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Old 05-31-2013, 01:30 PM   #1  
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Default Info for those seeking their 1st airline job

Last February I found myself looking over these forums as a wide eyed instructor with 850 hours of TT trying to figure out what the differences between the various regional airlines were and which ones I thought would give me a shot at being an Airline pilot. With no family or friends in the industry and only about 1.5 years flying myself these forum were just about my only source of information.

While these forums gave me a lot of valuable information, some of the information was misleading and/or I didn't know what it meant. For example I knew what per diem and could see the rates but how many hours of it could I expect on average and therefore how important was it in my decision. I decided to fly for Great Lakes and was given a job last April. I am now looking for a job anywhere else (along with most Lakes pilots) and I'm looking back over the same information I had just over a year ago but now I can put the information in context. Below is my estimation of the lowest pay for 2 years you can expect from a few airlines.

These assume you never break guarantee, never get a junior assignment, 0 deadhead, include signing bonuses, and 300 hours of per diem per month which is admittedly high for reserve but average for line holders and Lakes. It also assumes you upgrade at Lakes and switch to the captain pay at 16 months (1000 hrs/75 per month+1 month for pretest+1 month for training). I will add in any other airlines that anyone would like, and you can easily calculate it for yourself I just thought I would post it since I did everything out already and save people the work. Also if you work for another regional and my estimations are off please let me know both for my information as well as others looking for jobs.

Estimated First 2-year Earnings:
Great Lakes $42,883.05
Mesa $56,304.00
Skywest $60,300.00
Pinnacle $64,440.00
Republic $65,480.00
Eagle $71,960.00
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:14 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by captainalan View Post
Last February I found myself looking over these forums as a wide eyed instructor with 850 hours of TT trying to figure out what the differences between the various regional airlines were and which ones I thought would give me a shot at being an Airline pilot. With no family or friends in the industry and only about 1.5 years flying myself these forum were just about my only source of information.

While these forums gave me a lot of valuable information, some of the information was misleading and/or I didn't know what it meant. For example I knew what per diem and could see the rates but how many hours of it could I expect on average and therefore how important was it in my decision. I decided to fly for Great Lakes and was given a job last April. I am now looking for a job anywhere else (along with most Lakes pilots) and I'm looking back over the same information I had just over a year ago but now I can put the information in context. Below is my estimation of the lowest pay for 2 years you can expect from a few airlines.

These assume you never break guarantee, never get a junior assignment, 0 deadhead, include signing bonuses, and 300 hours of per diem per month which is admittedly high for reserve but average for line holders and Lakes. It also assumes you upgrade at Lakes and switch to the captain pay at 16 months (1000 hrs/75 per month+1 month for pretest+1 month for training). I will add in any other airlines that anyone would like, and you can easily calculate it for yourself I just thought I would post it since I did everything out already and save people the work. Also if you work for another regional and my estimations are off please let me know both for my information as well as others looking for jobs.

Estimated First 2-year Earnings:
Great Lakes $42,883.05
Mesa $56,304.00
Skywest $60,300.00
Pinnacle $64,440.00
Republic $65,480.00
Eagle $71,960.00
You might want to re-work those figures. Especially with Pinnacle and RAH. Soft pay goes a long way along with treatment of crews by management combined with contract, growth and financial stability should be your deciding factors...

Off this list alone, if I had to choose where to go, here are my choices from top to bottom

SkyWest
Eagle
Mesa,RAH and Pinnacle equally suck...
Great Lakes
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:35 PM   #3  
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Agreed with above. How about a realistic figure of 20k gross for the first year. Net of 16k. This is at XJT, which is in the high/middle pay range. So don't try to sweeten the pie... tell it like it is. And yes, this includes per diem.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:57 PM   #4  
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I wasn't using net pay, all figures are gross income and for the first two years not one. I listed how I came up with them if you think my assumptions are wrong then tell me but unless you can say specifically where, it's not productive.

Also I do not claim that pay is the only thing to consider when choosing where to apply but it's also not something that should not be ignored so I put some numbers up to consider.

