Why Do Pilots Get Paid So Much?

At a glance, a pilot’s job looks very easy.

You get into the cockpit, greet the passengers as they board your aircraft. Then you take-off, engage the autopilot and snooze off for a bit. When you are about to land in your destination, you announce what is the weather like on the ground. As passengers disembark from the aircraft, you tell them to have a nice day and that is it. Your day is over and you’re free to roam the streets of the city you just landed in.

That does indeed sound like a job that everyone could potentially do. In addition to having a job that is very easy, airlines also pay pilots a big sum of money.

However, is it really that easy like it sounds on paper? Might there be actually legitimate reasons why do airlines pay pilots one of the biggest wages out there?

There are reasons. Quite a few actually. So, let’s dig deeper and find out why pilots earn so much!

10. Pilots Physical Condition

Pilots have to be in the best physical condition. Their eyesight has to be near-perfect. Hearing loss is also a big no-no for pilots.

Altogether, the pilot needs to be very healthy. His lungs, heart, blood pressure, nervous system needs to be as healthy as possible. Pilots also have to renew their Class 1 medical certificate every 12 months. If they are over 40 years old and work in commercial aviation that needs to be done every 6 months. When a pilot is over 60 years old, no matter his activity, he needs to renew his medical license every 6 months as well.

Pilot Medical License Pilot Medical License

9. Long Training period to obtain a Commercial Pilots license

No matter which way you go about on achieving the goal of flying for commercial airlines, the road is though. You just cannot hop into the cockpit after a few hours of flying in the air or in the simulator.

The process is long. A pilot has to pass multiple (14 to be exact) exams, obtain a medical license and pass flight training. Additionally, a pilot has to have multiple ratings and courses, such as multiple engine instrument rating and an instrument rating.

And even then, pilots still need a type rating to operate an aircraft, for example, a Boeing 737.

So, the process to realize your dreams and become a pilot is definitely tough.

A Flight Simulator For Pilots To Train A Flight Simulator For Pilots To Train

8. Pilot Demand is high

Nevertheless, airlines need pilots. Constantly.

Passenger numbers are growing every year and to keep up with the demand, airlines regularly order new aircraft. That is why new pilots are constantly required by airlines and pilot shortages are nothing new to the aviation industry.

So much so, that a year ago Emirates canceled flights because they did not have enough pilots to operate them.

Even then, pilots are also retiring. Thus in addition to increasing the number of pilots, you also have to replace the ones that are leaving your company.

The crazy demand for pilots creates a very cut-throat market for pilots. That is why airlines offer pilots attractive salary packages, just so that a pilot does not join their competitors.

Pilot shortages forced Emirates to cut flights Pilot shortages forced Emirates to cut flights

7. A Pilots license is expensive

The matter of the fact is that it is insanely expensive to become a pilot. Getting a commercial pilots license can set you back as much as €100.000 euro, even if you try to obtain a license through various flight schools or airline academies.