Military Pilot Pay and Benefits | BogiDope (2023)

The military offers some fantastic career opportunities for pilots. It can also set you up for an enjoyable and lucrative civilian flying career later in life. One of the important parts of deciding whether to join the military or not is to understand the pay and benefits it offers. We’ll cover that here today.

Before we get going, I want to mention that military pay is public data. We’re going to look at pay using the 2019 pay tables on the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) website. Most civilian employers negotiate pay with new employees, after hiring them for the job. Most companies make individual salaries a big secret. Women frequently get paid less than men for the same job, in large part because of these secrecy games. (To be fair though, Google recently paid some money to male employees after finding that they’d been underpaid when compared with their female peers.) Thankfully, the military avoids this stupidity. When you look at someone’s uniform, you immediately know his or her name, what he or she does, and how much money he or she gets paid every year. There’s a lot to be said about the value of transparency when it comes to making career decisions and instilling a good work ethic.

Table of Contents

  1. Military Pilot Pay and Allowances
  2. Military Pilot Pay Examples
  3. Taxes on Military Pilot Pay
  4. Military Pilot Benefits
  5. Summary

Military Pilot Pay and Allowances

Base Pay

The fundamental part of your check every month is your base pay, which is calculated by using your rank and the number of years you’ve been in service. Although poor performance can prevent promotions, you stand a very good chance of getting promoted on a regular timeline throughout your career.

The lowest pay grade for commissioned military officers is O-1. The Navy and Coast Guard call the associated rank Ensign, while all the other branches call it Second Lieutenant. In 2019, a brand-new O-1 (with less than 4 years of prior enlisted service, if applicable) makes $3,188.40 per month. At a full 20 years of service, this nearly triples to $9,243.60 per month for an O-5, Lieutenant Colonel (or Commander in the Navy/Coast Guard).

Flight Pay

Aircrew members also receive flight pay, also known as Aviation Career Incentive Pay (ACIP). This starts out at a miserly $150 per month but increases to $1,000 at the height of your flying career. Although the idea is that you should only receive flight pay during months that you perform flight duty, there are some allowances for pilots in non-flying assignments to continue receiving flight pay. The explanation of those rules gets a little involved, so we’ll save it for another time.

These two types of pay are nice, but they’re not the only money you’ll see in your paycheck. You also get allowances.


The government gives military members a Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS) and a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). These are (awesome) parts of your overall compensation as a military member. Since they’re “allowances” rather than pay, you don’t have to pay any taxes on them. You get to keep the full amount of your allowances, whether you spend that amount each month or not.

BAS amount is the same for all officers, regardless of rank or time in service. It is intended to pay for meals, but at $254.39 per month (as of 2019), it probably won’t cover all your needs.

BAH is intended to cover the average housing cost in the area where you’re assigned. The value depends on your zip code, your pay grade, and whether you have dependents living with you (take note that the “with dependents” rate does not increase based on the number of dependents you have). You can find values for a specific set of criteria on the Defense Travel Management Office website. It’s certainly possible to find housing for considerably cheaper than your BAH allowance, which is a nice way to make a bit of extra money. However, if you choose to live in base housing, you will automatically net $0 and this will not be an option.

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Retirement Funds

We’ll cover military retirement funds in great detail in an upcoming BogiDope article, but an important thing to know is that the US Government will match your contributions to a retirement account, called a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), up to 5% of your base pay each month. (There are a lot of caveats and fine print associated with this 5%. The Military Money Manual is a great place to get information on the specifics.) The TSP is essentially the military’s version of a civilian 401(k) plan. Only a great fool would voluntarily forego this benefit. You’re reading BogiDope, so we’re going to assume you’re not a great fool. We highly recommend that you contribute at least enough to get the government’s 5% match every month. If you don’t do that, you’re leaving free money (with compounding interest) on the table which could greatly benefit you once you retire.

