Will regional pilot pay go back down?

I am considering a career in the airlines for a while, and have shied away from it because of the low pay for the first few decades, considering how much training is involved.

I have noticed the recent (nearly) doubling of pay for many regional airline pilots. It seems that a typical junior first officer can make $90 an hour and captains over $140, which would mean a six figure income not long after starting work at the regionals.

This makes this carreer much more appealing.

I know the future is unpredictable, but would anyone have any thought as to weather these pay rates will stay? Are they a permanent raise or just a temporary measure to combat the pilot shortage?



That’s a tough one. While we all love seeing the new pay rates, I don’t believe the Regionals can continue to pay them. Problem is the there’s a shortage which isn’t forecast to subside anytime soon. Before we see a do in the salaries I think we’ll see the bonuses and Tuition Reimbursement disappear first. After that they may go after the salaries but again that really anyone’s guess.

This is why I always say this is not a career of you’re only chasing the money. Things go up and down and if that’s the only reason you’re in it you will inevitably be disappointed.


Thanks for the quick responce Adam.

I understand that pay can be questionable in this industry. You have some good wisdom there.

It’s just that I don’t really want to spend many years and dollars training to only be able to make $40k-$60k a year for the better part of my carreer.

I suppose I have yet more thinking to do…


Keep in mind that’s Regional pay. The Majors pay considerably more.


Indeed. But considering I don’t have, and very likely won’t be getting, a college degree, (much more money, and much more time, which I don’t really have) it may be quite a long time before I’d get into the majors, if at all. But that’s a different topic entirely. (I’ll start another thread).


I could potentially see regional rates going down again sometime in the future, but not soon. I also think the regionals will continue to shrink as more flying is brought in house to the majors, which is a good thing for all of us.