How Much Does A Pilot Earn in the UK?

For many, a career as a pilot taking to the skies and travelling across the world is a dream job. The salary of airline pilots is also an attractive prospect for those looking for a career in aviation.

Despite the recent downturn in the aviation industry due to the covid-19 pandemic, Boeing is projecting that the long-term need for new aviation professionals, including pilots, remains robust.

In the short term, pilot wages may decrease due to the number of reduced flights and the number of furloughed or out of work airline pilots. However, US firm, Oliver Wyman, is forecasting a future pilot shortage due to an ageing workforce, fewer pilots leaving the military and the overall high cost of training.

Whilst it is currently difficult to predict how the impact of the pandemic will affect the future salaries of pilots, the long-term outlook from the insights mentioned above is that demand for pilots will remain in the years to come following the pandemic.


The average salary for an Airline Pilot in the UK is £81,666/year*, according to Glassdoor, ranging from £51,000/year to £121,000/year*. 


There are a number of factors that can determine how much a pilot earns including the airline, country, seniority level, number of years experience, type of flights, and the type of aircraft.

For pilots who are just starting off, their first role may be a Junior First Officer or First Officer. Salary for this role typically starts at around £24,000/year*. Pay increases can be expected once pilots gain more flight hours, rise in seniority and advance to become Pilot Captain.


Average Pilot Salary in the United Kingdom per airline according to Glassdoor:

British Airways – £80,662/year*

Easy Jet – £55,555/year*

Ryan Air – £41,500/year* – £76,716/year*

Virgin Atlantic – £80,883/year*


Woman pilot in her uniformWhat are some of the best things about being an airline pilot?

Opportunity to travel – One of the best reasons to become a pilot is the amount of traveling pilots do every month. With layovers and free time between flights, commercial pilots get the chance to explore new cities, cultures and locations across the world.


Discounted tickets – Some airlines offer their staff discounted (or sometimes even free!) airline tickets for themself or their family and friends, making holidays and trips significantly cheaper.


Office with a view – There’s nothing quite like soaring above the clouds in a plane. Most pilots would say that seeing the world from above is a part of the job that never gets old.


*figures correct as of September 2022

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