Retention Bonuses

Later in your career, the military may try to throw a bunch of money your way to entice you to stick around. If you plan to stay anyway, this is a great deal. If you’re not sure whether you want to stay, it’s a trap. Right now the Air Force offers bonuses of up to $35,000 per year, and they may pay half of your total bonus up front, depending on what you fly.

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Military Pilot Pay Examples

So, what does all this look like? Let’s calculate the monthly pay for a brand-new O-1 attending pilot training at Laughlin AFB, TX in 2019. Chances are you’ll live in an on-base dormitory for this year and not receive BAH, but we’ll consider the possibility of living off-base just to make comparisons easier. We’ll assume you’re single for now. We’ll also assume that you’re wise and are contributing 5% of your base pay to your TSP so that you can receive the government’s match (and we’ll count that match as income — because it is, even if you can’t withdraw it yet). Here’s what we get:

USAF Second Lieutenant Pilot Income Example

Rank: O-1MonthlyAnnual
Base Pay$3,188.40$38,260.80
Flight Pay$150.00$1,800.00
Gov. TSP Match$159.42$1,913.04
Retention Bonus$0.00$0.00

That’s not half bad for your first year out of college as a pilot with fewer than 100 flight hours to your name.

Let’s see how your income can grow by looking at what an O-5 with 20 years of service makes. We’ll assume he or she is making maximum flight pay, receives a $35,000 per year retention bonus, is married, and lives at Eglin AFB, FL.

USAF Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Income Example

Rank: O-5MonthlyAnnual
Base Pay$9,243.60$110,923.20
Flight Pay$1,000.00$12,000.00
Gov. TSP Match$462.18$5,546.16
Retention Bonus$0.00$35,000.00

As with everything, this career comes with unique costs. A short list includes long work hours, frequent moves, and multi-month deployments. However, serving a higher purpose and doing a mission you love can make it all worth it. We see that a military career can pay very well. Not only does this O-5 make great money, but he or she is also now eligible to collect a pension check, every month, for the rest of his or her life. Under the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) that check will be equal to 40% of his or her base pay, or $3,697.44, every month for life.

Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve Pilot Pay Example

The previous figures are based on pay for a full-time Active Duty officer. Pay in the National Guard and Reserve components works somewhat differently. We’ll cover this is more detail in a future article, but here are the basics:

  • If you are on 30 days or more of continuous military orders, your pay and benefits will be exactly the same as they would be on active duty.
  • If you are a part-time Air National Guard (ANG) or Air Force Reserve (AFRES) pilot you will be paid for each individual day you show up to work.
  • There are several different types of orders with unique benefits, but as a basic formula to determine how much each day is worth, add your base pay and flight pay together and divide that number by 30 (days in the month). That amount is considered one period (1/2 day of work). Unless you’re intentionally only working half a day, you will be paid for two periods each time you work at the squadron.

For example, using the 2019 pay charts, an O-4 with over 12 years of military service and over six years of aviation service has a base pay of $7,596 and $800 of flight pay per month. $7,596 + $800 = $8,396/30 days = $280 per period. Typically, you’ll work a full day (i.e. two periods), so $280 x 2 = $560 per day. If you average 3-6 days in the squadron per month, your annual Guard salary will be between $20,000 and $40,000 without including any TDYs (business trips) or deployments.

(Video) How To Use The GI Bill To Become A Pilot

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Taxes on Military Pilot Pay

Before we leave the topic of pay we need to look at a related subject: taxes. If you’re a single officer making nearly $54,000 per year, some smart saving decisions can lead to you having a tax bill of almost $0!

Since your BAS and BAH are untaxed allowances, your first-year taxable pay is only $40,060.80. The latest changes to tax law increased the standard deduction for income taxes to $18,350 for an individual and $24,400 for a married couple filing jointly. When calculating your tax bill, you just subtract this amount from your $40,060.80 to reach a value of $21,710.80. If you left things like this, you’d pay a few thousand dollars in taxes, but I’m hoping you’re smarter.

