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Entry-level pilot pay,...what's your story?

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#1 r22butters

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:36

Been thinking, and the highest paying entry-level flying job I've ever applied/interviewed for was Helislave at $2,000 a month.

Where I currently work driving a truck, the starting pay is just over $21 bucks an hour.

So, if I worked at my current job the same number of hours that Freddy shackled me in for I'd actually make just over $5,000 a month,...and that's with a lunch break!

Of course this is only five days a week and at Helislave you had to be willing to come in on your days off, for no extra pay of course, whereas if I had to come in on Saturday at my current job,...I'd make more money!

,...just some food stamps for thought :)
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#2 Azhigher

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 18:13

I made $30-35k as a CFI. 28 months after I was hired as a CFI I was making 95k (with flight bonuses/tips)

 

Just gotta pay your dues, dawg.


Edited by Azhigher, 19 May 2018 - 18:13.

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#3 Fred0311

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 21:18

I made 45k with really good benefits and retirement as a CFI, but I was working for that school using the GI bill as an excuse to print money.
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#4 WolftalonID

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:00

My first gig offered right after instruction was 65k, but it didnt happen, then one for 72k...it happened for a short while, then the contract collapsed. Next job was great experience but not sure I ever got paid..(was less than my cfi gig originally). Now I am in a great paying job with full benefits and happy.

Flying jobs can range in pay all over the scale. Its not always about the money, sometimes you just go have fun...but everyone needs some bacon so eventually you go for both.

Landing that dream job all starts with your attitude...then they can assess your skills.
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#5 Eric Hunt

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 00:22

The OP needs to also only talk to recent graduates, because the difference between my first job and my last job was 4,000% - but that is over a looooong time, and the pay for the first job was considered pretty good for the time. (Copilot to Bleriot).



#6 takefootoff

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:06

I made 45k with really good benefits and retirement as a CFI, but I was working for that school using the GI bill as an excuse to print money.

Yeah buddy, gettin dat gubment munney.

I figure your school was pretty busy?

Edited by takefootoff, 21 May 2018 - 09:06.

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#7 r22butters

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:40

The OP needs to also only talk to recent graduates, because the difference between my first job and my last job was 4,000% - but that is over a looooong time, and the pay for the first job was considered pretty good for the time. (Copilot to Bleriot).


Well yeah, everyone eventually makes more.

,...that is, if you can make it through what that first job pays?

I wish the guy who got that Vegas $12/hr gig would come here and tell us how he's making it work! In fact I wish I could talk to all the pilots who were hired instead of me over the years just to hear how they made it work off of those unbelievably low paying gigs?!
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#8 Fred0311

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 11:40

Yeah buddy, gettin dat gubment munney.

I figure your school was pretty busy?

It was crazy busy back in the day... Around 60 instructors more than 20 aircraft. From what I understand though the helicopter department is a shadow of its former self and they mostly do fixed wing now.

Edited by Fred0311, 21 May 2018 - 11:41.


#9 Whistlerpilot

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 00:26

My very first helicopter job at 150 hours paid $75. Per day rate and $50. Per hour flight pay. I also got a $40. Per day perdiem for food and they paid all accommodation and travel expenses as well as medical/dental after 6 months. It was a great 8 month season mostly near the arctic circle. I didnt fly many hours but around 4 days a week I got to do a short flight of some sort in the 206 and 206LR. I mostly did ground crew work but it got me started and Im eternally grateful to Great Slave Helicopters for the opportunity. That was only 12 years ago but now Ive travelled the world flying and have over 6000 hours. Thanks GSH and RIP to KO Keith Ostertag who passed recently and helped me get my start. KO you are a legend, and even after 60 years of flying you were still helping us low timers.

When life's path is steep keep your mind even.


#10 Hand_Grenade_Pilot

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:22

Well yeah, everyone eventually makes more.

,...that is, if you can make it through what that first job pays?

I wish the guy who got that Vegas $12/hr gig would come here and tell us how he's making it work! In fact I wish I could talk to all the pilots who were hired instead of me over the years just to hear how they made it work off of those unbelievably low paying gigs?!

I emphathize with those who have a family to support and are trying to break into this industry; CFI / R44 tour pay poses a significant obstacle to overcome for them. Has stopped many from pursuing this as second career because they put family first.

For a bachelor though... no excuses. Rent a crash pad w/ a bunch of room mates, cook your own food, split groceries at Costco and buy everything used off of Craigslist and OfferUp. Use Groupon for recreational activities/eating out. Better yet, have hobbies that are free like hiking. Tough it out for a couple years and then youre set. And as a tour pilot you get tips... that offsets that $12/hr significantly.

I made $2k/mo as a CFI after taxes in NY. Working 6-7 days per week. It sucked but I made it work, by splitting rent with my ex and doing everything else mentioned above.
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