An Airline Pilot Salary in India From Early Entry to the Late Experienced

Updated October 11, 2022

The job of an airlines’ pilot comes with a gratifying experience but with elements of adventures. Accordingly, a pilot salary in India is a handsome take home which is at par with other countries’ pilots. In India, salary of a pilot is among bountiful salaries paid to the top professionals. An experienced commercial pilot in India can have a take home of 30 lakh per annum.

Essentially, the pilots are the aircrew officers who undertake flying responsibilities of an aircraft. Flying an aircraft with 100s of lives onboard is no joke and for the risk associated, pilots get remunerated handsomely. Airline transport pilot, aircraft pilot, airline pilot, commuter pilot, and airline captain are all the different names for the job position of an airline pilot.

Aspirants wishing to pursue a career as a pilot need to fulfill certain essential eligibility and meet professional standards. The aspirants are required to qualify entrance exams, have to obtain the ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot’s License), and things alike. Additionally, they also need to overcome many limitations to land into this admirable job.

A Pilot Salary in India Would Depend on Crucial Metrics

Yes, airline pilots are well paid in India but it depends on several factors, including experiences, airline companies, types of aircraft, the logged flying hours, and many more. The average starting salary of the pilots in India is INR 1.5 lakh per month. However, after gaining years of experience, they could earn upto 50 lakh per annum. It is different story though, that the military aircraft pilots are paid lesser than commercial airline pilots. Let’s dive deeper into the salary of a pilot in India.

In aviation space, salary of an airline pilot, seems to depend largely on training & assignments. A pilot is responsible to fly the aircraft from one destination to another with utmost safety to human lives. They do not not only control the aircraft but also maintain internal security and manage the direction of the airline to be flown. A plain understanding, itself speaks a lot about the importance of training & experience for pilots.

Hence, it is the rigorous training and successful completion of flying assignments with high precision that lends pilots a lucrative job opportunity along with other perks and benefits. The best part is that pilots can make their career in commercial airlines, can pursue career in military forces or enlist with a private airline. A highly paid pilot is all about acquiring proficiency during his entire certification programme.

The aspirants get into Pilot’s profession after completing class 12th with science stream and obtaining a certificate as a Licensed Pilot with a certificate program of 19-24 months. The process of landing with a certificate involves rigorous training on mechanics, aerodynamics, buoyancy and other dimensions of applied physics. So, the length & nature of training can get you a Student Pilot License, a Private Pilot License or a Commercial Pilot License in increasing order of stricter norms. The one with students’ License will only be allowed to fly as a co-pilot. And, in order to be a Captain, you will have to have an Airline Transport Pilot’s License.

Airline’s Pilot Salary Varies with Expertise

There are numerous factors that play a significant role in deciding the salary for airline pilots. Broadly, a pilot’s salary varies from the entry-level stage to the late-career (or highly experienced) stage. However, salaries of pilots can also depend on many other factors. Salary can depend on the airlines a pilot opts for, types of aircraft, flying-expertise, qualifications, rating, hours they have flown the aircraft, to name a few. I have listed down different level of a pilot’s experience with the tentative salaries associated.

Freshers (Entry-Level Pilot)

The professional working in the aviation industry having less than one year of experience can earn upto 1.5 lakh per month in India. It would go up when they stepped on the ladder of experience and skills. They also get other perks and benefits, including bonuses and tips. The aspirants who decide to pursue a career as a commercial pilot is highly influential.

Early Entry Level Pilot

When, an aircraft crew, gains 1-4 years of experience and starts coping with the industry challenges, they can earn an average 1.7 lakh per month remuneration. The aviation industry is lucrative with an adventurous career option.

Mid-Career Pilot

A mid-career pilot, over time, becomes professionally skilled and gains a lot of experience. They spent some 5-9 years of his career in this aviation industry. On the basis of their experiences and flying hours, commercial pilots’ salaries in India can up to INR 24.28 Lakhs per annum. Even the salary can be different for the same post because of seniority and skills.

Experienced-Level Pilot Salary

When the pilots gain experience of 10- 19 years, they can make a quite very handsome annually salary. The salaries for commercial pilots in India can reach up to 3-7 lakh per month. Besides, a commercial pilots in their late-career (having 20 years or above of experience) can earn an average of INR 70 lakh per annum remuneration or above. 

The salary of the military aircraft crew is different from the remuneration given to the commercial or chartered pilots. 

The Pilots’ Salary in Different Locations of India

The coveted pilot jobs are not available only in one particular region, the pilots may find job at Mumbai, at Delhi, Bangalore and other airline region. So, the location also plays a significant role in determining the salary of the professional working in the aviation industry. Individuals having job of a pilot in Maharashtra generally receive 22% higher pay in India, while pilots working in Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai receive lesser remuneration.

Pilots’ Salaries in Foreign Countries

In some countries, the pilots’ salary is three times or four times more than in India. And, the most important requirement is Pilot should have 750 hours of flying experience. The initial salary of a private jet pilot is similar to a commercial pilot, but after gaining experience, they are then paid more than INR 50 lakh per annum.

Eligibility Criteria to Become a Pilot

The airline companies or the Indian Air force offers this exciting job to the individual based on certain specific eligibility qualifications. And to be eligible for this position, the candidates are required to meet the standard eligibility requirements set by the organizations. If they cannot fulfil the organizations’ demand, then the participants will be barred to avail themselves of the lucrative career opportunities. Some of the basic eligibility requirements are-

(a) Individuals wishing to make a career as a pilot, then they must have qualified intermediate or equivalent courses from a recognized board. Even the aspirants must have obtained a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in the class XIIth or equivalent examination.