Although there are exceptions, most people going into military pilot training don’t have many dependents or a lot of debt (other than perhaps student loans). Couple that with the fact that pilot training is extremely intensive and requires a great deal of your time, and it’s obvious that you don’t need to spend much money during this year. Sure, you need to enjoy life and get a break from studying occasionally, but you’d be a fool to go buy an expensive car or a bunch of other toys.

If you’re smart, you’ll invest as much money into your TSP as the IRS allows. That limit is currently $19,000 per year. If you’re a young officer, I generally advocate putting those funds into your Roth TSP (post-tax contributions) so that you don’t have to pay taxes on your earnings when you withdraw funds for retirement. But you could instead potentially put those funds into your traditional TSP to almost annihilate your tax bill. Since your traditional TSP contributions are tax-deferred, you get to subtract them from your taxable income. If you contribute the full IRS limit of $19,000 per year, then your taxable income decreases from the $21,710.80 we just calculated earlier to a mere $2,710.80. That income is so small that it all falls within the 10% tax bracket, meaning you’ll only pay $271 in taxes that year, assuming you don’t get any other deductions. When compared to the nearly $53,990.52 you took in this year (accounting for allowances), you’re looking at an effective tax rate of 0.5%. That’s pretty amazing, especially when it means that even after contributing $19,000 to your TSP you get to spend up to $34,719.44 that year. If you’re more of a visual person, here’s the chart summarizing this:

Thrift Savings Plan Contributions Effect on Tax Rate

Rank: O-1
Total Yearly Compensation$53,990.52
Pay, Minus Allowances$40,060.80
Standard Deduction$18,350.00
TSP Contribution Limit$19,000
Taxable Income$2,710.80
Tax Due$271.08
Effective Tax Rate0.50%
Money to Spend$34,719.44

Unfortunately, our progressive tax system diminishes this effect as you increase in rank, but you can really smash your tax bill and maximize your savings early in your career.

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Military Pilot Benefits

If all you got out of military service was the pay we just discussed, it’d be a pretty great deal. However, there are many other benefits associated with military service. It would span multiple articles to discuss all of the additional benefits of military service, but here’s a list of what I consider to be some of the top ones:


Officers on Active Duty in the US military (and their families) get essentially unlimited free healthcare through a company called Tricare. If you’ve paid any attention to the news over the past decade, you should realize that this is a huge deal. The costs of healthcare have skyrocketed and can be enough to break some families. My airline offers private health insurance and quotes a maximum out-of-pocket cost in the event of a really terrible year where you have to pay every deductible, coinsurance, copay, etc. For the premium plan, this maximum out-of-pocket cost is $15,600.

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I hope you never have a year bad enough to need that much medical care. Thankfully, it hasn’t cost my family nearly this much. I have a Bronze HSA plan with premiums of less than $100 per month. Our deductibles, copays, etc. could potentially get close to that $15,600 figure, but in three years of airline work my family hasn’t paid more than $3,000 in annual deductibles so far.

I feel like it’s fair to equate military healthcare to a dollar value as high as that $15,600 per year when trying to come up with a figure for total annual compensation. In reality, it won’t be nearly as valuable to a healthy family in most years, so you might use a smaller figure.

Paid Vacation Time

At many companies, you’re lucky to get two weeks of paid vacation per year. In most cases, you start out with a vacation balance of zero and have to “earn” your vacation days over time. The military is a much better deal: everyone gets 30 days of paid leave per year, regardless of rank or time in service. Technically, you do accrue this balance at the rate of 2.5 days of leave earned per month. However, many military members find they have a hard time using all of their earned leave.

