Contrary to aeroplane pilots who often make long flights, helicopter pilots make short trips that are often flown at a low altitude. Due to the specific nature of the work, pilots must complete training requirements according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for helicopter pilots vary based on a number of factors including their level of experience and who they work for.
As with most careers, helicopter pilots with more experience generally have higher salaries than those with less. Those with one to four years of experience have a salary range of £26,780 to £38,935 while those with five to nine years of experience have a salary range of £31,850 to £41,990. According to PayScale.com, helicopter pilots with 10 to 19 years of experience have some of the highest salaries with a reported range of £37,700 to £57,070. Veterans with 20 plus years of experience have a salary range of £36,075 to £56,615 as of May 2010.
Helicopter pilots have the opportunity to work with a number of different employers. Some of the highest paid ones are those who work for the state and local governments. According to PayScale, they have a reported salary range of £32,305 to £60,775 as of May 2010. Those working for the federal government have a salary range of £39,715 to £57,070 and those working in contract positions have a salary range of £26,455 to £57,200.
A variety of industries employ the talents of helicopter pilots. As of May 2010, those working for the government have some of the highest salaries with a reported salary range of £31,915 to £63,830 according to PayScale. Those working for commercial aviation and transportation have similar salary ranges of £33,410 to £47,905. Helicopter pilots may also work for emergency medical services. They have a reported salary range of £34,385 to £42,770.
The salary for helicopter pilots varies based on where they work. According to PayScale, those working in Texas have a salary range of £33,735 to £51,285 while those working in Louisiana report salaries that generally fall between £34,645 and £53,950. New York helicopter pilots have a salary range of £33,085 to £55,705. Those working in California have some of the highest salaries with a reported range of £39,455 to £62,660 as of May 2010.
Helicopter pilots often receive a comprehensive salary package that includes benefits. As of May 2010, two of the most popular benefits given to helicopter pilots are a 401(k) and paid holidays and vacation time. Many helicopter pilots receive life and/or disability insurance and paid sick leave according to PayScale. Though not as commonly reported, some pilots also receive reimbursement for education, training, or tuition and/or a gym or health club membership. Some of them also report being able to dress casually on the jump.