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

 First Year Salary Estimates and Bonuses

Note: Information is current as of August 2019 and is subject to change. Prepared by ALPA Economic and Financial Analysis Dept.

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.
Compass Flow Flow opportunity to Frontier. No additional interview required. Must complete 2 years of service as a first officer or 1 year as a captain.
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: If in a given month the total number of new pilot positions at American are 57 or less, 35% of new pilot positions shall be Envoy pilots. If greater than 57 then Envoy shall not be obligated to release more than 20 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.

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
Flow opportunity to Frontier. 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 $5,000 sign-on bonus
$26,000 bonus paid at complete of IOE
$8,000 type rating bonus
CommutAir $22,100 sign-on bonus
Compass $17,500 sign-on bonus
Endeavor $10,000 training completion bonus
Envoy $10,000 sign-on bonus
$8,000 bonus first day of year 2
ExpressJet (includes ASA) $40,000 may be provided by the company
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 $10,000 sign-on bonus
$8,000 bonus first day of year 2
PSA $10,000 sign-on bonus
$8,000 bonus first day of year 2
Republic $10,000 sign-on bonus
$17,500 bonus for current 121 pilots
Silver Airways $12,000 pilot hiring bonus
SkyWest $40,000 may be provided by the company
Trans States $14,000 sign-on bonus
$6,000 bonus if candidate possesses RJ type rating