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Fly the Plane, Drive the Train The Wage is the Same

Fly the Plane, Drive the Train – The Wage is the Same

-Pilot research reveals tube drivers and pilots earn the same average wage-

A surprise result from a survey (1) conducted by revealed that the most common salary band for pilots is &pound40,000 to &pound70,000 p.a. – the same as a London tube driver (2). Almost half of pilots earn under &pound70,000, with one in five earning &pound40,000 or less.

Pilots from all aviation sectors, including airlines, the military, helicopters and private aviation took part in the global survey by the private jet hire booking network.

The survey also revealed differences in pay between aviation sectors, with airline pilots faring best overall. Helicopter pilots were the lowest earners, with a third earning &pound40,000 a year or less. Most pilots across all sectors have seen no increase in their earnings over the last twelve months, with 55 per cent earning the same and 15 per cent seeing a decrease.

When asked about their motivations for becoming a pilot, fewer than one in ten (8 per cent) said they were attracted by the profession’s pay and benefits. This was slightly higher for airline pilots at 15 per cent. By contrast over two thirds said they entered the cockpit because of a passion for flying, held since childhood.

Benefits vary

Employee benefits varied significantly according to the sector in which the pilots work. The majority of military pilots (83 per cent) and over half of airline pilots receive an employee pension plan - but only a quarter of private jet pilots enjoy this benefit. 22 per cent of airline pilots can benefit from a company share scheme and 33 per cent a bonus, while helicopter pilots are the biggest recipients of private medical cover (74 per cent). A significant 38 per cent of private jet pilots said they receive no benefits at all.

Job satisfaction – or not?

Those flying for airlines appear to fare less well when it comes to job satisfaction. Over a quarter described their flying as “generally the same day to day” or “repetitive and dull”. They were also the least likely to describe their jobs as “very stimulating and varied” whereas over half of private jet pilots or military pilots experienced much higher levels of job satisfaction.

Adam Twidell, CEO of and previously a military and private jet pilot, comments: “Many may be surprised at the level of most pilots’ earnings, given their levels of responsibility and training – it is a role with much heroic symbolism and perceived glamour. But it is clearly not a profession that people enter for the money. Most pilots have a passion for flying that surpasses their drive for personal wealth, although of course everyone wants to be remunerated fairly.

“It was certainly interesting to see the significant differences in financial rewards for pilots in different sectors. If the aviation industry grows as expected over the next ten to fifteen years, there will be a widely-predicted shortage of pilots, across the board. Pilot training is becoming more expensive and the pipeline of pilots from global military forces is reducing. Some sectors, including corporate aviation, may struggle to attract enough pilots from a dwindling pool”.

[1] The Pilot Poll 2012 was conducted in March and April 2012. 360 responses were generated from international pilots across the aviation spectrum, using a range of social media industry forums and media and pilot networks.

[1] Source: Transport for London. Underground driver’s average annual salary is &pound46,000.

Recruitment software specialists 2LS are delighted to report that their student employee, Akshay Koregaonkar, has been named International Student Employee of the Year by the University of Reading. The award is part of the 2012 Student Employee of the Year awards, run by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) and the first stage of the process. Having won this award at institutional level, Akshay will now be taken into consideration for a regional and then national award.

“We are obviously delighted that Akshay has been given this award” says 2LS Managing Director Neil Thompson. “He is a credit to himself, the University of Reading and international students in general. His work with us has been of an exceptionally high standard and integral to our continued success. The more we saw of Akshay’s work ethic and the standard of his results, the more we knew we had been right to trust such an important piece of development work to him.”

The work to which Thompson refers is the development of GRIP Mobile, an application for handheld devices which allows users to use a version of the powerful GRIP recruitment database on the move. Whilst mentored by Thompson, Koregaonkar was largely responsible for research and selection of mobile platform, code development, testing and implementation of the new application. GRIP Mobile has since become one of 2LS’ core products, alongside the full GRIP CRM system and GRIP Agency, a bespoke vacancy advertising application.

Akshay himself speaks highly of his employment with 2LS. “I’ve undertaken student employment at two different companies now. The first was a large, international company and the second was 2LS. I learned more from 3 months with 2LS than I did in a whole year at the larger business.” He continues “Neil always took time to explain concepts and guide me in my work. His personal interest in my work was very motivating.”


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