Commercial pilots are one of the happiest careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, commercial pilots rate their career happiness 3.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 17% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy commercial pilots are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Pilot
3.8
$147k
Commercial pilot
3.8
$88k
Ship captain
3.5
$72k
Air traffic controller
3.3
$115k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are commercial pilots happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do commercial pilots find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as commercial pilots?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are commercial pilot’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are commercial pilots making the best use of their abilities?

Are commercial pilots happy with their salary?