Education Benefits

This one is tough to write about succinctly because each branch of service has its own programs. The main idea, though, is that the military will pay for you to continue your education while you’re on active duty. In the Air Force this benefit is called Tuition Assistance, or TA. They’ll pay for up to $4,500 per year, and a total benefit of $9,000, toward a higher degree an/or many certification programs. You incur a 2-year commitment every time you start a new class, but if you owe more than two years anyway, this commitment doesn’t hurt you. I used this program to earn a master’s degree for a very minimal out-of-pocket cost. I got it done in two years of nights and weekends, including free time while I was deployed. maintains a great listing of the educational programs offered by each military branch.

While you can get money toward advanced academic degrees, there are also resources available for other types of education. Most military bases have libraries and education offices that can provide free language courses, IT certifications, and other good deals. A hard-working individual could obtain many thousands of dollars in valuable education benefits, in his or her free time, while serving in the military.

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill

Although it’s another education program, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is such a momentous benefit that it deserves its own discussion. Instituted by President George W. Bush, this program covers all tuition and fees for four years of college (36 calendar months) of education at any state school, as well as $1,000 per year for books. If you’re not on active duty while you’re in school, you also receive the BAH equivalent to what an E-5 with dependents would earn living in your area. The G.I. Bill will also cover costs for attending a private college, but in this case the total covered costs are capped. Go to the official G.I. Bill website for all the details.

You don’t have to use this benefit for college either. The G.I. Bill can go toward covering the costs of flight training, vocational training, or a variety of other programs.

The G.I. Bill is a fantastic deal, and it gets even better: you can transfer your unused G.I. Bill benefits to your spouse or children (including combinations of spouse, child, and/or children). However, you need to serve for a minimum amount of time to earn the full benefit (typically 6 years), and then you’ll owe an additional 4 years service, so do it as soon as you’re eligible. If you’re planning on getting out of the military sooner than that, do not transfer your G.I. Bill benefits.

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VA Loans

Although we’ve demonstrated that military pilots get paid pretty well, it’s still a tall order to save up enough money for a down payment on a home. Some banks will offer you a loan with less money down, but charge you Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for the favor. PMI sucks — it’s money you pay and never get back.

Thankfully, the Veterans Administration (VA) has a home loan program that will guarantee a loan for you with little or no money down. You pay a “funding fee” instead, but it’s usually a pretty good option. If you end up with a disability rating after you leave the military (and you probably will), they’ll even waive that funding fee.

My wife and I bought houses at two different assignments. In hindsight, at least one of those was a terrible decision. Military pilots tend to move so often that there is almost no way to avoid losing a lot of money on a home purchase. Unless you’re willing to study and put a lot of time and effort into House Hacking, I recommend you rent homes while you’re serving on Active Duty. However, if homeownership makes sense for you, a VA loan can be a great way to finance that purchase.

Credit Card and Other Debt Benefits (SCRA)

This advice is not military-specific, but it deserves immediate attention: do not EVER carry a balance on a credit card past the monthly due date. If you’re guilty of this dire sin, you need to read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and follow his baby steps out of financial ruin. The rapidly-accumulating interest from high APR credit cards will eat you alive.

If you’re one of the millions of poor souls who was raised without realizing how bad credit card debt is, the military can give you some breathing room while you tread Mr. Ramsey’s path to recovery. There’s a federal law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Among other things, it requires credit card companies and lenders to reduce the interest rate on your pre-military service debt to 6% or lower. NerdWallet has a great post about this program. However, don’t use this good deal as an excuse to spend more! Use it as an opportunity to pay your credit card off and use it responsibly from that point on.

Part of Dave Ramsey’s advice includes never using credit cards again. While this is absolutely appropriate until you get your financial habits under control, it’s not something that you have to do indefinitely. If you’re disciplined enough to spend less than you earn, and you pay your credit cards off in full every month, it’s okay to use credit cards. If you choose your credit cards wisely and spend strategically, you can get loads of airline, hotel, and other valuable points for spending money that you would have spent anyway. For a primer on Travel Rewards, check out Episode 9 of the ChooseFI podcast.

