How much pilots make in Canada will vary depending on experience and line of work. Once pilots complete their commercial pilot ground school, write their exam, complete their flight test, and earn their license, they are eligible to start flying for hire, or commercially in Canada. Lets start with your possible first job and work our way up to airline captain to see how much pilots make in Canada
Your First Job – Starting Salary of Pilot in Canada
For many pilots their first job will often be a flight instructor, aerial surveyor/photographer or banner towing. Your income will vary based on weather and how often you are able to fly.
Flight instructing is a great first job as it allows you to build up important pilot in command time. Generally the pay is hourly and your rate will vary depending on what class of instructor your are. Class 4 is the lowest can make $25-$30 an hour. Next is class 3 where you will see a pay rise to $30-$35 an hour. Class 2 and 1 instructors can make between $35-$90 an hour. Flight Instructors can expect to make between $25,000 – $55,000.
Aerial surveyor/Photographer is also a great way to build pilot in command time but is often seasonal flying during late spring to late summer or fall. Aerial surveying is either a base day pay + componsation or hourly. You can expect to make $300-$500 a week with this type of flying. Some aerial survey companies will begin paying a salary which may start close to $55,000 per year. Our course instructor Daniel began his career as a survey pilot.
How much pilots make in Canada as a 703 Operator? This would include jobs such as medivac, small charter service and some schedule services on aircraft such as PC-12 and King Air. This is where pilots often built their multi-engine and/or turbine time.
A Medivac pilot flying the PC-12 will make around $38,000 – $45,000 as a first officer, if you are able to upgrade to captain you could expect $90,000 – $104,000. These positions often also include per diem, retention bonus and other benefits.
A King air first officer can expect to make $40,000 – $45,000 a year and captains will begin around $70,000. Both include per diem, retention bonus and benefits.
These jobs would include charter and schedule service commonly found in northern Canada on aircraft such as the metroliner. These positions often also include per diem, retention bonus and other benefits.
A first officer could expect a starting salary of $40,000 and a captain can expect a starting salary of $95,000. The longer you are with a company the greater the pay increase.
Regional Airlines flying scheduled service between Canadian cities such as west jet encore, Porter and Jazz are the following step. These aircraft would include Dash-8 and CRJ’s. These positions often also include per diem, retention bonus and other benefits.
A first officer in this position can expect a starting salary of $42,000 and work up to $80,000. Captains will begin around $76,000 and can work up to $150,000.
International airlines and large cargo operators are generally the highest paid. These salaries will vary greatly depending on the jet aircraft you fly and the operator you are with. These positions often also include per diem, retention bonus and other benefits.
Airline first officers can expect a starting salary of $56,000 and work up to $125,000. Captains will begin around $110,000 and build up too $250,000.
Cargo first officers can expect a starting salary of $72,000 and work up to $122,000. Captain will begin around $127,000 and build up too $205,000.
How Much do Pilots make in Canada per hour?
We cannot safely say what the average pilot in Canada will make per hour as it heavily depends on the job they are doing. Class 4 Flight Instructors can expect $25 per flight hour or ground hour, where Class 1 Instructors who freelance can earn $80 or $90 per hour with a student. Pilot renumeration heavily depends on what the pilot is doing, where they are working, how much they are willing to accept, and what their job requirements are. A Boeing 777 Pilot at Air Canada can easily make $180 per hour in their 5th year with the company.
As you can see pilots start off as low income earners and it takes years of dedication and hard work, building your experience, time and seniority at a company and you will begin to see the fruits of your labour. I hope this gives you some insight into the pay scale of a Canadian pilot.
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