A few Years ago I had addressed a bunch of Pilots – for an IFA. When one of his employees saw the figures, she said “Pilots are so over-paid”.

That set me thinking about how people are compensated. For example, an auto-rickshaw driver has no need to educate himself – all he needs is to reach the age of 18, and get a driving license. That is all.

However, a doctor who does say DM puts in about 15 years of effort. He has put his best years into education, invested time and money into getting that degree. Of course, he needs to be compensated.

A pilot goes through a lot of training, education, and tons of practice. Really tons of practice.

He then gets a job that pays well. Really well. More importantly, there are a lot of pilots, so why do pilots get paid so much? Well, look at the following reasons –

  1. the airline industry is the worst as far as seeing boom and bust – no other industry sees so many fatalities like the airline industry. What do you think happened to the pilots working in Kingfisher and Jet Airways? So uncertainty always commands a premium.
  2. A High salary at the start of one’s career means people spend a lot – and save/ invest very less, so they have no savings. This is a terrible combination.
  3. We just heard of a tragic case of a pilot who got, compensation from Jet Airways and he deposited the money in PMC bank and lost all the money!
  4. After age 40 there is a sword hanging over their heads – they have to go through a fitness check on a 6 monthly basis – see the risk involved!
  5. Employer benefit like ESOP may take a lot of time to fructify
  6. Not much of social life is possible. Ask the women pilots whether they have any social life at all.

These are enough reasons why pilots are paid a high salary. Simple. Not enough people become pilots. Demand and Supply. Simple.

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  1. Harikrishna Avvaru

    Pilots must be paid good enough , a high pay will ensure quality in the proffession & so excellence can be achived in that partcular field . we have best example , IT is over paid , and we could see how magical things happened in the IT field as lot of cream deployed /attracted towards that sector. similary a lot to be done medical and research , we have so many orgainzations working in such fields , but to do the magical things you need excellency of the people who works in that particular field .

  2. Agreed, what I think we can take away from this is the importance of an emergency fund. The more riskier/uncertain the job is, higher should be the emergency fund.

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