Salary of a Charter Pilot

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Charter pilots are commercial pilots who fly small charter flights as opposed to the large commercial airliners that are flow by many pilots in the air transportation field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates 9,680 charter pilots were employed in the field of non-scheduled air transportation in 2010. Salaries for those working in this field exceeded the national average for all commercial pilots.

Average Salary

  • Charter pilots earned an average annual salary of $75,460 per year in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary was slightly higher than the average salary for all commercial pilots nationwide who worked in a variety of different industries. Commercial pilots nationwide made an average salary of $73,490 per year, by comparison. Charter pilots were by no means the highest-paid commercial pilots. This distinction went to those in aerospace manufacturing field who made $105,520 per year, on average.

Pay Scale

  • Charter pilots nationwide made salaries that typically ranged from $34,860 to as high as $119,650 per year, as of 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau indicates that the median salary for commercial pilots was $67,500, with those comprising the middle 50 percent of the pay scale making salaries ranging from $48,390 to $89,970 on an annual basis.


  • Where the charter pilot works provides some indication of what he can expect to make. According to the BLS, the states of New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia were the highest-paying states in which to work. The bureau indicates that the average salary in these states ranged from $85,820 to $113,020 per year in 2010. Those working in the state of Texas made an average salary of Texas made $71,850, while those employed in Florida brought home an average of $76,080.

Job Outlook

  • The job forecast for aircraft pilots and flight engineers appears to be positive, based on projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period from 2008 to 2018. According to the bureau, the number of jobs in this field should grow by about 12 percent during this period. Much of this growth will be tied to the increase in jobs for commercial airline pilots, but opportunities for charter pilots should also continue to grow since much of the projected growth will occur due to economic expansion and the need for air transport by those in the business sector.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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