Average pay for SWA $300k by 2020

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by dans2992, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

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  2. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Heck yea dude thats why I am jumping ship to become a pilot in a few years (working on Instrument soon, followed by Commercial and CFI). To think I wasted 4 years on an engineering degree...what was I thinking!

    Delta guys are making like 400k...thats nuts!
     
  3. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Delta guys aren't making 400k. As far as I know, United has the highest hourly rate at just over $300/hour.

    Or, maybe FedEx does. I can't remember.
     
  4. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Even 200k is a tremendous amount of cash...haven't seen any engineers making anywhere close to that.
     
  5. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    What does $300/hr translate into annually without crazy OT?
     
  6. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Depends on what kind of engineering. I know some making double that or more.... Of course, they've moved up into management at that point and work in Silicon Valley.
     
  7. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Yes...management...there entire life is probably work too. They probably have a nice king bed in their office? Likelihood of making it to that level is quite small. My buddy who flies at Southwest gets all sorts of time off. Not a bad life.
     
  8. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Depends on the work rules, and SWA has good ones. They also get paid by the trip, which someone smarter than me can probably explain. All I know is their 'hourly' ends up meaning slightly more than everyone else's.

    But to answer your question with a data point, I can usually take my hourly rate and multiply by 1200 and come close to my W2. That's just flying my schedule. I don't try to work any more than I have to, and I don't game the system.
     
  9. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    When I grow up I want to be like kayoh! You seen that yacht kayoh owns? Only the life of a pilot can provide that

    But really...seems like a really fun career that can pay some pretty big money mid-late career.
     
  10. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    Seems like a bubble forming.

    How are the #'s of new pilots in training and entering the workforce?
     
  11. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Ha! My airline has pay rates north of $300/hr, but I can tell you that I'm most definitely *not* one of the pilots making that. And while I probably can afford a boat if that's what I choose to do, I'm guessing it won't be anything someone would consider to be a 'yacht'. :)
     
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  12. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    All I know is it's a heck of a lot more than I make!
     
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  13. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    At the $500k level, yeah, you're probably right. I know some "team managers" who don't work crazy hours and make $250k.

    Of course, making that while flying would be far better! ;)
     
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  14. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Dad picked up a green slip 2 day trip and made more than double in two days than what I make in a month:sad::sad:
     
  15. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, I can tell you that neither of these are true.

    Senior engineers around here (SF Bay Area) routinely have salaries in that range. Starting salaries at top companies are in the six figures.

    No, you don't have to move to management to get those salaries.

    If you include equity and bonus, total compensation for high-level engineers does reach into the $400K region and beyond.

    And, no, that's not enough to afford to buy a house here. Seriously.
     
  16. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Nope. Just spoke to a software engineer yesterday who we lost to another company a year ago. He made $750k over the last year. Just an engineer - not a manager.

    BUT Software Engineers work crazy hours. So it probably only works out to be around $200 per hour.
     
  17. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Gosh I've got the BS in Mechanical Engineering, will finish my MBA in a year, and am dreaming about the same thing. I've got the IR and am planning on commercial+CFI. The initial thought was to just instruct on the side, but who knows.

    Now I need to build about 80 more hours in a 150....
     
  18. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    EXACTLY!
     
  19. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Exactly...400k in SF is nothing...thats like 100K in Arizona lol
     
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  20. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some work crazy hours but not all. And hours worked does not translate into career success at all, unless you're talking about founders at small start-ups, which is a whole different world. If you haven't figured out how to work as a team and leverage everyone's talents, yeah, you'll kill yourself.

    We're human, like anyone else. 80 hours a week is unsustainable. Even 50 or 60 is unsustainable for too long. The advantage we have is that computer's are the world's longest lever. If I do it right, I can use that to be crazy productive. If I don't, I'm constantly running behind the impossibility of the scale I'm dealing with.
     
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  21. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Yea...I am trying to pay for all my ratings so I don't have any debt if I decide to go into the pilot career...
     
  22. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I really wish I was good at writing code...I have done basic MATLAB and I am decent at Excel functions (a little VBA here and there). I have a buddy who does IT and he gets to work from home...take off whenever he really wants and thats not a bad life either. The cubicle is honestly a big killer for me as an engineer.
     
  23. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    And isn't that f'ing crazy? Just... WTF crazy. Palo Alto currently has mortgage subsidies for folks making less than $250K a year. At $250K household AGI and you're getting government assistance? That is actually needed??
     
  24. Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Line Up and Wait

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    Not easy to answer, at least at my airline.


    A very basic formula would translate that to $300,000 in a year, but it's not that simple.

    To put it this way, someone who makes approx $200/hr can still pull off close to $270-$280k for the year. And I'm not talking about busting ass or having less than 14-17 days off a month.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  25. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    That is why I refused to go to California when I graduated a year and a half ago with my degree...

