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View Full Version : Salaries


noob
08-26-2008, 12:17 PM
I am currently going to a flight college in Canada and was wondering a little about the salaries that airline pilots make? I have read numerous posts about how rough pilots have it, and how they barely scrape by. Is this really true? So when I get out of school im not going to be able to live a good life? haha Will I be living on craft dinner and mr. noodles for the rest of my life? thanks for your responses.


Pilotpip
08-26-2008, 12:44 PM
Maybe not for the rest of your life, but the first few years out of college haven't been fun. I'll give you my example:

Instruct/work at an FBO part time..$1800/month
Instruct full time at a university ...$1600/month (free healthcare and tuition to start working on my masters)
First regional...$22.95/hr (Somewhere around $1800 a month)
Second regional $22.95/hr (Flying more here, $2200 a month)

Throw on that:
$600/month to college loans
$400/month paying off credit cards (have those gone by the end of the year)
$300/month crashpad

After all is said and done, I have about $400 to get myself through the month. That basically allows me to eat out once per trip (I pack my lunch on trips) and keep the gas tank on my jeep at about 1/2 tank.

I've lived paycheck to paycheck for the last four years. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

Second year would have brought about $600-800/month pay raise which would have been a HUGE improvement in quality of life becuase I live within my means. However, I'm getting furloughed in two weeks so I'm scrambling to find a new job.

Cubdriver
08-26-2008, 01:27 PM
Sorry to hear that Pilot, the world isn't always especially fair. Maybe you will be in a good position now though given your extensive jet time.

I was going to knock on the regional doors a few years ago when I got out of school, but I read what they are paying at the time and decided no way, I need to be debt free first. I am still not sure if waiting to apply was the smartest strategy but I have been fairly happy in the meantime with a slow paced life as a hobby pilot and office worker. I do have some money also. With the fuel crunch I wonder if my airline dream will ever materialize now, but I feel I am making the best of the hand I have.

OP- from what I have read here the last few years this is a bad time to get into the business, and yes you will eat like a chinese peasant for the first few years if not longer. I would not enter the industry without being almost completely debt-free or else you will really suffer. Even so you are in for years of hard times financially. Shouldn't be too bad if you are still young but don't get married or start buying nice cars.


usmc-sgt
08-26-2008, 05:05 PM
CFI -$2900.00 take home per month
1st year regional FO $22/hr ~$2100.00 take home per month including per diem doing a fair amount of flying. I include per diem because I no kidding average $5.00 spent per 4 day on food because I pack ALL of my meals. I may buy a cheeseburger meal for 4.60 at the downstairs crew cafe in EWR, thats about it and the occasional dinner with the crew which is fairly rare. Minus $150.00 for a crashpad.

Pilotpip
08-26-2008, 05:20 PM
It really is amazing how much money you can save bringing your food. My $40 lunchbag was paid for on its first trip.

SkyHigh
08-26-2008, 05:50 PM
To me it is a crime that professional pilots have to paw through their suitcase for food. It is one thing to be on a health kick but pilots have to do it because they are poor and that stinks.


Skyhigh

usmc-sgt
08-26-2008, 06:03 PM
I pack a meal for a few reasons.

1. I am extremely cheap/thrifty
2. I eat much healthier when I pack. My wife cooks a main course with vegetables and a side and then vacuum seals and freezes it. We typically use lower fat and more natural ingredients and it helps in the long run.
3. Convenience. I have my food with me and all the outstations typically have a nuker to heat up my food when I want it.

Financially between my wife and I we could afford for me to eat out every meal but who would want to. Most of the CAs I fly with spend over 100 dollars per trip on food.

SkyHigh
08-26-2008, 06:09 PM
I pack a meal for a few reasons.

1. I am extremely cheap/thrifty
2. I eat much healthier when I pack. My wife cooks a main course with vegetables and a side and then vacuum seals and freezes it. We typically use lower fat and more natural ingredients and it helps in the long run.
3. Convenience. I have my food with me and all the outstations typically have a nuker to heat up my food when I want it.