You don’t need to be in the military to take advantage of travel rewards, but military members do get a huge advantage here. Most credit card companies charge an annual fee with their card. With the best cards, this fee can be very steep. However, most of these companies will waive their annual fee for military members. These cards are usually good values with the fee, but if you can get the fee waived for cards like the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’re making money from day one!

Space-A Travel

Speaking of world travel, if this is your thing the military has some exciting opportunities. Military members are allowed to hitch free rides on most military aircraft — a perk called Space Available Travel, or Space-A Travel for short. The USAF’s Air Mobility Command has a good website for this Space Available Travel. While you probably won’t want to catch a ride to downtown Kabul, there are plenty of flights to great destinations all over the world.

Space-A travel isn’t as glamorous, reliable, or comfortable as commercial air travel. However, if you’re flexible, this is a ticket to a world of amazing adventure.


Free Gym Access

While it may not have a huge equivalent dollar value, it’s worth noting that just about every US military base on the planet has a great gym. Military members and their families get access to these world-class facilities for free. These gyms also tend to offer free classes in everything from basic fitness to cycling to CrossFit for those who prefer to work out with a group. In a world where obesity has become an epidemic and more people die from things like heart disease than combat or even traffic accidents, having easy access to a gym is something to love about military service.

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There’s a lot that goes into calculating military pay and putting the myriad of benefits into perspective. We hope you found this overview to be informative and helpful if you’re considering a career as a military pilot. Although this article may seem exhaustive, the subject matter here actually only scratches the surface of the benefits you get from military service. Many of the links provided throughout can give you plenty of additional information about specific aspects of military pay and benefits. In addition, the staff at BogiDope is always working on new content and plans to cover some of these things in greater detail in future articles.


What benefits do military pilots get? ›

These include 30 days of paid vacation, food and housing allowances, tuition assistance, low-cost insurance and a generous retirement package. Air Force pilots may also be paid retention bonuses to encourage them to extend their length of service.

Do military pilots get paid well? ›

A military pilot salary can range considerably, but if you're looking to go into the field, you might find it important to know that most military pilots get paid an average of between $80,000 to $85,000 per year. There's more to it than that, however.

What do military pilots get paid? ›

Average U.S. Air Force Pilot yearly pay in the United States is approximately $92,184, which is 39% above the national average.

How much is retirement pay for military pilots? ›

Under this system, your monthly retirement check is 2.5% of your monthly base pay multiplied by the number of years you served before retiring. If you serve a full 20 years on active duty you receive 50% of your base pay, every month, for the rest of your life.

How long is a military pilot contract? ›

Pilots incur a 10-year service commitment from the date they complete training and are awarded an aeronautical rating. Airmen in these roles are evaluated for continued service one year to 18 months before the completion of this commitment.

How long is a Army pilot contract? ›

In exchange for paid pilot training, you'll commit to ten years of service after you graduate from the six-week Warrant Officer Flight School as an Aviation Warrant Officer, a respected aviation expert role in the Army.

Is becoming a pilot financially worth it? ›

Yes, being a pilot is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% job growth for airline and commercial pilots over the next ten years. This is faster than the average growth for all occupations.

What is the highest paid military pilots? ›

Salary Ranges for Military Pilots

The salaries of Military Pilots in the US range from $23,362 to $623,331 , with a median salary of $111,572 . The middle 57% of Military Pilots makes between $111,577 and $281,484, with the top 86% making $623,331.

What degree do most military pilots have? ›

A four-year college degree is usually required to become a military pilot. Courses in engineering, meteorology, computer science, aviation law, business management, and military science are especially helpful.

What is the highest paying job in the military? ›

The highest-paid military job is a general or admiral.

Generals and admirals average approximately $197,000 regardless of the branch of the military. These high-paying salaries are quite plush compared to the roughly $20,000 a year that a private earns.

