October 05, 2007
For most air travel occupations, there is an adventurous perk: the chance to fly for free or at substantially reduced rates.
But what about the wages and salaries in those air travel jobs, which include mechanics and service technicians, airline pilots and flight engineers, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers?
Pilots and flight engineers and air traffic controllers are among the highest paid occupations in the United States. Median annual salaries of pilots and flight engineers were $141,090 in May 2006; for air traffic controllers, the median was $117,240.
Flight attendants had median annual salaries of $53,780. Flight attendant pay is based almost entirely on seniority and varies by airline, but attendants can increase their earnings by working additional hours and flights.
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians had median hourly wages of $22.95, which converts to an annual wage of $47,740 based on a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours. For avionics technicians, median hourly wages were $22.57, or $46,950 per year.
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For more information, see "Sky-high careers: Jobs related to airlines," by Tamara Dillon, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2007.