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Pilot wages VS other jobs

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Pilot wages VS other jobs

Old 12th Feb 2011, 08:35
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Pilot wages VS other jobs

Hi all,

I'm a little bit wondering, I read here in another topic that a captain of Ryanair earns 45k pounds a year. A lot of people think it's not enough to be a captain (I don't have any knowledge of other airlines)...
But if I look for example to the salary of an engineer here in Belgium who has done 5 years of college/university they are happy to get 1700 net a month and a car, which is far less than the captain with RYR. Ok you don't start as a captain, but what does a F/O earn then with ryanair?
Do they pay the engineers not enough here or is it just me that I have the feeling that the 45k pounds with ryanair (or take any other airline) is a lot of money?
I always read here that wannabe's should get an other job and earn more, but if I see those wages, you'll never- or with a lot of luck- hit the 6000 a month mark with being an engineer over here....
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 08:44
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Belgian and Irish/UK taxes might be quite different and services provided by state as well.
I used to be engineer in France, making much less money than as captain now.
But, if I messed up in my engineer job, the company lost one day of computer productivity .
Now, if I mess up, I can kill up to 189 pax + 6 crew + 1 tool worth around 60 millions $ !

That's quite a huge difference that can justify a payrise in my opinion.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 09:06
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Just to put this into perspective, a binman (refuse collector or recycling coordinator...) in Brum takes home about 45k per annum.

Liberal Democrat council leaders turn on Nick Clegg over town hall cuts | Mail Online

I'm sure there might be a binman or woman out there who might try and justify their wage but it just goes to show that there are idjits happy to put up with getting paid peanuts to be a captain of a 737 (albeit at a basic wage).

The downward spiral continues but if the egyptians can take charge and make sweeping changes maybe it could happen for aircrew...
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 09:07
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45k is [email protected] I was watching a TV doc the other night with a sofa salesman earning 65k.... Obviously his salary is linked to his performance and if he doesn't sell his earning fall but he doesn't have the initial investment that pilots have these days plus responsibility in his job is low. On the flip side the salesman would probably have to work more days a year, none of which would be at stupid o'clock. Therefore it's hard to compare but this job bears a lot of responsibility much like a doctor etc therefore you would expect pay grades in line with those professions. Think it was on BA thread that one guy worked out that from his flights per year and average loads the cost per head was just 40 pence... But that's BA

As an FO in FR take home after stupid Irish tax and greedy accountants is pretty much 3500 a month but you only work 10.5 months if you're lucky.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 09:42
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What do you mean by other jobs? Is it other jobs in aviation or the other non aviation jobs?

As far as aviation jobs here in India are concerned, we pilots are the highest paid, especially when you reach the level of a captain on a jet. But there are many jobs out here especially with IT industry if you have like 5 years of experience in a well reputed company then you can easily make more than a pilot.

Like most of you are aware T&C are on a great decline for the cockpit crews, sadly.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 09:49
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I mean other jobs in general, lik an engineer, nurse, doctor and ect, people who went to university or college...
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 10:03
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It depends how intelligent, enterprising and educated you are.

Any dullard can rock up to a flight school, buy an ATPL, by and large find a job (at least in a good recuiting climate), and by and large, get upgraded when their time comes. So for them, the pay is good compared to labouring, or low grade office work (although guys who dig the road can earn 60k+, esp if they do overtime. No capital outlay required either. No jet lag, or being away from their families for days on end)

For anyone with anything between their ears, aviation is an exceptionally poor career, IMHO. 40 years of being treated as a unit of labour, nothing more - often less. Very little scope for performance related career advancement - you get paid what it says on your payscale, whether you are an conscientious ace, or a borderline slacker.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 17:30
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In the good old days a BOAC Captain (flying his Imperial Seaplane on a 2 week trip to South Africa) would have a salary and social cache roughly comparable to a High Court Judge .... now we are comparing our trade to salesmen and tube drivers ... where did it go wrong ??
It is basically true that any of us are paid a salary proportional to how easy we are to replace .... that is capitalism. In the extreme the "irreplaceable" football striker is paid a fortune, and the manual/ unskilled labourer a lot less. In between there lies all of us ....
Our T&C's will only improve when the drought happens .... and there are too many jobs for too few experienced pilots ... C'est la vie ..
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 19:29
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For anyone with anything between their ears, aviation is an exceptionally poor career,

absolutely right !! i,m so pleased that somebody as actually said what we all think and know .