Is becoming a military pilot hard? ›

It is very difficult to become an Air Force Pilot. You need not only a high-grade point average, but also you must be physically and mentally fit, complete several educational and training scenarios, and be between the ages of 22 and 28. In fact, for every 1,000 applicants who apply, only 3 become air force pilots.

How much do F 22 pilots make? ›

The estimated total pay for a Air Force Pilot at US Air Force is $101,702 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $101,702 per year.

At what age do military pilots stop flying? ›

This board will determine whether or not you're competitive enough for a slot in UPT, and must be conducted before you reach 29 years of age. You must also be enrolled in UPT before the age of 33. With that said, age waivers are available for potential pilots up to the age of 35. 91 - 250 lbs.

What age do most pilots retire? ›

Because the international mandatory retirement age for pilots is also 65, if the age was raised in the United States, pilots 65 or older would no longer be allowed to fly overseas.

Do pilots get money after retirement? ›

"During the period of the post-retirement contract, you will be paid the remuneration and flying allowances, as admissible, as per the policy of Air India to such appointments," he stated.

Do military pilots get weekends off? ›

Does the Air Force get weekends off? Yes, some jobs in the Air Force will allow you with a normal schedule with weekends off every week. However, this is not guaranteed and will all depend on your base and your mission.

How old is the average military pilot? ›

Military Pilot Age Breakdown

Interestingly enough, the average age of military pilots is 40+ years old, which represents 61% of the population.

Are military pilots in demand? ›

ORLANDO — The Air Force aims to train around 1,470 new pilots in fiscal 2023, which remains a lofty goal amid an enduring shortage of flyers. Though the target is close to the service's plan to graduate 1,500 pilots per year by 2024, hitting it will be a challenge, said Air Education and Training Command boss Lt. Gen.

What are the odds of becoming Army pilot? ›

Just getting into a service academy is extremely competitive, and getting a pilot slot upon graduation narrows that field. (At the Air Force Academy, the selection rate for people who want to be pilots is about 95%.)

Where do Army pilots get stationed? ›

CONUS Locations: Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell, Fort Carson, Fort Drum, Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Hood, Joint-Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Riley, Fort Rucker (NCOs only), Fort Eustis (NCOs only), Fort Irwin (NCOs only). OCONUS Locations: Germany, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska.

How old can Army pilots be? ›

Age Requirement

You need to be at least 18 years old when you enlist in the Army, and you have to appear before the military board that selects candidates for flight school before turning 33 years old.

Is pilot Life stressful job? ›

Stress overcomes even the strongest, most highly trained pilots and can take the worst toll. Everyone deals with stress in a different manner, but military pilots stand out on their own with unique stress reducing and problem solving skills.

How often are pilots home? ›

Do pilots go home every night? Flight instructors and pilots who fly short-haul domestic flights are able to be home every night more or less; however, airline pilots who fly longer routes are unable to go home every night and can be away from home for up to two weeks at a time.

How much does a Navy F 18 pilot get paid? ›

$73,709. The estimated total pay for a F/A-18 Pilot at US Navy is $73,709 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $73,709 per year.

What type of pilot gets the most money? ›

High Paying Pilot Jobs
  • Helicopter Pilot. Salary range: $52,000-$115,000 per year. ...
  • Private Pilot. Salary range: $52,000-$100,000 per year. ...
  • Corporate Pilot. Salary range: $55,000-$100,000 per year. ...
  • Chief Pilot. Salary range: $64,000-$100,000 per year. ...
  • Assistant Chief Pilot. ...
  • Air Charter Pilot. ...
  • Airline Pilot. ...
  • Commercial Pilot.

Do army pilots get bonuses? ›

Aviation Bonus (AvB) Program. The AvB is used to offer bonuses to aviators with critical skills or MOSs. The AvB is essential to retain Officers with an Army aeronautical rating, who are critical to the overall success of the Army's mission.

Which military branch should I join to be a pilot? ›

If you're 100% set on becoming a pilot, then you should consider going the Air National Guard route. Air Force National Guard units are essentially the military reserve force, as well as the militia Air Force, of each state.