Contract, stability, growth, reputation, and a dozen other things are very important and already discussed elsewhere.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:19 PM   #5  
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Are you telling people not to go to lakes? I don't get the point..

I heard air whiskey guys make around 85k gross the first two years.. Don't ask me how I know.

Regionals. All about decisions.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:19 PM   #6  
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I'm not sure where you got those figures from but my W-2 shows that I made 16k my first year at Skywest. Reserve the whole first year + a few months of training pay with hardly any non-taxable per diem. Never broke guarantee.

Great company but you're definitely not going to make 60k across your first two years unless you get extremely lucky somehow.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:23 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainalan View Post
Last February I found myself looking over these forums as a wide eyed instructor with 850 hours of TT trying to figure out what the differences between the various regional airlines were and which ones I thought would give me a shot at being an Airline pilot. With no family or friends in the industry and only about 1.5 years flying myself these forum were just about my only source of information.

While these forums gave me a lot of valuable information, some of the information was misleading and/or I didn't know what it meant. For example I knew what per diem and could see the rates but how many hours of it could I expect on average and therefore how important was it in my decision. I decided to fly for Great Lakes and was given a job last April. I am now looking for a job anywhere else (along with most Lakes pilots) and I'm looking back over the same information I had just over a year ago but now I can put the information in context. Below is my estimation of the lowest pay for 2 years you can expect from a few airlines.

These assume you never break guarantee, never get a junior assignment, 0 deadhead, include signing bonuses, and 300 hours of per diem per month which is admittedly high for reserve but average for line holders and Lakes. It also assumes you upgrade at Lakes and switch to the captain pay at 16 months (1000 hrs/75 per month+1 month for pretest+1 month for training). I will add in any other airlines that anyone would like, and you can easily calculate it for yourself I just thought I would post it since I did everything out already and save people the work. Also if you work for another regional and my estimations are off please let me know both for my information as well as others looking for jobs.

Estimated First 2-year Earnings:
Great Lakes $42,883.05
Mesa $56,304.00
Skywest $60,300.00
Pinnacle $64,440.00
Republic $65,480.00
Eagle $71,960.00
You already fly for Great Lakes? Did you upgrade there? Unless you are in danger of being furloughed, you're better off upgrading there and getting some TPIC time before you go to another regional.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:37 PM   #8  
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Rcfd13: unless you were hired on January 1st you can't look at a w2 for your entire first year pay. And if you are looking at a W2 and a year to date pay stub you must be looking at net, not. In one year at lakes (class date of 4/2/12 - 3/31/13) I grossed 14,517.60 which is exactly a 1.24% margin of error off what I calculated

Net pay depends on taxes which vary by state so it's useless to compare them.

BTpilot: As I said previously, I'm posting in case they are helpful to someone else, I would never tell anyone not to go to lakes, but I'd want to make sure they were making an informed decision because I sure as hell didn't.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:40 PM   #9  
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BTpilot: As I said previously, I'm posting in case they are helpful to someone else, I would never tell anyone not to go to lakes, but I'd want to make sure they were making an informed decision because I sure as hell didn't.
Fair enough. Good on you..

Some guys have no idea. But they end up at G7... Ruh roh
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:44 PM   #10  
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Originally Posted by captainalan View Post
Rcfd13: unless you were hired on January 1st you can't look at a w2 for your entire first year pay. And if you are looking at a W2 and a year to date pay stub you must be looking at net, not. In one year at lakes (class date of 4/2/12 - 3/31/13) I grossed 14,517.60 which is exactly a 1.24% margin of error off what I calculated
(22*60*3) + (22*75*9) = $18,810. (3 months training pay + 9 months reserve guarantee)

That would be what a pilot would earn first year before taxes with no per diem. This does not include uniform deductions and paying for travel benefits which come out of the first few paychecks. I had very little per diem first year and only flew 120 hours in my first 8 months. That pay is very close to what I actually earned BEFORE taxes.

The second you become a lineholder quality of life increases dramatically. Subsequent years have been a lot nicer to me.
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