $84,760 $55,910 60
93 Fargo, ND $69,640 $23,490 50
94 Deltona, FL $50,500 $28,520 260
95 Orlando, FL $67,480 $34,480 460
96 Hartford, CT $105,370 $42,680 50
97 Urban Honolulu, HI $74,440 $45,870 130
98 Madison, WI $61,230 $40,330 110
99 Buffalo, NY $88,240 $54,620 40
100 Provo, UT $70,630 $36,100 40