Financially between my wife and I we could afford for me to eat out every meal but who would want to. Most of the CAs I fly with spend over 100 dollars per trip on food.

I understand that however others do it because they are too poor to buy a big mac. To me it is a crime. I ate beans and other "bag food" and it did not add to my happiness when away.

SkyHigh

usmc-sgt
08-26-2008, 06:21 PM
Very true. I work with many.

In the new age where FOs may find themselfs as FOs for many years to come they may want to reconsider the fast route with the assistance of sallie may. I know a few with $600.00 in college loans and then $800 in loans from ATP and then $250 for a crashpad. If you do the math that is only about $350 dollars less than I make. Rent..food..other bills...car payment..it doesnt look good.

Pilotpip
08-26-2008, 06:51 PM
I'm not too poor to afford a BigMac. I just don't want to ramifications of eating too many years down the road. This started as a way to save some money for a rainy day rather than waste on fast food at airport-premium prices. Eating healtier, and having something to much on during a long sit makes life a little better.

HercDriver130
08-26-2008, 06:52 PM
I use to spend about 45 bucks on average on a 4 day trip..... TAFB....80ish hours.... perdiem...130ish dollars.... I will spend the 45.... but thats just me.

Course... there was the 24 hour layover in Cedar Rapids... let me tell you there are some kick butt bars in Cedar Rapids....LOL

Pilotpip
08-26-2008, 07:22 PM
You can't beat Bricks.

Like I said, I still go out once or twice a trip with the crew. In light of recent events here (BUF), I think I'll order a coke instead of a cold beer.

There have been quite a few unforseen bonuses. I've lost a few pounds and have a lot more energy. Usually work out instead of slamclicking it.

noob
08-26-2008, 07:50 PM
Im glad to hear that coming out of school with loans can be done in this industry. I plan on becoming an instructor through my school for a couple of years, at least until I can get enough hours to apply for a regional airline. I have a car all paid for so that will be some help when finishing school. The only bills I will have when done are school, food, and my woman haha.

ryan1234
08-26-2008, 07:55 PM
wow just think... no loans... @ $800/month.... hmm that's an extra $9600/year..... that's almost a 50% increase in salary from not having loans....

....but those shiny new planes with their cool g1000s sure were nice, they prepared me to operate advanced avionics... like the new fangled flight director... good thing I paid the extra money... if I hadn't I would be so lost!

no offense to anyone!!

JoeyMeatballs
08-27-2008, 04:58 AM
If you are able to live in base and do day trips you can make over $50,000.00 as a 2nd year Regional guy at a GOOD AIRLINE.

People say it cant be done, but I am doing it..................

contrails
08-27-2008, 05:47 AM
If you are able to live in base and do day trips you can make over $50,000.00 as a 2nd year Regional guy at a GOOD AIRLINE.

People say it cant be done, but I am doing it..................

Saab -

At XJT second year rate that is 1,470 credit hours for the year

or

a monthly credit average of 123 hours, for twelve months in a row.

What is your strategy?

JoeyMeatballs
08-27-2008, 09:05 AM
front and back load my schedule so I get RA days, they then cant use me on those days becuase of 30/7, so for each RA days, usually 3, I get 3:45 pay each day, I then do a lot of day trips which run into 30/7 as well as coming in late in EWR to where I wont have my domicile rest (11hrs), so I get off the next day, still get paid and then that opens up some time for me to pick up later in month, I also jump on deadhead pairings

This month I have a projected block of 81 hrs, I have 15 hrs of deadhead, and with all the tirckery I used as mentioned above this month my total pay is 133hrs..............still with 14 days off.

I also worked over my vacation.................

Pilotpip
08-27-2008, 10:11 AM
Man's gotta pay for a rock. Way to play the system.