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Salaries for Private Airplane Captains

by Forest Time, studioD

While the majority of airline captains fly commercial jets, some fly private chartered jets or private corporate jets. As of 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that all pilots working in unscheduled air transportation earned an average of $90,480 per year. However, captains -- who are ultimately responsible for the safety of the flight -- tend to make more money than co-pilots. Typically, captains flying larger planes make more than those who fly small planes.

Chartered Turboprop Salaries

According to a salary survey conducted by "Professional Pilot" magazine, captains of turboprop planes tended to earn the least among chartered plane captains. The lowest average salary, $47,000 per year, was reported by those flying Caravan and Conquest prop planes. Average captain salaries for most turboprop models were between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, while the highest average salary -- $61,000 per year -- was reported by captains flying the King Air 300 and King Air 350.

Chartered Jet Salaries

According to "Professional Pilot" magazine, captains flying light chartered jets averaged between $54,000 and $70,000 per year as of 2012. Average salaries for captains flying midsize and supermidsize chartered jets ranged from $71,000 to a high of $104,000 per year. Captains on the heaviest chartered jets reported average salaries ranging from $97,000 to $139,000 per year, with the highest pay reported for captains of the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767.

Corporate Turboprop Salaries

On average, pilots flying the Malibu Meridian earned the least among corporate turboprop captains, a mean salary of $46,000 per year. Salaries for those flying the Caravan, Cheyenne, Conquest II, Gulfstream, and Merlin turboprop models averaged between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, while those who flew the Beechcraft 1900, King Air 90, King Air 100, King Air 200 and Piaggio P180 Avanti reported average salaries ranging from $61,000 to $67,000. The highest average pay, $70,000 per year, was reported by captains of the King Air 300 and King Air 350.

Corporate Jet Captain Salaries

As of 2012, captains piloting the lightest corporate jets reported an average pay range of between $51,000 and $80,000 per year. Captains on mid-size jets reported an average pay range of between $71,000 and $102,000 per year, while those operating large jets averaged annual pay of between $101,000 and $117,000. The average pay range of captains piloting heavy international jets, according to "Professional Pilot" magazine, was between $118,000 and $146,000 per year.

About the Author

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.