What’s the average salary for a career in the aviation industry?

What’s the average salary for a career in the aviation industry?

The Office of National Statistics has released figures showing that those who work in the aviation industry (excluding CEO’s, corporate management and airline owners) earn an average of £53,086 per year.

Their yearly survey showed that the average salary for men and women combined in the UK (across all jobs) was £29,009, which includes those in both full-time and part work. For those in full time work the average salary is £35,423 and £12,083 for those in part-time. Those working in the aviation industry, therefore, are taking home nearly £18k more per year than their counterparts in other industries.

How much can you earn with a career in the aviation industry?

Pilots’ and flight engineers’ wages were amongst the highest when you combine male and female salaries, taking home an average of £86,177 per year. This was higher than air traffic controllers, who saw an average gross salary of £85,714. However, when you separate this into men and women’s earnings, air traffic controllers’ salaries can surpass those of pilots, with the average salary for men being reported at £90,295 – nearly three times the UK average salary for men.

Aircraft maintenance workers also take home an average annual salary higher than the UK national average, with men and women earning £38,239 per year.

Air transport operatives sat slightly behind the UK average, earning just over £28k per year in full-time work. Air transport assistants earned an average wage of £26,561 full-time and £18,275 part time. Women earn significantly less than their male counterparts for both full-time and part-time, with women taking home £24,506 full-time and £16,738 per year part time. Men, on the other hand, saw annual average salaries of £29,879 full-time and their part-time salaries were much higher, sitting at £23,233, which is almost as much as their full-time colleagues.

Part-time salaries have decreased, but full-time salaries are on the rise

Male and female air transport assistants saw a 6.1% increase in their wages for full-time work, and air transport operatives a 1.1% increase.

Air traffic controllers’ wages have also gone, earning 9.1% more than in the previous year. The only salary to report a negative trend full-time was that of pilots and flight engineers, who earned 1.3% less year on year.

Part-time air transport assistants experienced the biggest slash to their wages year on year. Women working as a part-time air transport assistant earned 16.1% less year on year and their male counterparts 14.1% less.

However in the full picture of the economy this is still very healthy. The ONS reported that UK workers are earning on average 2.5% more year on year. This is where it were sitting just before the 2008 financial crash, which saw a 300,000 people made redundant and an average salary decrease of -2.5% across the board, so good news for those job-hunting!

Women in the aviation industry earn less than their male counterparts

The ONS estimated that across all roles surveyed, there was an average of 9.3% difference between men’s salaries and women’s salaries, with men earning this amount more than women per hour.

Given that the ONS did not report women’s full time salaries for the majority of the aviation industry, it’s difficult to say what the pay gap is between men and women across the range of jobs. For air travel assistants, however, the ONS reported that there is an average 16% wage gap between men and women working full-time, which almost double that of the national average.

You can see the full breakdown of male and female salaries full-time for the aviation industry below:

 

Male Full Time Female Full Time Male and Female Full Time
Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers £88,633 No figure reported £86,177
Air Traffic Controllers £90,295 No figure reported £85,714
Aircraft Maintenance £38,660 No figure reported £38,239
Air Transport Operatives £28,915 No figure reported £28,742
Air Travel Assistants £29,879 £24,506 £26,561
UK Average £39,003 £29,891 £35,423

 

