Pilot Salaries and Airline Hiring Rates Increasing by “Unfathomable Numbers” According to Aviation Experts - AeroGuard

Pilot Salaries and Airline Hiring Rates Increasing by “Unfathomable Numbers” According to Aviation Experts

 |  Blog

The airlines are hiring at an exponential rate and pilot salaries are increasing beyond what the past years have ever seen. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced that the number of pilots being hired is an “unfathomable number”. According to their interview with Kit Darby, a pilot career counselor and aviation consultant, regional airline pilots’ starting pay has increased by 546% from $16,000 per year in 2000 to $108,000 per year in 2023.

Higher pay isn’t all pilots are seeing – airlines are also offering signing bonuses, continuation bonuses, increased 401k matches and retirement packages, scheduling improvement and work-life balance, and attractive benefit packages.

The hiring rate is going strong for US major airlines – the AOPA reports that in 2022, the US airlines hired over 13,000 pilots, more than doubling the previous record of 5,426 pilots in 2021.

Kit Darby also stated, “They hired over 13,000 pilots, which more than doubled the previous record, and it looks to be slightly more this year, with maybe 14,000 pilots hired. It’s an unfathomable number, and the airlines are breaking training numbers every day.”

AeroGuard Flight Training Center hosted a webinar with Kit Darby in 2022, where he discussed his insights on the pilot hiring market and how these numbers would play out in the years to come. Darby predicted that 2022 would be an incredible year regarding the number of pilots hired, and he was right! AOPA and many other reports are expecting that 2023 will be just as successful in hiring pilots, if not more so.

With both regional and major airlines competing for well-trained, professional candidates, pilots at every level are seeing encouraging and attractive pay raises and benefits. This year, major airlines have increased their pilots’ salaries by over 40% for the next couple of years until the contract becomes negotiable again – in which case the salaries are expected to rise once again.

As pilots with higher flight time are getting promoted to the major airlines, regional airlines are especially searching for qualified pilots to take their place as Captains. As First Officers are building their flight time to become Captains, enticing bonuses await them once they become qualified candidates.

Although hiring numbers are through the roof, Boeing reports that 649,000 pilots are still needed over the next 20 years. This global need adds up to 32,000 pilots a year. Darby continues to share that major airlines are short 11,700 pilots, while regional airlines are short 6,000 and corporate aviation is short 3,750. This demand for pilots will need to be met over the course of the foreseeable future.

The need for pilots has never been greater, and the hiring rate has never been better. Now is the time to become a pilot and join the airlines, establishing a professional, successful, and beneficial career.

AeroGuard Flight Training Center is committed to training future pilots, setting a higher standard with professionally focused programs and a clear path to a successful career with the airlines. AeroGuard gets our graduates to the airlines quickly with our Pilot Pathway Program that focuses on accelerated training. Within this program with SkyWest Airlines, students are guaranteed a CFI Interview with AeroGuard, a First Officer Interview with SkyWest, and a guaranteed Pilot Interview with four major airlines: Delta, United, Southwest, and Alaska.

Your pilot career is just one step away from beginning. Contact an Enrollment Advisor today and visit our Programs page to learn more about Pilot Pathway and other training opportunities!

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