Do you need good grades to be a military pilot? ›

Bachelor's degree

A GPA of 3.4 or higher can help you remain competitive in this career path, though only a 2.5 is required. Applying to become an Air Force pilot within 365 days of your graduation can increase the likelihood of being selected for this specialized training.

What Asvab score is needed to be a pilot? ›

What General Technical (GT) score do you need on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test? U.S. Army pilot candidates need at least a 110 GT score on the ASVAB test.

Is the military good salary? ›

Militaries make $51,584 per year on average, or $24.8 per hour, in the United States.

Who gets paid more military or Army? ›

If you're considering a military career, you might wonder which military service – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard or Space Force – has the best pay and benefits. At a basic pay level, the answer is simple. The military pays the same regardless of branch, according to your pay grade and years of service.

What disqualifies you from being a fighter pilot? ›

Distant vision must be at least 20/70 uncorrected, and near vision must be 20/30 uncorrected, but both distant and near vision must be corrected to 20/20. Corrective eye surgery could disqualify a candidate from flying. Pilots also cannot have a history of hay fever, asthma or allergies after age 12.

How long is military pilot school? ›

Typical timeline to begin training is 6-12 months and OTS, IFS, and SUPT will take approximately 18 months. After completion of SUPT, new pilots will attend Land and Water Survival at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. These two courses take approximately three weeks to complete.

How many pilots wash out of training? ›

Those who make it are in for a grueling time. Tdday's Air Force Spetial Opera- tions ornmatd (AFSOC) 11 small, wit only out 12,000 airn-Nen and roughly 130 aircraft.

How much do B 52 pilots make? ›

$110,661. How accurate does $110,661 look to you?

How much does a 777 pilot make a year? ›

Five-Year Pilot
TypePay (yearly)
Airbus 319$121,000
Boeing 777$160,000
Embraer 190$82,000
Sep 8, 2022

How much does it cost to train 1 Fighter Pilot? ›

The cost of training a basic qualified fighter pilot ranges from $5.6 million for an F-16 pilot to $10.9 million for an F-22 pilot. Bomber pilot training cost is also high, ranging from $7.3 million for a B-1 pilot to $9.7 million for a B-52 pilot.

Who was the youngest military pilot? ›

Brigadier General Antonio Maldonado (born 1941) was an officer of the United States Air Force, who in 1967 became the youngest pilot and Aircraft Commander of a B-52 Stratofortress nuclear bomber.
Antonio Maldonado
Born1941 (age 81–82) Comerío, Puerto Rico
AllegianceUnited States of America
7 more rows

Who was the youngest fighter pilot? ›

A pilot who was 15 years old when he flew heavy bombers over Germany during the Second World War died in 2001 aged 74. Thomas Dobney applied to join the RAF in 1941, aged just 14, after a dare from a school friend. He flew a Tiger Moth of No 2 Elementary Flying School near Gloucester six days after his 15th birthday.

What do pilots do after retirement? ›

Regulatory: the Civil Aviation Authority may have roles for retired pilots in the auditing and regulatory areas. Technical Writing: if you are passionate about writing, perhaps there can be opportunities within airlines for technical writing of Standard Operating Procedures and airline manuals.

Do pilots get older faster? ›

Chou did the math, and it turns out that frequent fliers actually age the tiniest bit more quickly than those of us with both feet on the ground. Planes travel at high enough altitudes that the weak gravitational field speeds up the tick rate of a clock on board more than the high speeds slow it down.

What is the max hours a pilot can fly? ›

(1) 500 hours in any calendar quarter; (2) 800 hours in any two consecutive calendar quarters; (3) 1,400 hours in any calendar year.

How many hours do pilots work? ›

Airline pilots fly an average of 75 hours per month and work an additional 150 hours per month performing other duties, such as checking weather conditions and preparing flight plans. Pilots have variable work schedules that may include several days of work followed by some days off.

