Pay and Benefits

Pilots at most commercial airlines in the United States and Canada are unionized. This means that each pilot group negotiates the pay, work rules, and benefits for its members. As there is no cookie-cutter approach to collective bargaining, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is working to strengthen collaboration among ALPA and non-ALPA pilot groups and develop favorable bargaining patterns across pilot group lines. Every pilot group has its own set of contract goals. Prior to bargaining, each pilot group typically conducts a comprehensive analysis of the environment then establishes the goals, objectives, and initiatives of the collective group.

Take a look at the charts below that show salary estimates and bonuses for first-year pilots at regional airlines in the United States, and current career-progression models.

First-Year F/O Salary Estimates and Bonuses

Note: Information is current as of July 2018 and is subject to change.

Career-Progression Opportunities

Airline Program Type Program Terms
Air Wisconsin Career Path
United Career Pathway Program (CPP) – Meet time and interview requirements, no specific numbers known.
CommutAir
Career Path United CPP – Meet time and interview requirements, no specific numbers known.
Endeavor Delta Guaranteed Interview (DGI)
After meeting all criteria, a pilot will be eligible for an interview at Delta.
Envoy Flow

Various flow opportunities to AA based on DOH criteria for pilots hired prior to October 2011.

Upon completion of previous flow opportunities: 25% of AA training classes or 5 times the number of months in a calendar year in which AA hired pilots.

ExpressJet (includes ASA) Career Path

United CCP – Meet time and interview requirements, no specific numbers known.

JetBlue – Meet time and interview requirements, no specific numbers known.

Great Lakes Career Path
Meet interview and criteria requirements, flow to Frontier within next 3 available class dates.
Horizon Air Career Path
Pilot Pathways – At Horizon interview, meet and interview with Alaska, meet continued performance review criteria – flow upon open opportunity.
Mesa Career Path
United CPP – Meet time and interview requirements, no specific numbers known.
Piedmont Flow
Lesser of 25% of new pilot positions or 3 new pilot positions per each month American is hiring. No interview required. Pilots on the seniority list prior to the amendable date are eligible.
PSA Flow

Lesser of 25% of new pilot positions or 3 new pilot positions per each month American is hiring. No interview required. Pilots on the seniority list prior to the amendable date are eligible.
Silver Airways Career Path
Path to Frontier after accumulating 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command (PIC) time.
Trans States Flow
No additional interview required. Must complete 2 years of service as a first officer or 1 year as a captain.

First-Year F/O Bonus Breakdown

Airline Bonus
Air Wisconsin $31,000 sign-on bonus
$8,000 type rating bonus at completion of IOE
CommutAir $22,100 paid before first day of training
Compass $17,500 sign-on bonus
Endeavor $10,000 training completion bonus
Envoy $22,100 sign-on bonus
ExpressJet (includes ASA) $10,000 sign-on bonus
$7,500 type rating bonus

GoJet $26,000 new hire bonus
$5,000 Air Carrier experience bonus
Great Lakes $3,000 per year retention bonus paid over 4 quarters
Horizon Air $25,000 sign-on bonus for Q400
$20,000 sign-on bonus for E175
Mesa $22,500 paid after training
$2,500 for pilots who choose the CRJ and have the CL-65 Type Rating
$5,000 for pilots who 500 hours of part 121 flight time in a CRJ, EMB145, or EMB175
Piedmont $16,200 sign-on bonus
$5,000 sign-on bonus for current Part 121 experience
PSA $16,520 for all new-hire first officers, an additional $5,000 for CRJ type-rated new-hire first officers
Republic $17,500 sign-on bonus
Silver Airways $12,000 pilot hiring bonus
SkyWest $7,500 bonus for pilots with current turbojet type rating is available upon completion of IOE
Trans States $14,000 paid upon completion of IOE, $6,000 type rating bonus