How Much Do Commercial Helicopter Pilots Make?

Updated April 17, 2017

To earn a living as a helicopter pilot, a prospect needs to acquire a commercial pilot license, as opposed to a private helicopter pilot license. A private helicopter pilot license allows an individual to fly a helicopter alone or with friends and family but not for pay, according to the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association.

Average Salary

The average salary for a commercial helicopter pilot was £56,503 as of June 2011, according to CareerBuilder. The job listing website said the average salary range was £40,553 to £84,684.

Compared to All Pilots

The median annual salary for a commercial pilot, including aeroplane and helicopter, was £42,471 as of May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau said the average salary range was £29,692 to £58,201.

Job Outlook

Helicopter pilots, as well as aeroplane pilots, can expect an increase in job opportunities, according to both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Information Network. The bureau places growth at 12 per cent for the 10-year period from 2008 to 2018. The Occupational Information Network predicts slightly more growth, expecting a 19 per cent rise during the same time period.

Duties and Responsibilities

A commercial helicopter pilot is responsible for the safe passage of people and cargo in transit on the helicopter. The Occupational Information Network says pilots are responsible to check their aircraft before take-off to ensure all systems are ready for flight. Pilots need a sharp, focused mind while in flight to make quick decisions based on changing weather and flying conditions.

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About the Author

Thomas Ferraioli began writing in 1993. His work has been featured in national publications like "Parents" and "U.S. Catholic." Ferraioli owns a cleaning service and is a Catholic youth minister. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and business from Seton Hall University and was a recipient of the Pope John Paul II Award from the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. for his work with youth.