Occupational Employment Statistics


53-2012 Commercial Pilots

Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots. Excludes regional, National, and international airline pilots.

Geography EmploymentEmp SE*Percentiles
Northwest Minnesota 804$77,862.27/yr$46,178.18/yr$54,251.59/yr$71,613.41/yr$88,163.18/yr$120,868.98/yr

IndustryOES Employment (Statewide)OES Median Wage (Statewide)
Natural Resources and MiningN/AN/A
Trade, Transportation and Utilities220N/A
Financial ActivitiesN/AN/A
Professional and Business Services40N/A
Education and Health ServicesN/AN/A
Public AdministrationN/AN/A
Geography EmploymentMedian WageProjections
% Change 2016-2026
Central Minnesota N/AN/AN/A
Southeast Minnesota N/AN/AN/A
Southwest Minnesota N/AN/AN/A
Northeast Balance of State N/A$97,015.91/yrN/A
Southwest Balance of State N/AN/AN/A
Southeast Balance of State 10N/AN/A
Duluth MN-WI MSA 20N/AN/A
Grand Forks ND-MN MSA 30$77,440.91/yrN/A
Northeast Minnesota 50$72,768.07/yrN/A
Fargo ND-MN MSA 70$97,210.23/yrN/A
Northwest Balance of State 70$70,097.73/yrN/A
Northwest Minnesota 80$71,613.41/yr2.6%
Seven County Mpls-St Paul, MN 210$111,711.48/yr-8.1%
Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington MN-WI MSA 240$117,081.82/yrN/A
Minnesota 380$99,153.41/yr-2.2%

Occupations EmploymentMedian WageProjections
% Change 2016-2026
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers 3,520$99,214.77/yr2.3%
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels N/A$38.80/hr14.7%
Locomotive Engineers 840$34.11/hr-16.2%

  • Obtain and review data such as load weights, fuel supplies, weather conditions, and flight schedules to determine flight plans and identify needed changes.
  • Plan flights according to government and company regulations, using aeronautical charts and navigation instruments.
  • Consider airport altitudes, outside temperatures, plane weights, and wind speeds and directions to calculate the speed needed to become airborne.
  • Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights.
  • Supervise other crew members.
  • Coordinate flight activities with ground crews and air traffic control, and inform crew members of flight and test procedures.
  • Check aircraft prior to flights to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly.
  • Co-pilot aircraft or perform captain's duties as required.
  • Write specified information in flight records, such as flight times, altitudes flown, and fuel consumption.
  • Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment.