pilot salary south africa

Pilot Salary in South Africa: A Comprehensive Guide


If you have ever dreamt of taking to the skies and becoming a pilot, one of the important factors to consider is the salary you can expect. In South Africa, the aviation industry offers promising opportunities for well-trained pilots. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about pilot salaries in South Africa, including average earnings, factors influencing pay, and career prospects. So, whether you are an aspiring aviator or interested in the aviation industry, read on to discover valuable insights about pilot salaries in South Africa.

1. Average Pilot Salary in South Africa

pilot salary south africa

The average salary of a pilot in South Africa can vary depending on several factors such as experience, aircraft type, and company size. According to recent data, the average pilot salary in South Africa ranges from R323,604 to R1,461,158 per year. This substantial range is due to differences in the type of flying jobs available, such as commercial airline pilots, military pilots, and private charter pilots.

2. Factors Influencing Pilot Salaries

Pilot salaries in South Africa are influenced by various factors, including:

2.1 Experience and Training

As in any profession, the level of experience and training plays a vital role in determining a pilot’s salary. Newly graduated pilots typically start with lower salaries, while experienced captains and instructors can earn significantly higher salaries.

2.2 Aircraft Type

The type of aircraft a pilot operates also affects their salary. Pilots who fly larger and more advanced jets, such as Boeing or Airbus, tend to earn higher salaries compared to pilots operating smaller aircraft.

2.3 Company Size and Reputation

The size and reputation of the airline or aviation company can impact pilot salaries as well. Larger airlines or well-established companies typically offer better compensation packages than smaller operators.

2.4 Additional Allowances and Bonuses

In addition to their base salary, pilots in South Africa may receive additional allowances and bonuses. These can include housing allowances, medical aid, pension contributions, and performance-based bonuses.

3. Career Prospects for Pilots in South Africa

The aviation industry in South Africa continues to grow, with increasing demand for trained pilots. This presents promising career prospects for aspiring pilots. Some potential career paths for pilots in South Africa include:

3.1 Commercial Airline Pilot

Commercial airline pilots operate scheduled flights, transporting passengers and cargo. They can work for major airlines like South African Airways, British Airways, or low-cost carriers such as Mango or Kulula.

3.2 Military Pilot

Military pilots play a crucial role in the South African Air Force (SAAF). They conduct various operations, including combat missions, reconnaissance, and humanitarian support.

3.3 Charter Pilot

Charter pilots work for private aviation companies and fly individuals or groups to destinations based on their unique requirements. They often enjoy more flexibility in their schedule compared to commercial airline pilots.

3.4 Flight Instructor

Experienced pilots can also become flight instructors, training and mentoring new pilots. This career path offers the opportunity to share knowledge and contribute to the growth of aviation.


Being a pilot in South Africa can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. While pilot salaries can vary based on factors like experience, aircraft type, and company size, the aviation industry offers attractive financial prospects. Whether you aspire to become a commercial airline pilot, military pilot, charter pilot, or flight instructor, the aviation sector in South Africa presents ample opportunities for growth and success. Pursue your dreams of flying high and enjoy the rewards that come with a career as a pilot in beautiful South Africa.

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