Regionals + Pay....??


Well-Known Member
Yesterday a person I work with and I were having a discussion about aviation and the topic of Pay came up. I stated that a persons early years in a regional, the pay isnt that good. Then he came back and said that His friend who has been with Continetal Connection for two years and is flying FO on the erj is making 90K a year. He said that Pilots for regionals are making good money in the early part of their careers. He is using this one example and making a generalization that all of the regionals are like this.

Question one... Is it possible to make 90K a year after only being with a regional for two years..AS the FO on one of the commuter jets. like crj's or erj's?

Question two.... What is the average pay scale for the first five years at a regional airlines? Starting from flying the turbo props and upgrading to the jets..
Not sure what the pay scales are, but my guess is probably around $25-$30/hr for a second year regional jet first officer. $90,000 sounds far off for a second year first officer on a regional jet. My instrument instructor is a fo at COEX and I think he was saying something around $30,000 for second year. I'm not sure how the flow-throughs and flow-backs work, but I still think $90,000 is way off the mark.
1. might make 90K after 10 years as a Capt if you work extra.

2. I'd guess that 20K, rising to 30K is a good average for the first 5 years in the right seat.
Yup, regional pay for the first few years is bad and currently getting worse with the influence of a couple of companies who shall remain nameless. I don't think that a regional FO could make $90K in his second year. $40K would be more realistic. A regional CRJ CA might make $90K.

My pay as a regional FO in my second year is low enough to qualify my family for WIC vouchers.

Pay scales vary, but you can view some actual contracts at . Typically, there is a scale for each airplane with increases for each year of service. At my company, all new hires start at the same pay rate for the first year.
I would say 90K is off base. 20-30K ok. I'm a first year turboprop FO and am making around $18-19K a year, possibly more if I keep holding lines like I have next month (yes, line holder now!
). I could pull in just over $22K. I couldn't make anywhere near $90K unless I robbed someone.
My buddy at ACA said he pulled in just shy of $50k as a 3rd yr CRJ FO. Starting pay at most places is more meager, along the lines of $18-22k the first year.
I know a guy working for Eagle Airways in New Zealand they fly under the Air New Zealand Link title. He is F0 on the Beech 1900 and he is making NZ$ 12 an hour which is very roughly US$ 7-8. He has been with the company for 9 months. So there is worse pay available as a reginal pilot in New Zealand.
This might put things in perspective for you guys.

Regards Ryan
Flychicaga, just saw your new title, "Boy Toy." LOL. You crack me up. I think I'm gonna change mine to Szluka wannabe!
I'm almost into my 4th yr of flying a B1900, I am yet to crack the AUS$34,000 mark (roughly US$24,000).

Alot of my peers here in Australia are worse off however. Many are still trying to make ends meet by flying aircraft, (single engine piston usually) which are older than they are, around the outback being paid whatever the boss thinks they're worth!! (Not much)
Simply because the boss knows that there are pilots out there desperate for the hours, and they will do it for almost nothing... What an industry huh!

Where was it someone said pilots were overpaid?!?!
I THINK (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) Mesa B1900 f/o's start at around $18/hr their first year and it goes to like $29/hr the second year (although I think it's something weird like 18 months from the date of hire). Contract guarantees 70 hrs a bid period, bid periods are 28 days. So, (365/28)*70*$18=a whoppin' $16K a year. Second year it jumps to $26K. RJ F/Os are a different pay scale, but I don't know that one off the top of my head.
Using your scale for hours and the pay scale for continental express that was found on Except Continental has a minimum of 75 hours

a second year captain will make 52,000 a year and a second year FO will make 26,000...I even rounded up a little. Those are all on a ERJ...

Thank you everyone who contributed...You guys only reinforced what I thought originally....Now I have to break it to my co-worker
After some more calculations with the Continental Express Payscale...I don't even thinks its possible to make 90K a year even as a captain...with the min. of 75 hrs a pay period.
Keep in mind that the 70 hours is a MINIMUM. The poor SOBs at Mesa that are B1900 F/Os are getting the shaft right now. They might be getting over 100 hours a bid period, but they never get to see their families or have any time off. Some are being held up for their capt upgrades since there is no one to replace them, and a lot of Xmas vacations have been cancelled. I guess the good news is that Mesa is hiring a LOT of pilots.
ATP's website has some good info regarding regional pay scales. Just go to:
Regional Pay Scales
Pick a regional carrier and scroll to the bottom to see the pay scale for that specific regional.
Knowing me I went through all of them and made a spreadsheet of all of the pay scales and averaged them out here are the results:
1st year FO: average $20/hour
2nd year FO: average $25/hour
1st year CAPT: average $46/hour
2nd year CAPT: average $51/hour
you do the math....

hope it helps
Cpt Matt do yourself a favor and never use the words 'commuter jet' again!

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LOL...I cant believe I actaully said that...