How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make In 2023?

In the United States Air Force, you can pursue a variety of occupations.

An Air Force pilot is one of the most sought-after and ostensibly glamorous jobs.

Precision flying is a skill that Air Force pilots possess, and they have the training to back it up.

Given the nature of the work, an Air Force pilot’s income may be lower than you think, but it comes with a robust benefits package to compensate.

And because of that, according to Indeed, 67% of Air Force pilots are satisfied with their pay overall. 

So if you’ve always wanted to be a fighter pilot, this is a job worth looking into, and since it is a really hard job to do and it takes years to become an air force pilot, you might wonder how much do Air Force pilots make?

In this article, we will answer that question and many more.


GuideHow Much Do Air Force Pilots Make?
Average Income$145,003 per year
Highest Income$500,000 per year

Who Are Air Force Pilots?

An Air Force pilot is a highly regarded military job. Pilots are experts in advanced aviation, specializing in certain aircraft and technologies.

They take part in scheduled operations all throughout the world, including troop transport, warfare participation, and humanitarian assistance relief.

Pilots serve as counselors and trainers to crews and other military personnel in addition to flying.

They may also conduct general squadron tasks, including scheduling, safety compliance, supervising other pilots, and tactical planning.

A pilot in the Air Force should be familiar with meteorology, flying directions, and mission tactics.

They should also be able to multitask, analyze their environment rapidly, and do tasks that demand fine motor abilities.


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How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make?

How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make

The pay of an Air Force pilot is about the pilot’s rank and length of service in the military.

The longer an Air Force pilot serves, the higher their rank and competence. This entails more responsibility as well as a larger income.

Pilots get a number of perks in addition to their regular wages.

Thirty days of paid vacation, food and housing allowances, tuition help, low-cost insurance, and a substantial retirement package are just a few of the benefits available.

Air Force pilots could receive retention incentives to encourage them to stay in the military longer.

In the United States, the typical Air Force pilot earns $145,003. An Air Force Pilot’s average bonus is $5,716 per year or 4% of their annual compensation.

1. How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make an Hour?

Air Force Pilots make a minimum of $8.89 an hour and a maximum of $75.00 an hour.

2. How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make a Month?

Air Force Pilots make a minimum of $1,542 a month and a maximum of $13,000 a month.

3. How Much Do Air Force Pilots Make a Year?

Air Force Pilots make a minimum of $18,500 a year and a maximum of $156,000 a year.


Highest Salary Of Air Force Pilots In 2023

When you are an Air Force pilot have and have extensive experience working as one, you will inevitably be in the top 10% of Air Force pilots and earn substantially higher than your counterparts.

The top 10% of Air Force pilots, the highest salary average, is around $500,000 annually, which is a tremendous increase from the average salary of all Air Force pilots.

Is Being An Air Force Pilot Good Or Bad?

It takes a lot of hard work to become an Air Force pilot. You start to work at a location and squadron without getting a choice once you gain the right to become an Air Force Pilot with enough mental and physical stamina for the task and successfully finish all of your training.

North America, Europe, and Asia are the three continents where the Air Force has bases.

You may work in a conflict zone for a few months or a year. You might also be sent on a temporary assignment to attend a conference, participate in an exercise, or assist an understaffed unit.

The location of your deployment and the nature of your assignment may require you to spend time away from your family and put you in potentially risky situations.

That is why it is a highly risky profession that many do not prefer to work as. However, the adrenalin and the pay are not bad.

Pros and Cons of Being An Air Force Pilot


  • You get to serve your country
  • Financial security after retirement
  • Handsome pay
  • Reputable job
  • Job satisfaction
  • Free housing and healthcare


  • You might feel homesick
  • Risky at times


How To Become An Air Force Pilot?

Here’s how you can become an Air Force Pilot:

  • In order to be eligible, all officer candidates in the Air Force must be US citizens between the ages of 18 and 29.
  • The candidates will first need to get a bachelor’s degree in any related field. Although the air force does not require air pilots to do any specific major, having a degree in an aviation-related field will give them an edge over others.
  • Once they finish their bachelor’s degree, now they will have to enroll in Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps or AFROTC. Candidates can also attend the United States Air Force Academy, USAFA, if they wish to become an officer.
  • They must additionally undergo Air Force Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training after finishing one of the three programs. This one-year program teaches them the fundamentals of flying through seminars, computer simulations, and hands-on experience.
  • All options will psychologically and physically prepare you for a career in the Air Force.

How Many Hours Does Air Force Pilot Work?

Air force pilots’ work schedules vary greatly from person to person, their location, company, etc. On average, an air force pilot flies for 15-16 days.

It could be in the pattern of 7 days of work, seven days off, 15 days of work, 15 days off, and so on.

What is the Starting Pay of Air Force Pilot?

Air Force Pilots make a handsome amount of money. The starting pay of an Air Force Pilot is $8.89 an hour or $1,542 a month.

With more time and experience in the field, they can make as much as $13,000 a month.

Who is the Richest Air Force Pilot?

Pilot, Philanthropist, commercial astronaut, an American entrepreneur Jared Isaacman is the richest pilot in the world.

He is the CEO and founder of Draken International, and he has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.

Air Force Pilot Training Programs

Air Force Pilot Training Programs

Candidates must enroll in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), also known as AFROTC.

If they desire to become an officer first, they can attend the United States Air Force Academy (or USAFA for short).

Students will conduct numerous field training exercises while also completing coursework in important subjects such as aerospace, leadership, military regulations, and Air Force organizations throughout their tenure with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Students who opt to attend the United States Air Force Academy instead will complete airmanship classes and will be able to start their flying training in earnest.

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To conclude, being an Air Force pilot is not for everyone; it is definitely a lot of effort to study and work after studying.

It is also a dangerous job with risks if you get located in a war zone which could happen once you climb the ladders within the army forces.

These advantages make people stay away from the profession, but the pay is definitely rewarding if you like the adrenaline.


How much do Air Force pilots make when they are in training?

They earn the lowest minimum salary possible as they are technically not working.

How much do Air Force pilots make when they have more than a decade of experience?

When you have been in the army for a certain amount of time and have intensive experience, you’ll become in the top 10% in terms of income.

How much do Air Force pilots make when they first start working?

When you first start working you make close to the average salary.

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