Fair pay?


Well-Known Member
The company that I am flying for has decided they like me, and wants to know what I think fair pay is for the type of flying that I am doing (I wasn't making much before...kind of a "probationary" thing). I'm not really sure what to tell them, so let me give you all a little background, and hopefully you can give me some advice:

I fly a Bonanza. Our trips are anywhere from 80-800+ nm. Some are just out and back in one day, some (like my next one) are 10+ day excursions around the eastern half of the country. The company pays all of my expenses (obviously). Since I started in November, I've averaged around 3 trips a month. Now that the holidays are over, that should increase, and once icing season lets up a little, I should be flying even more (the company has a huge need to travel, and I'm only covering a limited amount of it- they use airlines for the rest).

They were previously paying me on a "per-trip" basis, with the full intention of re-negotiating once they decided I was good for the position. Well, that time has come and now its time to negotiate.

The way I see it, there are three options:

1.) Hourly (by the flight hour)
2.) Per Day
3.) Fixed monthly salary

They want to pay me enough to live on, yet not so much that they are encouraged to use airlines for their travel needs instead. It is a growing company, so I can understand and accept this. That said, I think that a fixed montly salary would be best for both of us. Per day, or hourly could get to be more than they want to pay. I would prefer a fixed salary anyways so that I can count on not starving during slow months.

What do you all think would be the best method of payment and amount? Any other ideas or advice?

Maybe you could do a combination of fixed salary and hourly or per day pay.

For example, you could determine and come to an agreement on an hourly or daily rate, but have a guaranteed monthly base pay incase a month is slow. So, for months where you hourly/daily pay does not add up to more than your base pay you would still get your base pay. This would allow you to make more money in the months you fly alot while not starving in the slow months.

This is different than a base + hourly/daily pay. It is actually hourly/daily pay with a guaranteed minimum salary.

It encourages the company to use your services atleast enough to justify your base pay and encourages you to fly as much as possible.

A plan like this is attractive to many companies, especially small companies who will be trying to make sure that they are not paying for something they are not using. It is as close to an hourly on demand employee as they can get, while still being fair to you.
First of all congradulations, it sounds like you've found a good group of people to work for, is there any talk of upgading the airplane so they aren't so limited in their travel?

Your pay will come down to a few issues.
1. What is the fair market value of a pilot with your skills flying the airplane you fly and considering your geographical location.
2. What is the value / worth of the company. A healthy company can afford to pay you more than a fiscally ill company. What other compensation is available?
3. How well can you "sell" yourself to your company ... let them know what you are worth and that you have done your research and believe what you are asking for is a fair livable wage.
4. Don't settle for a lesser amount because they only fly you a little, they need to pay you for your potential as a pilot. Is there any restrictions on you as far as flying for other companies?
Good Luck
is there any talk of upgading the airplane so they aren't so limited in their travel?

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Yeah, a small KingAir (90 or 100) or similar within two years. Or so I am told.

Thanks for the advice guys!