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A Complete Guide to Military Pilot Salary & Requirements (2022 Edition)
A Complete Guide to Military Pilot Salary & RequirementsA Complete Guide to Military Pilot Salary & Requirements

A Complete Guide to Military Pilot Salary & Requirements (2022 Edition)

A military pilot salary can range considerably, but if you’re looking to go into the field, you might find it important to know that most military pilots get paid an average of between $80,000 to $85,000 per year. 

There’s more to it than that, however. Find out everything that goes into the military pilot salary below.

More like this: A Complete Guide to Military Police Salary & Requirements (2022 Edition)

An Overview of Military Pilot Salary Data

If you’ve always wanted to be a pilot, military salary information might seem really appealing to you at first. However, it’s important to understand how military salaries work before you fly off into the clear blue skies.

Unlike in the civilian world, you don’t get paid according to your specific job title and responsibilities. Every job in the military matters and contributes to national success, so there is a basic pay scale for all military salaries determined by rank and years of service. 

If you’re looking to make it as a military pilot (and get that attractive average military pilot salary of between $80,000 and $85,000 per year), your best bet would probably be to join the U.S. Air Force.

The longer you serve as a military pilot, the more money you’ll make. The higher your rank as a military pilot, the more money you’ll make, too. See a pattern? You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to achieve your optimal military pilot pay.

Seeing as the average yearly military pilot salary is between $80,000 and $85,000, the monthly pay falls between $6,600 and $7,100. That means that most military pilots fall somewhere between ranks O-1 and O-5, depending on how many years they’ve been in the service. 

Starting out as a pilot ranked O-1 with less than two years of service, you’d be making around $3,470 per month, but that would go up to $4,375 after you hit four years of service and then up to $5,500 per month when you reach rank O-2 with eight years of service.

These numbers will be the same across the board no matter what kind of military pilot you are. This means that military helicopter pilot pay, military jet pilot salary, and U.S. military fighter pilot salary will all be the same for people of the same rank with the same number of years in the service. 

This also includes drone pilots, which are in high demand right now. The average drone pilot salary is similar to other military pilot salaries at approximately $4,300 to $6,900 per month for ranks O-3 to O6. 

USAF Military Pilot Requirements

All military pilots have to be officers, which is why the average salary is much higher than you might see for other military occupations that start at enlistee ranks. That also means that there are many more requirements than there are for military jobs that can be entered into as E-1 through E-9 ranks.

The United States Air Force outlines rigorous basic requirements to start training as a military pilot and be on your way to earning that military pilot salary. 

  • You must be at least 18 years old but no older than 33.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must submit to a Single Scope Background Investigation.
  • You must be between 5’4” and 6’5” tall, depending on your aircraft. 
  • You must not be overweight.
  • You must not have had any allergies or asthma from age 12 onward. 
  • You must have an uncorrected vision equal to or better than 20/50.
  • You must not be colorblind.
  • You must not have had laser eye surgery.
  • You must pass a physical and psychological evaluation.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a minimum of 3.4, preferably in the sciences. 
  • You must pass the Basic Aptitude Test and Air Force Qualifying Test.
  • You must successfully complete flight school, Officer Training School, and Air Force Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. 

To earn a hefty military pilot salary, you must be an expert in more than just the skies. Air Force pilots are also vital to missions as “leaders and character models, training and commanding crews… wherever there’s a need as fighters, trainers, bombers, advisers and more.”

Learn more about Basic Training for the USAF: Air Force Basic Training: Everything You Need To Know

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