Everybody quotes time and time and time again " Safety is our prime importance , we are dedicated to safety " We have all heard it so many times
Very sadly the people that say that are the same people that have directly led to the erosion of safety in our industry ....which also leads to what the general public think of our so called "profession "................. Glorified bus drivers over payed because its an easy job now ...the airplane does everything for you


very very sad .....when we people are prepared to pay more for a big mac than they are for a ticket ,and if they do pay more most peoplr think they have been had

time to get out and prob get the bus !!!
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 23:19
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Even with things as shit as they are now, there will always be "that guy" who compares it to X job, and says, wait a sec. that ain't so bad! While completely ignoring all other pertinent facts.... and so things continue to go farther South.

I've been in this field only a few years, and in that time have seen and heard more then enough to never encourage or suggest to anybody that entering this profession is a good idea. Far too little reward, for what you put into it. That includes self-sacrifice as well as money. Unless you are one of the lucky few that are responsible for propagating the myth of the glorious airline life.

Last edited by B767PL; 12th Feb 2011 at 23:31.
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 08:20
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For me, anyone earning 45K doing a job they love is extremely lucky. Perhaps some of you in the airline business went into it with unrealistic expectations?

I personally have a disability that prevented me from pursuing my dream of becoming a pilot, so it does kind of grate on me a little when I see people who are earning what a great many of us would consider megabucks, complain about the "paltry" amounts they are getting. You are lucky you can even do it in the first place. Granted, you put in a lot of time and investment, but the opportunity was there and nobody made you do it.

Do people really expect us to believe that the binmen who empty our wheelie-bins are on 45K? Yeah right!

I think some people just need to accept that the golden era of airlines is well and truly over.
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 08:29
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I am sure doctors or lawyers have in an interest in their jobs, don't know why the ' you get to do a job you like' always gets pulled out when it comes to pilots
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 09:08
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The amount we are paid depends on supply and demand. When supply exceeds demand, the price falls. This is what has happened. But if the balance swings the other way, the price will rocket as the supply (for experienced captains) has an inbuilt lag of about five years. To make it attractive for an experienced captain to either remain with or to join your organisation, you'll have to pay the going rate - and maybe a sweetener on the top.

Or there again, you could take the cheap captains. The ones who are often written about (I can think of a few) in various reports, the ones with interesting training records which are shredded and strewn along the M6, the ones who miss-spell their names and so on. Unfortunately, for too many passengers, their abilities are far too often discussed on this site. But no matter what, I can not see the return of the "...salary and social cache roughly comparable to a High Court Judge" which it certainly was during the 50's and 60's. But any company employing "dodgy" captains will have to watch out as the calls from the lawyers won't be long coming.

Am I worth more than 45K. You bet. I'm worth at least twice that, maybe three. But I'll tell you for free, if the market rate is five times that, I won't work for less! And no doubt neither will a lot of my peers. This will be the true price of "Low Cost."

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Old 13th Feb 2011, 09:20
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Well, I've spent a few years in the cockpit, but now I've moved into a different side of the business.

I was asked if I'd like to go back into flying fulltime, but when I thought about it, I simply couldn't afford the pay-cut. A slightly mad situation really, but flying really isn't the career it once was.

Are RYR skippers actually on 45K though? I thought it was significantly higher than that. If it isn't, then which idiot signed a contract for that?

For me, anyone earning 45K doing a job they love is extremely lucky. Perhaps some of you in the airline business went into it with unrealistic expectations?

