Saturday, January 19, 2013

Questions Answered: How much does a regional First Officer make after 5 years?

Well I have my 2012 W-2 form.

In Box 1...for Wages, tip and other compensation I have $38,098.91.

Box 12 Code L is for my "expenses" AKA per diem I have $5209.56.

Box 12 Code D is for my simple 401K paid to me by my employer - $793.53.

Box 12 Code AA is for my Roth 401K  paid to me by my employer(I switched from regular to a Roth)-$1674.28.

Box 12 Code DD is interesting as it's "health insurance paid by employer" - $!

So total money in my pocket (simple wages + per diem) = $43,308.47

Including the 401K money = $45,776.28

I flew 790 hours last year. Dividing $38,098.91 by 790 hours equals an effective pay rate of $48.22. I didn't pick up much extra flying as I like my time off. I flew just 14 hours in September due to training and vacation.  I really earn closer to $42 an hour.

All in all I am content. Do I want more money...sure. Do I need it? Not really.

My wife and I live under our means. We are happy. I have all the tech toys I want. I've taken my daughter to all 4 corners of the United States including Hawaii. She's also been to Germany.

The pay is what it is. I should be a Captain within the next 18 months.

And with that is my annual , "How much does a regional First Officer make?" post.



  1. That's not terrible, but IMO it should be better. If you want to see a number that will make you ill, recompute your gross hourly rate using FOP (Feet on Property) numbers, not your door closing or parking brake times. I know it is the tradition in your industry and mandated by thick contracts, but you sure give away a lot of your time. In effect, that time is nearly all related to Safety of Flight and amounts to a gift to me and the other PAX. Thank you! -C.

  2. Indeed - thanks to you and all of your colleagues. I fly almost every week, and I appreciate your effort, training, and focus on getting me there and back safely.


If you are a spammer....your post will never show up. Move along.