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Cabin Crew: Salary Guide

Cabin Crew: Salary Guide

By Patricia Green The subject of salary for cabin crew is often shrouded in mystery, largely due to the fact that current members of crew are advised by their airline not to discuss their salaries online. So the subject remains distinctly vague. However, we can estimate from previous crew members at different airlines in the UK and Middle East, figures for typical salaries in 2012 (see updated figures for 2017). These should only be used as a guideline. In this article we will also be looking at other factors such as benefits and contracts. All of these will vary airline to airline and country to country and you will be able to find some of the information on the airline’s recruitment page or at the assessment day. Contracts may be offered on a temporary basis, say for six months. This can be to premeditate a lack of available crew at a scheduled airline or to prepare for a very busy summer season at a European charter airline. Not all benefits available to full time crew may be available to contract crew, for example, things like annual leave or discounted tickets. Although six months may not seem long, it is great if you want to just try out working with a different airline or if you are not sure that the job is right for you. There may also be a chance that you may be kept on, during the slow season if crew are required and you may be called back for the next seasonal contract. For scheduled airlines, for example British Airways, Virgin, Qantas or Emirates, you will mostly be offered a permanent full time contract. This will have a six month trial period, where you may choose to leave the company if you decide it’s not for you or the airline may not renew the contract. Part time contracts are only really available to full time cabin crew who have already been with the airline for a number of years and for things like maternity leave or extended sick leave. As a rough guide, salary is made up of different payments according to the airline: Basic salary On average per year, salaries start from £12,000, 12,000 Euro and $15,000. This figure is taken across a range of scheduled/charter airlines. Although, in this difficult financial climate I have heard of cabin crew working for less than 450 Euro a month! Flight pay Flight pay is an hourly rate for hours from take off to landing. This is a small figure based on actual hours flown onboard – not all airlines have this. Allowance payments There is also allowance payment for nights spent away from base (may differ from country to country visited, for example a meal in Tokyo will cost more than in Mombasa, therefore payments will reflect this.) Again, not all airlines pay for allowances and some have a set figure, for example 25 Euro per night away. Language payments Some airlines will pay a small monthly allowance for language speakers. If you speak a language fluently and can do the public announcements etc onboard regular flights, you may get paid a little extra, but you may find you will also be working the same routes regularly! Commission from duty free sales onboard This may be between 5-10% of total sales on board shared by the whole crew – every little bit helps! It is also worth knowing that during yourflight crew training course, you will only be receiving a basic salary – so for a usual 4-6 week period, you will be on a limited budget! This is normally received a month behind at the end of the month and allowances and extras are usually paid two months behind. The longer you stay with a company is also of benefit, as you should receive a yearly increment /bonus of up to 5% plus a yearly rise after a qualifying period. So, what other benefits are there? Annual leave of between 14 and 30 days a year is usually available to you, for your holiday or those special occasions. Many airlines also offer personal or medical insurance in case you get taken ill or have an accident, but this kind of cover can vary company to company. Pension schemes are sometimes available and if you happen to be sick there is a limited period of sick leave where you will be just paid a basic salary. Most scheduled airlines and some charters also offer reduced price tickets or staff travel on standby (if there is a seat available last minute!) which can be helpful if you wish to commute or travel during your annual leave. Some cabin crew may be lucky and also receive discounts on gym membership, restaurants and transportation. Down-route, you may get discounts on internet fees and food at your hotel and discounts at the duty free shop at the airport. As your uniform is so important to company image, the company will normally pay for you to have it dry cleaned and some have laundry facilities at base for you to drop off your uniform. Many of the airlines in the Middle East, for example Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Gulf Air offer their cabin crew, free transport (by crew bus to and from airport) and free accommodation (shared apartments with up to 3 other crew members) which can be a huge advantage. They also offer a tax free salary, so is a good option if you have no ties and are willing to move to a new country. So, all in all – that gives you an idea of how a cabin crew salary adds up. Every airline has different salary structure so it is hard to give an accurate single figure here. On a practical note, it is always a good idea to weigh up the pros and cons of the contract. Consider if you have housing and transport costs to pay for or existing bills at home to cover, as these should be factored in. If you are successful at your assessment day and are still in doubt as to your approximate monthly salary and contract offer then do not hesitate to contact the Human Resources department for clarification on this information. About Patricia Green: I have been cabin crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for six years and also a SCCM. For the last six years I have worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. This last year, I moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant, so that I could advise potential crew how to get their dream job and help experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, I have written a series of E-books to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips. For more information please visit cabincrewconsultant.weebly.com

Update – 2017 Cabin Crew Salary:

Starting salary: £12,000 – £14,000 Experienced: £15,000 – £21,000 Senior: £30,000 These figures should be treated as a guide and are from the National Careers Service. See our cabin crew job description for more information on working as a cabin crew member.

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Commercial Pilot: Salary Guide

Commercial Pilot: Salary Guide

Have you ever wondered ‘how much do pilots earn?’. The starting salary for a newly qualified commercial pilot working for a small operation may be around £22,000 and could rise to well over £100,000 for an experienced long-haul captain. The training procedure to become a pilot can be very expensive, sometimes as much as £100,000. However, it could result in a very lucrative career; airline pilot was the 4th highest paid profession in the UK according to the 2016 ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

Read on to discover how much a pilot could earn with different airlines, flying different types of aircraft.

Salaries at a glance

Short Haul Pilot Salary:

First Officer: £35,000 – £60,000

Captain: £60,000 – £100,000

Long Haul Pilot Salary:

First Officer: £45,000 – £120,000

Captain: £80,000 – £170,000

How much do pilots earn?

This greatly depends on the airline and the type of aircraft flown. Salaries tend to increase with each year of service with a company, says BALPA so even if you are initially paid a low wage, the situation may well improve after several years of employment.

Salaries vary according to the airline a pilot is employed with, the type of aircraft being flown and experience gained. The starting salary for a newly qualified first officer working for a small operation may be around £22,000 (or $35,000).

Starting salaries for those in larger companies are higher at around £24,000 pa to £28,000 pa ($38,000 to $45,000).

Salaries for more experienced commercial pilots could range from £28,000 ($45,000) to £44,000 ($70,000) in a first officer role. The starting salary for a captain with a medium-sized airline may range from £54,000 ($87,000) to £75,000 ($120,000), while those with the major operators could earn from £97,000 ($156,000) to over £140,000 ($225,000).

British Airways is one of the best airlines to fly for in terms of average salaries. Our calculations suggest that a long-haul pilot with lots of experience could well reach the £150,000 mark. Even some low-cost airlines like Ryanair can pay their senior captains up to £100,000.

 

 

What is the average salary of a commercial pilot?

