Why Become a Pilot with Delta Airlines?
As you may know, the U.S. is in the midst of a pilot shortage. With an aging workforce, an FAA-mandated retirement age of 65, and an ever-increasing demand for air travel, major airlines like Delta are expected to be short as many as 8,000 pilots by 2023. The good news is that with so many open positions, pilot salaries and bonuses are rising and there has never been a better time to enter the aviation industry as a new pilot.
Delta Air Lines operates via a traditional hub-and-spoke model with nine domestic hubs. Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance along with 18 other international affiliate airlines. With more than 50 international destinations, Delta pilots have the opportunity to see the world and fly some of the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Delta pilots are based at one of seven domiciles: ATL (Atlanta, GA), DTW (Detroit, MI), LAX (Los Angeles, CA), MSP (Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN), NYC (New York City), SEA (Seattle, WA), and SLC (Salt Lake City, UT).
As the one of the leading carriers in the world, Delta Airlines serves some of most desirable locations for pilots who are interested in transcontinental routes and want to take advantage of the opportunity for international travel. Pilots bid for their domiciles based on seniority, and the number of opportunities at each domicile is based on demand.
So how much do Delta pilots make?
As of March 2022, all Delta first officers have a starting hourly wage of $92 per hour, which will increase steadily with each year of service. Depending on the type of aircraft you fly, Delta first officer wages increase to a range of $175-$242 per hour by your twelfth year. The pay scale for Delta captains starts at a range of $251-$325 per hour and increases to $256-$354 per hour by year 12, again, depending on the type of aircraft you fly.
Career benefits for Delta pilots include comprehensive health insurance with flexible spending account, disability and life insurance, employee profit-sharing, 401(k) retirement plans with company matching, complimentary gym membership, and free or discounted air travel for employees and their families as well as a limited number of buddy passes.