written by | April 14, 2022

Pilot Salary in India and How to Become a Pilot

How many of you have looked for India's ten highest-earning professions? For all those searching this, you should be familiar that among all the other occupations, the one that consistently ranks in the top five is becoming a commercial flight pilot in India. It ignites their goal of being an air force pilot for prospective pilots. Still, for many others, it has often left them in astonishment as to why their salary is so high for simply sitting and using the autopilot. The truth is a different story that you must know if you plan to take up being a commercial pilot.  

A pilot is an aircraft operator in charge of an aeroplane's flying duties. A pilot may also be referred to as a commuting pilot, air force pilot, air carrier pilot, aeroplane pilot, or airline captain. The salary of pilots in India changes from starting to later in their careers. The typical remuneration for a pilot starts at around ₹16 lakhs per annum.

Did you know?

Passenger traffic in India is continuing its climb in March 2022, with over 150,000 domestic passengers flying daily.

Detailed Explanation of Pilot Salary in India

The Salary of a Pilot in India

Pilots with 250 flight hours can serve as commercial airline pilots in India. Commercial pilots earn a lot of money in India. Furthermore, the salary of a commercial pilot in India is based on their qualification, total flight hours and the sector in which they've been engaged. Private companies hire pilots enrolled in the army or sought a professional pilot.

The list of salaries of the various categories is below:

  • Pilots in India earn a usual of ₹16 lakhs per year. Pilots may expect to earn between ₹1.21 lakhs and ₹90 lakhs per year.
  • The incentive varies from ₹10,000 and ₹9.86 lakhs every year.
  • A military or Indian Navy pilot might receive between ₹5 lakhs and ₹8 lakhs annually.

Also Read: What is the Average Salary in India?

1. Fresher Salary

A rookie may expect to receive ₹1.50 lakh monthly. After gaining professional expertise, pilots might receive between ₹5 lakhs - ₹6 lakhs monthly on nationwide routes in India.

Below is the list of other privileges and perks.

  • In India, a commercial airline pilot with less than a year of expertise may make ₹15.26 lakhs. It includes tips, overtime pay and an incentive.
  • A commercial airline pilot with one to four years of experience may receive ₹16.09 lakhs in yearly income.

2. Mid-Career Salary

  • In the mid-half of their career, a commercial airline pilot with five to nine years of experience may expect to receive ₹24.48 lakhs as yearly income.
  • Nevertheless, by mid-career, the pay can approach ₹20 lakhs, and by late-career, it can surpass ₹90 lakhs.

3. Experienced Pilot’s Salary

In India, an expert commercial airline pilot with ten to nineteen years of experience may make a massive income of ₹15.26 lakhs. Furthermore, as a professional pilot, a pilot with twenty years of experience might earn roughly around ₹70 lakhs.

Salary in Different Locations in India

Pilots operating in Maharashtra normally earn 23 % more in India, but personnel working in Calcutta, Hyderabad and Chennai earn lower.

Salary in Foreign Countries

In other nations, salaries are three or four times more than in India. The most significant qualification is that the pilot has 750 hours of flight time experience. A private plane pilot's starting salary is identical to that of a commercial airline pilot. However, the salary will become ₹50 lakhs annually after gaining expertise.

Top Recruiters for Pilots

Many businesses and organisations recruit pilots from commercial to private aviation. The pilot's range and prospects, including advancement, allowances and benefits, are exponentially increased.

Below is the list of the best pilot recruiters.

  • Indian Navy
  • Air Asia
  • Air India
  • Indian Armed Forces
  • Spice Jet
  • Department of Civil Aviation
  • Indigo

The following are the alternative job options for Pilots.

  • Shipping and Logistics Firms
  • The Indian Navy
  • Armed Services of India
  • Airline Enterprises
  • Indian Air Force (IAF)

What Do Pilots Do?

Pilots must follow the laws and regulations of the Aviation Administration, and they must keep detailed flight-related logs, including engine maintenance, passenger data and so on. Pilots must make certain that suitable and appropriate instructions and gadgets are on deck. They must engage professionally and politely with all coworkers.

