From starting out at a regional all the way up to a major, what are salaries like? And how long does it usually take to get to a major?
Uh… first year first officers are making nearly $80-90,000 gross (pre-tax) I would say is the average, today. That does not include any bonuses, non-tax per diem, or reimbursements that the company pays out. Every airline varies on contractual agreements and pay. Most airlines have a minimum of 75 hours credit a month, take 75 hours multiplied by $100/hr., that’s about $7,500 a month.
Most airlines have contractual agreements that if you are flying a line or reserve, you will make X amount of credit hours or minimum day guarantee. I am in the processing of uploading my January schedule which will include block, credit and days off. I recommend checking out our Schedules section on the forum. Check out this link for airline specific details, which includes pay:
As per reaching a ‘major’ airline, there are a lot of factors that can be influenced in this. There are first officers at a regional making the switch to LCC’s like Frontier and Spirit, then finding themselves at Delta, United or American. While some wait for what we call, a ‘flow’, that is a contractual timeline that says after X amount of years in service, given your seniority is high enough and you’re in good standing, you will be offered a position at ABC airline.
Brady answered your question well, Id just like to add that flying for a Major is the pinnacle of our profession. Despite the pilot shortage (which has certainly made things easier) there are no guarantees of making it to a Major.
I say this because many are pursuing this career because they’ve heard you can make alot of money. While this is true again not everyone does.