Return on pilot training investment


Return on pilot training investment is a question many students and parents ask.  There was a well-known study published a few years ago answering this very question. For every dollar spent on pilot training, the potential return is $33 dollars according to the 2011 research from Brown Aviation Leasing.  Here is the Brown Leasing infographic comparing the cost to students who train to become a pilot, teacher, lawyer or a doctor.


The return on pilot training investment, according to Brown Aviation Leasing

Total cost for an airline pilot is around $150,000.  For a doctor,  it is close to $300,000.

The median salary according to the same research is more for a doctor but their career is not as long a pilot’s career.

salary and number of career years bal

The return on investment for a pilot is even higher than a lawyer.


There are many other perks not included in this calculation.  It’s a solid career with a lot of travel and many days away from home.  But it’s also highly rewarding career.  Travel is also a perk of being a pilot.  Not only do you see many places as a pilot such as Paris, Rome and more but also these travel perks extend to your family and your time off to enjoy them. Many pilots have months where they have two weeks off to enjoy their time with family and friends.

It doesn’t matter which degree you choose, you have to get experience in each of these careers,  and a pilot job is the same.  It takes the time to get to the captain’s seat, and the journey there can be one you decide on your own, but it’s always best to explore your options.

My advice to all students is work on flight time. The industry is changing, but it’s going to continue to hire those who have flight time!  The least expensive path to a pilot seat is a school that provides flight training and an online degree.  Also, the cost of training is greatly decreased if you fly as a flight instructor!


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