The pilot shortage that is affecting the airlines in the US has caused the regional airlines to increase pay rates, offer better benefits and improve work rules to attract new pilots. In addition, regional airlines are offering new incentive bonuses to raise beginning pay for new airline pilots close to $50,000 for the first year with strong annual raises after that.
The waiting time to upgrade from First Officer to Captain has also been greatly reduced at the regional airlines, providing a chance to increase a pilot’s pay to over $80,000 within just a few years of joining the airline.
Once a pilot has the seniority and experience to become a Captain, the chances of making the move to a Major (Southwest, JetBlue) or Legacy Airline (Delta, American, United) increase greatly as does the pay. The shortage of qualified airline pilots along with waves of forced retirements at the major and legacy airlines has resulted in hiring at a rate never seen before in the airline industry. This means real opportunities for exciting and lucrative careers with the airlines that are worth pursuing.
A regional airline Captain moving to Delta Air Lines for example will be making over $160,000 within a few years as a Delta First Officer. Once a pilot upgrades to Captain at Delta, they will be making over $200,000 per year while enjoying two weeks off per month.
A person who succeeds at Airline Transport Professionals will have a multi-million dollar career. The return on investment (money earned compared to money spent for training) is the best for any career in the United States. It is better than training to be a doctor or lawyer when the cost of education for those careers are compared to salaries earned over the career.
Career minded people are reacting to the opportunities in the airline industry and choosing flying for a living over more mundane careers. The most successful of these people are choosing the best source of career oriented flight training available and training with ATP, where they can complete training and join the airlines in just two years. Train with the leader in sending new pilots to the airlines: ATP.