The 10 best paid aviation jobs in the UK

Friday, July 28, 2023

Two aviation professionals working together

Aviation Job Search has revealed the top 10 highest paying jobs in the UK aviation industry in 2019. The data comes from our recently published annual report, which includes some key insights to the industry regarding jobs advertised, job applications, gender insights, industry challenges and category profiles.

The salary data, where we collected average salaries for over 70 roles within the aviation industry, was taken from Aviation Job Search's website, based on the salaries recruiters offered from their job adverts for different categories in 2019.

We can reveal that the following categories were the 10 highest paid last year, according to our data:

  1. Hardware Engineer
  2. Test Pilot
  3. Captain
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Systems Engineer
  6. Pilot
  7. Human Factors Engineer
  8. Senior Manager
  9. Instructor
  10. Helicopter Pilot

As seen in the table above, recruiters offered the highest salary for Hardware Engineer jobs in 2019.

Test Pilot roles came in second place with a whopping £82,031.25 on average, while Captain roles came out third, at an average of £81,493.54.

In 2018, Pilot roles topped the board, although this was the result of not fully splitting out each specific role, which we have done this year. We did still look at what the overall average for pilot salaries could be, and concluded £71,962.86 as the result.

Engineering roles are topping the ten, as fourth place is claimed by Software Engineer roles, which offered on average of £77,990.65 in 2019.

Engineers in the aviation industry can earn some serious money, given the risks and responsibilities that lie with each specialism. Recruiters were offering £60,012.61 in 2019 for B1 Licensed Engineers, while B2 Licensed Engineers were being offered on average £57,241.94.

Fifth place went to Systems Engineer roles, at an average of £77,809.63, which has actually decreased by 4.12% since 2018, when the average was £81,155.66.

Overall pilot roles sat in sixth place, at an average of £71,962.86, but as we can see in the table, Test Pilot jobs (No.2) clearly offered a higher average, which was expected, followed by Captain jobs (No.3). To be thorough, we did also look at the average salary for Co-Pilot jobs on offer (No.11), which was £63,125.00, Helicopter Pilot roles (No.10), £65,312.50 and First Officer roles, which averaged out at £58,409.96 (No.16).

Overall, salaries advertised by recruiter jobs on Aviation Job Search grew by 9.52% in 2019. While salaries are on the rise for some professions, others have seen a decrease in salary from 2018, including Test Pilot jobs (-4.65%), Systems Engineer jobs (4.12%), Electronic Engineer jobs (2.91%) and Mechanic jobs (8.31%).

If you'd like to see the full breakdown of our salary data, and more including gender insights, job hotpoints, jobseeker insights and category profiles, you can download our annual report  here:

About Aviation Job Search

Specialising in aviation recruitment, we give airlines and companies the tools to connect with aviation professionals so they can grow. Find out how we can help you today.

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