Do pilots get free flights for life? ›

The short answer is yes – the majority of airlines offer free flights as an employee benefit for pilots and often for their immediate family members.

What privileges do pilots get? ›

Most pilots, particularly those working for commercial airlines, receive a healthy set of benefits including health, life, vision and dental insurance, as well as a retirement plan. They also get paid vacation time, which increases incrementally based on years of service.

Can a pilot make a million dollars a year? ›

Established airline pilots are paid very well, with the annual earnings of senior captains around $400,000, some pilots can expect a nine million dollar career in total earnings, illustrated below according to the typical career progression.

Do Army pilots get special pay? ›

In time of war, the president may suspend the payment of aviation career incentive pay. NOTE: UAS pilots with over 14 years of aviation service can receive up to $1,000 ACIP monthly until the 22 year mark.
Aviation Career Incentive Pay for Officers.
Years of ServiceMonthly Amount
Over 2$200
Over 6$700
Over 10$1,000
Over 22$700
2 more rows
Aug 8, 2022

Do military members get free flights? ›

Service members and their families can use Space-A flights to travel around the country and world at little to no cost. Though sometimes unpredictable, military flights are perfect for families with flexible plans and limited travel budgets.

Do Air Force pilots get special pay? ›

What is the Air Force pilot bonus for 2022? The USAF pilot bonus for 2022 is $35,000 annually for 3-12 year options. The total value of the bonus is $105,000 to $420,000.

Do pilots fly free for life? ›

The short answer is yes – the majority of airlines offer free flights as an employee benefit for pilots and often for their immediate family members.

What is the signing bonus for Army pilots? ›

Annual amounts vary depending on each service's needs and the length of time the pilot agrees to serve. For 2020, the maximum bonuses by service are: Army (for certain warrant officer pilots only): up to $25,000 per year. Air Force: up to $35,000 per year.

Does military get free TSA? ›

Yes. Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Coast Guard Academy receive free TSA PreCheck® benefits. Add your DoD ID number in the "Known Traveler Number" (KTN) field when booking flight reservations.

Does Netflix offer military discount? ›

Does Netflix offer military discounts? If you are in the military, on active duty or a veteran then Netflix does disappoint. Netflix does not offer Netflix military discounts.

What is a free military flight called? ›

Service members and their families can use Space-Available flights – formally known as Military Airlift Command or MAC flights – to travel around the country and world at little or no cost.

Is being a pilot in the Air Force worth it? ›

Despite all the hard work, long days, sacrifice, studying and never-ending training, you'd still be hard pressed to find an Air Force pilot who would trade his or her job for any other. "Being an Air Force pilot is an absolute blast," Boston said. "It's a huge commitment but it is well worth it."

Are Air Force pilots in high demand? ›

ORLANDO — The Air Force aims to train around 1,470 new pilots in fiscal 2023, which remains a lofty goal amid an enduring shortage of flyers. Though the target is close to the service's plan to graduate 1,500 pilots per year by 2024, hitting it will be a challenge, said Air Education and Training Command boss Lt.

What is the highest paying Air Force job? ›

U.S. Air Force (USAF) employees with the job title Program Manager, Aviation / Aerospace make the most with an average annual salary of $119,274, while employees with the title Support Technician, Information Technology (IT) make the least with an average annual salary of $38,980.


1. The Air Force is Short on Fighter Pilots: Here's Why
(Afterburn Podcast Clips)
2. Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Join the U.S. Air Force!
(Sam Eckholm)
3. US MILITARY PAY (All Branches) Everything You Need to Know
(Life is a Special Operation)
4. Pilot Benefits Explained
(Aviator Inspirations)
5. Want to be an Air Force Pilot? This is How You Do It
(Sam Eckholm)
6. Air Force Pilot vs Commercial Pilot Full Comparison unbiased in Hindi
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