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There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an airline pilot. For example, did you know that they make an average of $48.65 an hour? That's $101,191 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 7,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Airline Pilot Do

There are certain skills that many airline pilots have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, problem-solving skills and quick reaction time.

Learn more about what an Airline Pilot does

How To Become an Airline Pilot

If you're interested in becoming an airline pilot, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.8% of airline pilots have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.6% of airline pilots have master's degrees. Even though most airline pilots have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an airline pilot. When we researched the most common majors for an airline pilot, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on airline pilot resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an airline pilot. In fact, many airline pilot jobs require experience in a role such as flight instructor. Meanwhile, many airline pilots also have previous career experience in roles such as pilot or captain.

Airline Pilot Career Paths

Average Salary for an Airline Pilot

Airline Pilots in America make an average salary of $101,191 per year or $49 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $155,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Airline Pilot Salary
$101,191 Yearly
$48.65 hourly
$65,000
10 %
$101,000
Median
$155,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Airline Pilot Education

Airline Pilot Majors

43.9 %
15.6 %

Airline Pilot Degrees

Bachelors

69.8 %

Masters

14.6 %

Associate

12.5 %

Top Colleges for Airline Pilots

1. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$45,542
Enrollment
14,159

5. University of Minnesota - Crookston

Crookston, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,822
Enrollment
1,834

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,105
Enrollment
13,729

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

10. Arizona State University at the Polytechnic Campus

Mesa, AZ • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,840
Enrollment
4,495

Top Skills For an Airline Pilot

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 22.0% of airline pilots listed aircraft systems on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Airline Pilot Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Airline Pilot templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Airline Pilot resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Airline Pilot Demographics

Airline Pilot Gender Distribution

Male
Male
92%
Female
Female
8%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among airline pilots, 7.6% of them are women, while 92.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among airline pilots is White, which makes up 86.7% of all airline pilots.

  • The most common foreign language among airline pilots is French at 50.0%.

Online Courses For Airline Pilot That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Part 1 FAA Private Pilot Ground School (Part 61)
udemy
4.9
(594)

Introduction to flight training, Aircraft Structure, Systems and Flight Instruments...

Flight mechanics - The basis
coursera

More than one century after the Wright brothers' first flight, the flight still defy our intuition. You will learn here how to name the different parts of the airplane and how to describe and quantify its geometry. For that, we need now to share a precise vocabulary to describe the airplane's movement and attitude in space, and a refresher on basic general mechanic principles. You will remind how Newton's 2nd law allows you to determine what force must be applied on an apple - or on an airplane,...

Phantom & Mavic Flightschool - flight training & Go4 app
udemy
4.5
(395)

Master your flying skills & the DJI Go flight modes like Tapfly, Active Track, Waypoints, Point of interest & more!...

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Best States For an Airline Pilot

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an airline pilot. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, California, Washington, and Idaho. Airline pilots make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $151,485. Whereas in California and Washington, they would average $149,737 and $141,122, respectively. While airline pilots would only make an average of $136,759 in Idaho, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Airline Pilot Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$211,000
Location Quotient:
1.48 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Idaho

Total Airline Pilot Jobs:
9
Highest 10% Earn:
$202,000
Location Quotient:
1.98 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Airline Pilot Jobs:
15
Highest 10% Earn:
$175,000
Location Quotient:
2.59 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Airline Pilots

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Top Airline Pilot Employers

Most Common Employers For Airline Pilot

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Allegheny Airlines Inc$112,437$54.063
2Prosperity Bank$110,386$53.075
3UPS$104,992$50.483
4Ata Airlines$101,201$48.653
5American Airlines$99,537$47.8514
6Trans States Holdings$96,702$46.498
7SkyWest Airlines$92,794$44.61204
8United$92,792$44.6111
9Republic Airways Holdings$92,218$44.347
10Southwest Airlines$91,579$44.033