Pilot Salary in South Africa

In the world of aviation, the most celebrated job is of a pilot who carries the immense responsibility of operating the aircraft. South Africa has a bustling air travel industry, and a pilot’s job is considered prestigious as they ensures the smooth operation of flights and the safety of passengers. Moreover, this is a dream job of many South Africans; however, before pursuing it, every aspiring aviator wants to understand the financial rewards this job offers.

Monthly Salary Range:R 12000 – R 414000
Average Monthly Salary:R 213000
Description:Pilots are highly trained and skilled professionals who operate aircraft, ensure passengers’ safety, and follow flight regulations. They also check on engine and navigation equipment for a safe flight.
Minimum Qualification:The minimum qualification required to become a pilot in South Africa is a grade 12 certificate, a mathematics subject, or a National Senior Certificate.

On average, pilots in South Africa earn R20,000 per month, R240,000 per year, and R123 per hour. However, it depends highly on their experience, airline, and skills. So, let’s look at the salary of pilots in South Africa and the factors that influence it.

Overview: Pilot Salary in South Africa

The prestigious job of a pilot is celebrated everywhere, and they are highly trained professionals responsible for the operation and navigation of aircraft to transport people and goods. Usually, a pilot has to work together with a co-pilot and share the immense responsibility. Moreover, the minimum salary of an entry-level pilot is only R12,000 per month and R144,000 per year.

An experienced pilot can make an impressive amount of R4,968,000 per year and R414,000 per month. Furthermore, the average gross salary of a pilot is R20,000 per month and R240,000 per year in South Africa. Their median salary on a daily basis is R923, with low R554 and high R19,108 salaries.


In South Africa, commercial pilots receive multiple additional benefits and bonuses like health, dental, vision, and life insurance. Moreover, they also get paid time off with a flexible schedule. However, these perks’ exact amounts and percentages depend on the airline they work with because every airline has a different pay structure.

Salary Structure

The pay structure of one pilot differs from another because it depends on multiple factors, which may not always be the same for everyone. For instance, experience is one of the factors that has a massive influence on pilots’ salaries. With experience, pilots gain knowledge, insight, and skills that can help in the smooth operation of the airplane.

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This is evident from the minimum and maximum salaries mentioned above. The minimum wage of an entry-level pilot is R12,000 per month and R144,000 per year, while an experienced pilot makes a significantly larger amount of R4,968,000 per year and R414,000 per month. Here is how experience can influence a pilot’s salary in South Africa.

Years of ExperienceSalary (Annual)Increase in Salary
0 to 2 yearsR 33,500
2 to 5 yearsR 43,10029%
5 to 10 yearsR 59,50038%
10 to 15 yearsR 73,70024%
15 to 20 yearsR 78,9007%
Over 20 yearsR 84,2007%

Salary Variation Based on Skills

Improving and increasing your skillset as a pilot and becoming proficient in new areas can greatly affect your salary. To explain it, here is a table outlining various skills and the corresponding percentage increase in your salary they can bring;

SkillsIncrease in Salary
English Language47%

Salary Variation Based on Airline

Currently, several airlines are operating in South Africa, each offering a different salary package and benefits to pilots. So, choosing an airline can also have a huge impact on your salary. To simplify this, a table that illustrates the salary variations among different airlines is given below.

AirlineMonthly Salary
Solenta AviationR62,000
South African AirwaysR82,000
Federal AirlinesR10,523
Sahara African AviationR61,324
Airlink (South Africa)R71,541

Responsibilities of Pilots

Pilots are skilled professionals responsible for operating the aircraft and transporting the passengers safely. However, their duties are not limited to only the operation of aircraft. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a pilot;

  • Plan flights, check weather conditions, and review flight plans.
  • Inspect various airplane components, including its engine, to ensure a safe flight.
  • Keep in constant contact with air traffic controllers.
  • Monitor systems, navigate, and respond to changing conditions.
  • Handles emergencies and makes quick decisions in case of system failures.


Is being a pilot a promising career in South Africa?

Yes, a pilot earns an average annual salary of R240,000 with additional health benefits, paid vacations, and more.

In short, a pilot has the prestigious job of handling the operations and navigations of an aircraft and safely transporting passengers and goods. Moreover, pilots in South Africa earn an average base salary of R20,000 per month, R240,000 per year, and R123 per hour. Moreover, it depends on various elements like airline, experience, and pilot skills.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.