Salary Structure

Nigerian Pilot Salary: See How Much They Earn (2024)

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Ever looked up to the skies and dreamt of flying a plane? For many in Nigeria, becoming a pilot is a cherished childhood dream that some carry into adulthood. But what does it really take to soar the Nigerian skies, and more importantly, what’s the paycheck like? Let’s dive into the world of Nigerian pilot salaries.

Why Become a Pilot in Nigeria?

Being a pilot in Nigeria isn’t just about the thrill of flying or the respect it commands. It’s also about the impressive paycheck. In fact, when you list the top-paying jobs in Nigeria, pilots often make the cut. Their salaries are not only attractive but their societal value is highly esteemed.

But don’t let the allure of the salary fool you; becoming a pilot is no walk in the park. From the competitive entry into pilot schools to the substantial fees for training and licensing, it’s a significant investment. Yet, if you’re passionate about flying, the returns can be rewarding.

Types of Pilots and Their Salaries

In the world of aviation, pilots are broadly categorized into fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilots. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Fixed-wing pilots: These pilots fly aircraft like commercial airliners. They generally earn less than rotary-wing pilots but have the opportunity to climb the ranks over time.
  • Rotary-wing pilots: Often referred to as helicopter pilots, they fly aircraft that generate lift from rotating blades. They typically earn more than fixed-wing pilots, especially those working for oil and gas companies.

So, How Much Do Pilots Earn in Nigeria?

Entry-Level Pilots:

An entry-level pilot can expect to earn a minimum of N200,000 monthly. However, fixed-wing pilots usually start at this rate, while rotary-wing pilots often earn more.

Experienced Pilots:

With experience, the pay scales up. For instance, second officers can earn around N1 million, while a new-entry Captain can make up to N2.6 million monthly.

Specialized Licenses:

Pilots with a Commercial Pilot License from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority can earn around N350,000, but this varies based on the airline and job role.

The Big Earners

If you’re eyeing a career with oil and gas companies like Shell or Chevron, you’re in luck. Pilots in these sectors can earn a whopping $10,000 per month, sometimes even more.

Local vs International Airlines:

On average, pilots with local airlines earn around N800,000 monthly, while those flying international routes can expect an average of N2 million monthly.


Becoming a pilot in Nigeria is a rewarding but demanding journey. It requires significant investment in training and licensing, but the financial rewards, respect, and thrill of flying make it all worthwhile. Whether you’re aiming for the skies with a local airline or have your sights set on international routes or oil and gas companies, the opportunities and salaries are there for the taking.


1. How much does an entry-level pilot earn in Nigeria?

An entry-level pilot typically earns a minimum of N200,000 monthly, regardless of their position, grade, or experience.

2. What’s the salary difference between fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilots?

Fixed-wing pilots generally earn less than rotary-wing pilots. However, as fixed-wing pilots gain experience, they can transition to higher-paying roles, including rotary-wing piloting.

3. Do pilots with specialized licenses earn more?

Yes, pilots with specialized licenses, such as a Commercial Pilot License from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, can command higher salaries. Depending on the airline and job role, they can earn between N350,000 to N2.6 million monthly.

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