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Private Pilot Salary: How Much a Private Pilot Really Makes

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Private pilots are one of the most lucrative jobs anyone can pursue. Regardless of what gender you have, pilots earn substantial pay, making it a very promising career. Aside from the glamourous reputation they have, a private pilot salary alone is enough to entice you to explore the profession.

What do private pilots do?

Private pilots fly aircraft for individual customers or small groups for private functions. Some of their clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and corporate executives they transport domestically or internationally. Unlike commercial pilots who fly large-capacity aircraft, such as in airlines, private pilots are more accustomed to flying fewer passengers, such as in private jets, choppers, and small planes.

Here are some of their typical duties as a private pilot:

  • Fly to a select group of areas, depending on the customer’s needs
  • Travel for up to half a month at a time
  • Obtain respective flight schedules and adhere to unexpected changes
  • Wait and ready for passengers
  • Ensure aircraft is cleaned and refueled for next travels
  • Book hotels and transport options in between flights
  • Contact air traffic control for landing and flight instructions

The private pilot salary

As of January 2021, the average annual salary of a private pilot is $112,741 a year, according to ZipRecruiter. That is approximately $54.20 an hour, which is equivalent to $2,168 a week and $9,395 a month.

The annual salary may range between $21,000 to $202,500, depending on experience, location, and skill level.

The working hours of a private pilot

Private pilots’ working hours highly depend on their schedules. Flight hours for private pilots vary from 75 hours a month to 150 hours, with additional duties.

Often, their job involves four-day trips with multiple flights to different cities.

What it takes to be a private pilot

Before you become a licensed pilot, you need to invest in your education and training that costs a lot more than an average school. While it may be expensive, it is a long-term investment that pays off quickly as you start flying for private entities.

If you’re keen on becoming a private pilot, you need to meet the strict requirements. Here’s a brief guideline on how you can become a qualified private pilot:

  • Obtain a student pilot certificate
  • Pass a third-class aviation medical exam
  • Attend a flight school
  • Pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) written exam
  • Earn flight hours
  • Pass the Checkride FAA practical exam
  • Secure private pilot license

Most airline pilots start with flying for private individuals first before they can fly commercially.

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The required knowledge and skills to become a successful private pilot

Private pilots must have the required aeronautical knowledge and flight proficiency, which include the following:

  • Federal Aviation Regulation
  • National Transportation Safety Board’ accident reporting requirements
  • Some areas on the Aeronautical Information Manual and FAA advisory circulars
  • Aeronautical charts for VFR navigation
  • Radio communication procedures
  • Recognition of critical weather situations
  • Safe operation of the aircraft
  • Weight and balance computations
  • Familiarity with the principles of aerodynamics, power plants, and aircraft systems
  • Preflight preparation and procedures
  • Post-flight procedures
  • Emergency operations
  • Quick reaction time
  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills

You will acquire this knowledge and skills as you attend a flight school and prove competency as you secure licenses.

In your pursuit to learning some of the essential soft skills of a private pilot, here are some Skill Success courses to guarantee you’re equipped with the necessary soft skills of a pilot:

Ready to gear up your soft skills into becoming a private pilot? Click here to get started.

Ready to fully dive into your learning? Join All Access Pass and unlock our entire course library for only $15/month.

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