Industry estimates suggest that UK pilots can earn between £22,000 – £170,000 per year, depending on experience, airline and type of aircraft.

The following average salaries are based on the pilot jobs listed on Aviation Job Search over the last year.

Average pilot salary (overall): £76,400

Average captain salary: £80,278

Average senior first officer salary: £72,270

Average first officer salary: £65,723

Average second officer salary: £63,692 

(updated April 2018)

 

Small & medium twin-engine turboprop aircraft:

For example: Flybe, CityJet & Eastern Airways

First Officer: £22,000 – £40,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £3,000 flight duty pay)

Captain: £50,000 – £70,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £3,000 flight duty pay)

 

Executive Jet aircraft:

For example: NetJets, TAG Aviation, Ocean Sky

First Officer: £28,000 – £50,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £6,000 flight duty pay)

Captain: £50,000 – £95,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £7,000 flight duty pay)

 

Small & Medium – Short Haul Jet aircraft:

For example: Easyjet, Ryanair

First Officer: £35,000 – £60,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £8,000 flight duty pay)

Captain: £60,000 – £100,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £9,000 flight duty pay)

 

Large – Long Haul Jet aircraft:

For example: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic & Cathay Pacific

First Officer: £45,000 – £120,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £8,000 flight duty pay)

Captain: £80,000 – £170,000 basic pay (£2,000 – £13,000 flight duty pay)

(Figures from www.tobeapilot.co.uk)

 

Flight duty pay

Flight duty pay is additional pay that can affect monthly take-home, although not all airlines use this system. It varies from company to company but essentially Flight Duty Pay is an element of pay based on a pilot being at work, in addition to basic salary. Often this is taxed at a different rate to the main salary. Flight Duty Pay can be a flat rate per sector or an hourly rate and can be based on duty time or flight time.

 

Incremental pay and benefits

It’s worth remembering that a pilot’s salary is often incremental, rising with each year of service within the company. And benefits and rewards should be taken into account too. These usually include a pension scheme, various allowances, health cover and discounted travel.

 

Working hours

In the role of pilot, unusual working hours should be expected. The length of a working day varies depending on the company and route but can range from three to twelve hours. The start times of a day will often differ depending on the route, sometimes beginning in the early morning and sometimes late at night.

 

Becoming an airline pilot:

Becoming a successful pilot requires a lot of work and dedication, with pilots required to undergo extensive training to qualify, and pass certain tests every six months. As well as studying for these tests, commercial pilots must pass a medical examination every year.

According to the British Airline Pilots Association, a typical ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence) course will cost approximately £60,000 which usually does not include the price of accommodation and living expenses. “The course lasts for about 18 months and is extremely intensive, requiring a huge amount of effort and willpower to complete,” says the BALPA. However, many airlines require more than an ATPL before they will let you apply for a job. Quite often pilots find themselves having to train for additional “type ratings” which qualifies them to fly a particular type of airliner, and this course can cost around £25,000. To find out more about the training involved, read our article on how to become a pilot in the UK.

Browse our commercial pilot jobs today.

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Top paying airlines for Pilots in the UK

Top paying airlines for Pilots in the UK

In the ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016, airline pilots were the 4th highest paid profession in the UK, earning an average of £86,915 before tax. The figures, reported by the Guardian, show that only marketing directors, chief executives, and brokers earn more on average. This figure is down 0.6% on the previous year due to the rise of budget airlines. Below is a chart of the top 10.
Average pay before tax chart

Figures from ONS data as reported by the Guardian

Commercial airlines will have both a captain and a first officer in the cockpit during the flight. Both are fully qualified pilots and will help to fly the plane but the captain has the overall responsibility for the safety of the crew and their passengers. There may be additional pilots for long haul flights so the work can be shared over long periods. Salaries therefore vary between the roles as captains generally have more experience and take on more responsibility. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to earn depending on whether you fly long haul or short haul flights. We’ve included some examples of airlines for each.  

Long Haul Pilot

Captain salary: £80,000 – £160,000 First Officer salary: £60,000 – £120,000 Typically, the aircraft used in long haul flight are Boeing 747, 767, 777, 787, and Airbus A330, A340, A380. Top long haul employers include:

Short Haul Pilot

Captain salary: £70,000 – £130,000 First Officer salary: £40,000 – £70,000 Typically, the aircraft used in short haul flights include the Boeing 737, Airbus A320, and Embraer 190 Top short haul employers include:   Salaries will vary between employers and these figures are intended as a guide. Most airlines also have some attractive benefits in place. On top of the large salary, here are some of the things that pilots might receive from their employers:
  • Rising salary each year with the same company
  • Pension scheme
  • Discounted air travel. Sometimes you are able to share this benefit with friends and family
  Interested in becoming a pilot? Read our pilot guide to find out more. It’s also worth noting that air traffic controllers were also among the top ten occupations. This could be an alternative career for you if you are interested in the aviation industry but don’t fancy life as a pilot. Take a look at the pilot roles on offer on Aviation Job Search for further information.

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