I personally have a disability that prevented me from pursuing my dream of becoming a pilot, so it does kind of grate on me a little when I see people who are earning what a great many of us would consider megabucks, complain about the "paltry" amounts they are getting. You are lucky you can even do it in the first place. Granted, you put in a lot of time and investment, but the opportunity was there and nobody made you do it.

Do people really expect us to believe that the binmen who empty our wheelie-bins are on 45K? Yeah right!

I think some people just need to accept that the golden era of airlines is well and truly over.
That's one of the daftest posts I've ever read on here for so many reasons that I'm not even going to bother going into it.
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 10:04
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Let me guess, another frustrated wannabe pilot...

I tell you what, once you've been a pilot for 10 years, then you can tell me if you still find it a job that you'd do simply for the passion rather than for a decent salary.

It helps to have passion for any job, but that doesn't stop them being JOBS.

If you go into flying with your eyes blinkered to reality, then you are a fool. Any career has it's good days and bad, but at the end of it all, after a couple of years, you lose the misty eyed outlook of someone looking in from the outside and realise what the job actually entails.

If you are happy to be a Captain on a jet for 45K a year (I'm fairly certain even RYR don't pay that little) then you are a total and utter eejit, who should be drummed out of the profession for being a dangerous lunatic who shouldn't be in charge of a blunt pencil let alone a mulit-million pound aluminium tube moving at 500mph 6 miles above the ground.
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 10:14
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So are we seriously suggesting that an MP is worth more than an airline pilot?
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 10:52
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I don't like comparing any other job when it comes to pay to try and say which one is "worth" more.

It doesn't work like that in reality. Especially not when trying to compare two jobs as different as an MP and a pilot.
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 11:19
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T&Cs have degraded for years where as in politics MPs have got fatter. I'm not saying they don't have responsibility as they do, its just their responsibility is diluted and often shared amoung their peers. Airline pilots do not have this luxury all we have is the trust and the competence of they guy/gal sat next to us and we are responsible for the safety of everyone on board. The amount of time an average jet pilot spends at 37000ft is increasing along with all those pressure changes as we climb and descend... All of which must not be advantageous to the physiology of the human body.

Dangerous responsible jobs should come with a price that reflects this but unfortunately we are all selling ourselves short... and until there is a collective movement across the whole industry this will not change.

Just my 2cents
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 11:21
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I think the point these days is missed - one or two of the problems these days is that due to increased aircraft reliability, improved avionics etc. etc., is that on an average day most pilots can fly aircraft without too much difficulty....this in turn is seen by company bean counters as meaning the job is no longer as "hard" as maybe it used to be, and use this coupled with many individuals desire to become a commercial pilot, in order to reduce costs in the company, boost profitability and thus on meeting targets, line their own pockets at someone elses expense (okay, maybe that is a little simplistic but the general idea is there).

Now, one thing that is totally forgotten - as a crew on the flight deck of whatever aircraft you fly, regardless of aircraft age, equipment and everything else - YOU are RESPONSIBLE for the safety and legality of that aircraft (well, certainly as a Captain) - and that my friends is a hell of a thing and should be very much in mind when accepting an awful salary with crappy T & C - I think that these days that MAY be one of the reasons companies like Ryanair get away with awful deals, because the above isn't fully appreciated. Oh, you can bet when and if the shit hits the fan, the cheapskates will be looking VERY closely at crew error as this usually represents the weakest link in getting out of regulatory/financial penalty. That risk we bear as a crew SHOULD be mitigated by decent T & C - after all, lose your health, licence or any number of other things, and it's goodbye career - won't happen to "Mr Beancounter" if his pen breaks, or he messes up a monthly report now will it ?

Food for thought ? I'd hope so, but let's see
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Old 13th Feb 2011, 11:43
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I left the profession nearly three years ago. I was on about 40K as a FO.

I don't miss the backstabbing "comrades", crewing nightmares, egotistical commanders, fatigue, early mornings, late nights, lack of sleep, crap food... oh I could go on but I really don't want to sound bitter.

I do miss the points I used to get on my Marriott Rewards card though...

Says it all really.
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