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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

53-2011 Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, national, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots. Excludes “Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians” (17-3024).


National estimates for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
Industry profile for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
Geographic profile for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

National estimates for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Mean wage
RSE (3)
81,310 0.9 % (4) $ 198,190 0.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Annual Wage (2) $ 100,110 $ 126,470 $ 202,180 (5) (5)
  (4)

Industry profile for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scheduled Air Transportation 69,170 17.66 (4) $ 203,010
Couriers and Express Delivery Services 3,600 0.39 (4) $ 277,080
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 3,250 0.15 (4) $ 115,340
Support Activities for Air Transportation 2,500 1.28 (4) $ 131,770
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 1,500 3.08 (4) $ 136,920

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scheduled Air Transportation 69,170 17.66 (4) $ 203,010
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 1,500 3.08 (4) $ 136,920
Support Activities for Air Transportation 2,500 1.28 (4) $ 131,770
Couriers and Express Delivery Services 3,600 0.39 (4) $ 277,080
Technical and Trade Schools 370 0.28 (4) $ 114,400

Top paying industries for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Couriers and Express Delivery Services 3,600 0.39 (4) $ 277,080
Scheduled Air Transportation 69,170 17.66 (4) $ 203,010
Management of Companies and Enterprises 170 0.01 (4) $ 172,780
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities (8) (8) (4) $ 145,800
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 1,500 3.08 (4) $ 136,920


Geographic profile for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers, see the Create Customized Tables function.



Map of employment of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Texas 8,460 0.69 1.20 (4) $ 210,160
California 8,070 0.49 0.85 (4) $ 227,870
Florida 6,400 0.74 1.29 (4) $ 232,600
New York 6,280 0.72 1.26 (4) $ 219,980
Illinois 5,690 1.01 1.75 (4) $ 193,820


Map of location quotient of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by state, May 2021


States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska 790 2.65 4.60 (4) $ 157,700
Hawaii 910 1.66 2.87 (8) (8)
Colorado 4,080 1.56 2.70 (4) $ 161,620
Washington 3,250 1.01 1.76 (4) $ 222,340
Illinois 5,690 1.01 1.75 (4) $ 193,820


Map of annual mean wages of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Florida 6,400 0.74 1.29 (4) $ 232,600
California 8,070 0.49 0.85 (4) $ 227,870
Washington 3,250 1.01 1.76 (4) $ 222,340
New York 6,280 0.72 1.26 (4) $ 219,980
Michigan 2,250 0.55 0.96 (4) $ 214,640



Map of employment of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 8,690 1.00 1.74 (4) $ 222,470
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 5,580 1.56 2.69 (4) $ 213,010
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 5,540 1.31 2.27 (4) $ 195,020
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 4,770 0.83 1.44 (4) $ 229,160
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 4,330 1.76 3.06 (4) $ 242,540
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 3,890 2.66 4.60 (4) $ 162,510
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 3,140 1.64 2.84 (4) $ 224,860
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 2,780 2.30 3.98 (4) $ 162,850
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 2,600 1.43 2.47 (4) $ 127,140
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 2,570 0.88 1.52 (4) $ 214,320


Map of location quotient of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Anchorage, AK 510 3.13 5.42 (4) $ 182,730
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 3,890 2.66 4.60 (4) $ 162,510
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 2,780 2.30 3.98 (4) $ 162,850
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 4,330 1.76 3.06 (4) $ 242,540
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 3,140 1.64 2.84 (4) $ 224,860
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 5,580 1.56 2.69 (4) $ 213,010
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 2,600 1.43 2.47 (4) $ 127,140
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 5,540 1.31 2.27 (4) $ 195,020
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 2,530 1.20 2.07 (4) $ 197,820
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 8,690 1.00 1.74 (4) $ 222,470


Map of annual mean wages of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by area, May 2021


Top paying metropolitan areas for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 530 0.35 0.60 (4) $ 255,250
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 2,070 0.92 1.60 (4) $ 243,380
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 4,330 1.76 3.06 (4) $ 242,540
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 1,050 0.89 1.55 (4) $ 240,710
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 4,770 0.83 1.44 (4) $ 229,160
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 3,140 1.64 2.84 (4) $ 224,860
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 290 0.30 0.52 (4) $ 223,330
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 8,690 1.00 1.74 (4) $ 222,470
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (8) (8) (8) (4) $ 219,810
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (8) (8) (8) (4) $ 215,460

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area 220 2.66 4.60 (4) $ 111,820
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 200 2.02 3.51 (4) $ 106,640
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area 100 0.47 0.81 (4) $ 109,600
Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 30 0.17 0.29 (4) $ 118,370
Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area 30 0.21 0.37 (4) $ 110,730

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area 220 2.66 4.60 (4) $ 111,820
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 200 2.02 3.51 (4) $ 106,640
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area 100 0.47 0.81 (4) $ 109,600
Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area 30 0.21 0.37 (4) $ 110,730
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area 30 0.17 0.30 (4) $ 68,340

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 30 0.17 0.29 (4) $ 118,370
Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area 220 2.66 4.60 (4) $ 111,820
Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area 30 0.21 0.37 (4) $ 110,730
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area 100 0.47 0.81 (4) $ 109,600
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 200 2.02 3.51 (4) $ 106,640


About May 2021 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(4) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.

(5) This wage is equal to or greater than $100.00 per hour or $208,000 per year.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022