(b) The participants must have done his class XIIth with science stream (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry as the compulsory subjects).
(c) The students must have completed 17 years of age during the commencement of admission.

(d) Candidates must also qualify for the national level entrance examinations like AGRUA, ATPL, Institutions Exams, etc.
(e) Many students are Airforce aspirants, so they need to qualify for the NDA Exam, AFCAT, and CDS Exam to make a career in the Indian Airforce.

(f) After qualifying in the entrance exams, the students will undergo a medical and physical fitness test to finally enter into the respective institutes. After qualifying for the above exams, undergo a medical and physical test.

Categorization of Pilots with Salaries 

In order to get more clarity on Salary of an Airline Pilot, you must scroll through the categorization of Pilots. The write up below will serve the purpose:

1. Commercial Pilots

It is one of the lucrative and exciting jobs in the aviation industry. The professional working as a pilot get opportunity to travel from one country to another, meet with new people and learn about a new culture. Commercial pilots are those experienced and skilled pilots who are involved in carrying passengers, cargo (goods) or being involved in activities like aero-modelling, air rallies, and aerobatics.

In simple terms, they are responsible for operating and controlling the flight of the aircraft. It is to be noted that the commercial pilots are licensed pilots. They possess a Current Commercial Pilot’s License and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According to the job roles they perform, the commercial pilots are categorized into three different sub-categories-

(a) Passenger Pilots– As the name suggests, the passenger pilots are involved in carrying passengers from one location to another. They are responsible for flying the aircraft according to the safety guidelines and norms of aviation companies. These commercial Pilots’ Salaries in India is exciting and rewarding with other perks.

(b) Cargo Pilots- It is also a well-paid job in the aviation industry in India. They are responsible for transporting goods from one location/country to another location/country. The salary of a cargo pilot in India is 1-8 lakh per month.

(c) Aerosports Pilots- Activities like aeromodelling, aerobatics, air racing, air rallies, ballooning etc., are some of the job roles that an aero sports pilot involve in.

2. Charter Pilots

Charter pilots are different from commercial pilots. They work very closely with their customers. The charter organizations realize the potential of a pilot and require skilled and experienced pilots who have a strong customer service background. The charter pilots in India can earn handsome salary packages annually.

3. Military pilots

Military Pilots are considered as the backbone of the Indian Armed forces. They are installed in every section of the Indian Force, comprising Airforce, Indian Army, and Navy. They support the Armed forces with their air skills to engage in air-air combat, identifying missions and transporting army essentials and personnel.

(a) Airforce Pilots Airforce pilots are highly skilled and expert aeroplane and helicopter pilots. And they are known for their professional work as transporter pilots, fighter pilots, and attack heli pilots. Both the Air force and Navy have drone pilots too, and these are pilots responsible for handling drones and their activities.

(b) Army Pilots- Indian Army Corps Pilots are mostly Heli pilots with expertise in attack helicopters, mission-based helicopters, surveillance and reconnaissance.

(c) Navy Pilots- Like Airforce pilots, Navy pilots are also adept at handling helicopters and aeroplanes, as required by Navy pilots. Indian Navy. Carrying things from one base to another is a fundamental task for Navy transporter pilots. More so, the fighter pilots, as well as the attack Heli pilots, are in charge of the activities based on the mission that the official assigns..

The Ranks of the Airline Pilots

The participants do not receive a prestigious pilot position instantly, and they make a long journey to become full-fledged pilots. At first, they worked under the supervision of senior pilots, and after completing this period of training, they will be promoted to higher posts. The process continues till they become captain or commander-in-chief of the aircraft. Some of the prominent positions of the pilot are written below-

(a) Junior First Officer
(b) First Officer
(c) Senior First Officer
(d) The Captain.

Top Recruiting Companies for Pilots in India

In order to get a considerable high salary, the flying professionals are required to join the most renowned aviation companies or organizations. You already know that numerous factors come into play to determine the salary of the pilots in India, such as the region in which he flies, the experience they gain, types of aircraft, ratings, Number of hours flown, and the most important is the airline they choose one. So, it is necessary for professionals to choose the airlines wisely.

There are several companies and organizations in India that hire pilots for commercial to civil purposes. The work of the pilots is exhilarating with higher salary packages. More so, they have higher career opportunities along with growth, allowance, and perks.

Some of the Top Recruiters for Pilots

(a) Indigo
(b) Spice Jet
(c) Indian Navy
(d) Air India
(e) Vistara
(f) Indian Armed Forces

(g) Air Asia
(h) Department of Civil Aviation
(i) Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Private Ltd.
(j) Pilot Flying J

Job & Salary of a Pilot in India- A Conclusion

As part of the adventurous aviation industry, Pilots are highly experienced individuals. Making it to a top rated pilot involves successful completion of certification programme with highest level of alertness of mind. Individuals with right orientation of mind can complete the much required training for a pilot job.

The handsome salary packages only comes on a price of meeting the requisite standards of the airline companies. So, it can be concluded that a career in Aviation Industry as a pilot is one of the the most lucrative and well paid job worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions on Airline’s Pilot Salary

Q. What is a Pilot Salary in India?

Ans- A pilot salary in India is about 60k/month to above 20 lacs per month. They are rewarded the amount according to their qualifications, experiences, the aircraft they choose, and several others.    

Q. What is the Starting Salary of Commercial Pilot in India?

Ans- The starting salary of a commercial pilot in India can be up to 1.5lacs/month

Q. What is Salary of an IndiGo Pilot?

Ans- The average salary of Indigo Pilot is about 60k to 5Lacs per month.

Q. What is the Minimum Salary of a Pilot in India?

Ans-The minimum Salary of a pilot can be 60k per month.

Beyond the Salary of a Pilot in India Under Careers Listing

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