A pilot's responsibilities are as follows:

  • They must attend the necessary training sessions and seminars.
  • While flying the flight, pilots are responsible for the security of all crew and people on the plane.
  • The pilot spends most of his time meticulously inspecting the convoluted computer-controlled programmable navigational and communications systems.
  • The pilot could be in charge of transporting commercial items, people, personal belongings or other freight.
  • Before departing, they examine the climate, ensure that the aeroplanes are secure and reliable, ensure that gasoline and luggage are properly loaded and validate flight plans and navigational routes.
  • Pilots maintain contact with air traffic management and are ready to deal with unexpected weather shifts and other situations.
  • Pilots must guarantee to carry out all flying activities efficiently. Pilots have to involve themselves in inquiries into in-flight security.
  • Commercial flight captains work 75 hours monthly in an aircraft and 150 hours on other tasks. Airline pilots often fly 30-90 hours monthly.
  • Pilots have erratic itineraries that include operating multiple days straight, followed by many off days.

Eligibility and Requirements to Become a Pilot

Candidates must have completed the 12th grade or similar grade courses from a recognised board, and they must have received at least 50 % in their 12th grade or similar.

The following are the qualification and requirements factors for becoming a pilot:

  • The candidate must have completed 12th-grade having subjects like Physics, Maths and Chemistry.
  • The necessary age requirement is 17 years.
  • A candidate must pass the National scale IGRUA admissions test administered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
  • If you wish to enlist in the air force, you must pass the NDA examination, the AFCAT tests and the CDS tests.
  • After passing the examinations above, you have to undergo a physical and physiological examination.
  • To gain direct entry to the institution for formal instruction, one must pass an admission test and submit to a medical examination.

Also Read: Salary Revision in Jobs and Recovery of Arrears

Skills Required in a Pilot

Aside from the compensation, airline pilots in India enjoy numerous health benefits. As a result, advantages include lifetime medical, eyesight and dental insurance coverage.

A pilot must possess the following abilities:

  • A comprehension of Maths and Physics.
  • The capacity to comprehend technical data, since pilots must grasp how their aeroplane operates.
  • Great situational visualisation and synchronisation.
  • Excellent communication abilities.
  • Collaboration abilities, the ability to critically think fast and make judgments in tough situations, the capability to stay calm and composed under any situation, professionalism, self-confidence, dedication and leadership potential, with the ability to deliver explicit directions to flight crew members and passengers.


Though the stats appear to be appealing, nothing worthwhile comes easily. It is not simple to become a pilot, and it is more challenging to maintain your pilot's licence once you receive it. Pilots are not just in the cabin to supervise the autopilot. They are also accountable for the passenger's safety, landing the aircraft safely, continually checking the systems and are willing to take control in the event of any abnormalities. It's also worth noting that salaries are taxed before they're credited. Salaries are subject to change at the discretion of the companies.
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Q: How long would it take to become a plane captain?


It is dependent on the person aspiring to be an aircraft captain. You have at least 1,500 flying hours and have to complete an Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). Nevertheless, several short-haul carriers need at least 3,000 flight hours before evaluating pilots for promotions.

Q: When are airline pilots required to retire?


Regardless of an airline employee or commercial pilot, one must retire at 65 years. And on international routes, a pilot below 60 years accompanies the pilot who is 60 years or above.

Q: Why is it vital for a pilot to have good interpersonal skills?


Most aeroplanes need a pilot to collaborate with a co-pilot in the cabin, and some long-distance aircraft may even have three or four pilots. Pilots also collaborate with the whole of the aircraft's staff to guarantee everybody's security and wellbeing.

Q: What is the distinction between a commercial pilot and an airline pilot?


An airline pilot has an agreement with a single airline and flies only for them. A commercial pilot is someone who flies personal or private aircraft, and their job is frequently freelance.

Q: What are some of the difficulties that pilots face?


Pilots should be able to handle any pressure at the workplace to deal with any obstacles that may emerge. They must also be adaptable since they must be able to think quickly and also accommodate odd shift lengths. Flying at varying periods of the day is another problem that pilots commonly confront.

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