    Anyways...I would be happy making 120k a year...but I don't know that I will ever get there at a massive corporation. The pilot life is the life for me ;p
     
  26. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Not sure why any thread about a pilot job has to turn into a penis measuring contest. There are people on this board that own and operate cabin class twins, and even turbine stuff. My stupid airline gig isn't going to impress anyone, and I'm not even one of the higher paid ones. I like what I do, and my company keeps me comfortable. But there are tons of humans on this planet across many different careers that make more than I do. And that's just fine with me.

    SWA pilots just got a raise, and that's cool. Good for them! :)
     
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  27. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I forgot that everyone on POA was part of the 1%...
     
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  28. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Those salaries look great until you realize how old you are when you finally start making that. I'm 32 now, if I quit my job now making right around 6 figures to go after a flying career it would be almost 10 years before I started making what I do now. On top of that I would have 75k in debt from a flying school and any more money that would have to be borrowed to stay afloat until I started making a livable income again. That is a lot of making up to do especially in a retirement account.

    Yes I would still do it if I thought I could financially because it seems like it would be a way more enjoyable job.. haha
     
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  29. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Agreed...that is why I am paying for all my ratings right now...and I am only 22...so I figure if I can get all my ratings by 25 or so I may be okay to jump ship.
     
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  30. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    At that age I would go in a heart beat. Especially if I didn't have any debt.
     
  31. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    I'm in the mid-twenties, I have lots of debt, and I'm still struggling on whether I want to make the transition.

    I know I do, I just don't know what's stopping me.

    I know a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who makes 300k/year doing contract flying. :)
     
  32. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It's a blast. I can't see myself doing anything else!
     
  33. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    bingo. There is an opportunity cost to clear the ROI bar. This of course is never touched on these click bait ballwash articles. BTW, trying to shame a pilot group because they're finally getting paid at the level their peers are, that's just more anti-labor standard drivel.

    As a military pilot eyeballing transitioning to the airlines for the sake of family logistics versus the geographic hit in QOL the military provides me, these are the kind of compensation improvements that make SW a serious contender for employment. For me, considering the retirements at AA/UA/DL, not having a B-fund and only $50ish TFP is not a competitive transition. So at least from my n=1 data point, if that AIP becomes a TA and passes, then it makes the place worthy of my time.

    If I wasn't qualified to apply at these outifts, at my age, I would not go to the regionals and do that business for years upon years. I made a conscious decision in my 20s that if military aviation wasn't available to me, I would still forego the financially insolvent time building, and just do something else with my life. Then just fly strictly for recreation. Like you, I recognize the meaning of opportunity costs and effective income when amortized over training and actual or de facto apprenticeship tenures. When accounting for that, the airline transition, even for me as a civilian CFII prior to the military, would not be affordable no matter what they're paying or not paying WB CA at mainline airlines at the time. That point escapes many aspirants, at their own peril. Caveat emptor.

    Not saying there aren't price points and life stages that make regional undercompensation worthwhile, but it's not universal to everyone, and people need to make a tempered assessment of where they sit in that life line.
     
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  34. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The other thing to remember is that we're in an upswing and times are good. But this is a cyclical industry, and it won't always be this way. People have short memories - it wasn't long ago that guys were making just a fraction of what they are now. So I tend to stick with my original advice - do this job because you have to fly and can't imagine doing anything else. When times are good, enjoy it while stashing away cash for when things swing the other direction. This is a good job, but jumping in with your eyes closed because of today's hourly rates is a recipe for heartache and disappointment down the road.
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you have the hours now is the time Kirk to pull the lever. Massive hiring boom will be occurring now and for the next 10-12 years. One should strive to get on early as seniority is everything in the airline world. Get in front of the hiring wave and you'll end up with the better schedules, the plane you want, etc etc. Do it man!
     
  36. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Sorry, but there you're talking mostly software guys. Despite the department that the courses are taught in, it ain't engineering, it's mostly writing code.

    --Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Masters of Engineering
     
  37. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    That's like saying Mechanical Engineers are just welders.
     
  38. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    [QUOTE="Grum.Man, post: 2131059, member: 20625] On top of that I would have 75k in debt from a flying school and any more money that would have to be borrowed to stay afloat until I started making a livable income again[/QUOTE]

    75k? Do you not have a PPL? It'd only cost me another 6k to get from 170hrs to 250, then maybe another 5k to knock out the commercial complex+CFI training. I don't get how you'd get 75k in debt unless you go 0 to hero AND pick one of the most expensive ways to do it like ATP.
     
  39. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    When I saw this thread my thought was, "Is is 1999 again?"
     
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  40. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    this is all proof.....there's a pilot shortage. :D