Become an Airline Pilot
Join the Zero Time to Airline Program

Discover Top-Paying Airlines: Compare Pilot Salaries Across 15 Airlines Instantly!

Download Our Comprehensive Airline Pilot Salary Comparison Guide Now! Discover the best-paying airlines and plan your path to a successful and lucrative career in aviation.

airline pilot salary comparison guide preview

United Airlines Pilot Salary – Discover Just How Much They Earn





Here’s a comprehensive look at flying for United, including a look at United Airlines pilot salary numbers.

United is one of America’s largest major airlines, headquartered in Chicago and in business since 1926. When United merged with Continental in 2010, it became the third-largest airline in the world. 

The company flies to 238 US destinations and 118 international ones in 48 countries. In 2022, it employed over 70,000 workers and carried 144 million people on its 868 aircraft. Around 15,000 of those employees are pilots. 

This article is part of our ongoing series on airline pilot salaries.

United Airlines Pilot Salary

Pay rates for United pilots range from starting First Officers at approximately $109,000 per year to senior Captains earning $312,000 or more annually. Pay is based on a guaranteed 70 flying hours per month.

As with all pilot jobs at the majors, the actual take-home pay depends on years with the company and the equipment you fly.

While all first-year First Officers start at the same pay, the quicker you upgrade or transition to bigger equipment, the faster you’ll start making more money.

How Did We Get These Numbers

All data used below is pulled from the latest contract between United Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association, the union representing United pilots. These numbers were updated for 2024.

The pay estimates below don’t include any per diem, profit sharing, override pay, or 401k contributions which will increase overall compensation considerably.

United Airlines First Officer Pay

As a first officer for United Airlines your pay starts at $116 per hour and quickly grows to $177 per hour in year two if you are flying on the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. The following numbers are an estimate of what you can expect to earn as a United Airlines first officer salary.

Estimated pay range for United First Officers based on hours only: $108,480 to $304,980

Years of ExperienceEstimated Annual Pay (80 hours per month)
Year 1$111,408
Year 5$209,347
Year 10$231,158
Updated as of March 2024.

United Airlines Captain Pay

United Airlines captain pay starts at $329 per hour. Pay for senior captains at United can reach considerable levels with pay on the 777 at year 12 reaching $438 per hour. The following are estimates for a United Airlines captain salary.

Estimated pay range for United Captains based on hours only: $290,700 to $420,480

Years of ExperienceEstimated Annual Pay (80 hours per month)
Year 1$316,387
Year 5$326,582
Year 10$339,465
Updated as of March 2024.

Calculate Your Potential United Pilot Earnings

We’ve put together this simple calculator to give you an estimate of how much you could earn as a United pilot. This was put together using the 2024 pay scale from the Air Line Pilots Association, the group that represents United pilots.

United Airlines Pilot Pay Calculator

United Airlines Pilot Pay Calculator

United Pilot Position

Note this doesn’t include any per diem, profit sharing, override pay, or 401k contributions.

Where are United’s Pilot Bases?

  • Chicago-O’Hare, IL – ORD
  • Denver, CO – DEN
  • Los Angeles, CA – LAX
  • San Francisco, CA – SFO
  • Newark – EWR
  • Washington-Dulles, VA – IAD
  • Houston-Intercontinental, TX – IAH
United Airlines new 2023 pilot pay

What Airplanes are in the United Airlines Fleet?

  • Airbus A319
  • Airbus A320
  • Boeing 737 (-700, -800, -900)
  • Boeing 757 (-200, -300)
  • Boeing 767 (-300ER, -400ER)
  • Boeing 777 (-200, -300ER)
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner (-8, -9, -10)

In December of 2022, United made one of the largest aircraft orders in history when they ordered 100 more Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with options for 100 more after that. Additionally, they have options to take delivery of 44 more Boeing 737MAX aircraft between 2024 and 2026 and 56 more before 2028. 

With all of their orders combined, United expects to take delivery of two aircraft every week of 2023 and three every week of 2024. For pilots looking to fly newer aircraft, it’s hard to imagine any airline with a newer fleet than United.

become a united airlines pilot

What are the Hiring Requirements for United Pilots?

United has three categories of requirements you must meet before you can apply to be a first officer. If you don’t yet meet these requirements, you can apply for a first officer position with a United Express regional carrier or through the Aviate pathway program.

United divides its hiring requirements into certification, flight time, and general employment requirements.

Certification Requirements

  • Hold an unrestricted ATP with Airplane-Multiengine class rating
  • Hold a current FAA First-Class Medical Certificate
  • Hold an FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RR)

Flight Time Requirements

  • Required: 1,500 hours total time
  • Preferred: 1,000 hours of fixed-wing turbine and 100 hours in the last 12 months

General Requirements

  • Current passport
  • Legal to work in the US without sponsorship
  • Able to travel without restriction in the US and to all United international destinations
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Preferred: Bachelor’s degree 
  • International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever (Yellow Card)
  • Reliable, punctual attendance and no planned absences during the first 12 weeks of employment
united airlines jets at terminal

Is a Job at United Right For You?

A few factors make United one of the top airlines to work for as a pilot. For one, their benefits package is excellent. In addition to retirement packages and health plans, the company offers unlimited standby travel and discounted tickets to anywhere they fly (which is pretty much everywhere!)

The company also touts its inclusive and diverse workforce, earning recognition from organizations like Women in Aviation, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, and the Human Rights Campaign.

ALPA, the Air Line Pilots Association, represents United Pilots. Pilots agreed to a new four-year contract in September 2023 that amounted to a 40 percent pay increase. It also includes “substantial” improvements in quality of life, vacation, and other benefits. 

Launch Your Airline Pilot Career

In as little as 2 years you could go from zero experience to airline pilot. The Zero Time to Airline program is your fast track to a career as an airline pilot. Learn more about this unique program and start your journey today.

How Do I Apply for a United Airlines Pilot Job?

United accepts pilots from several different pathways depending on how much experience you possess. There are special programs for military pilots and current United employees.

Anyone with an unrestricted ATP certificate and the minimum flight time requirements can apply directly to United for an FO position.

All other candidates should check out the United Aviate pathway program.

This program is designed to take you from any phase of your flight training, from before you start to those time-building at flight schools, and guide you into a career at United.

Want to become a more confident pilot?

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel where we post FREE content to help student pilots understand the art of aviation.

Be entertained and educated on our TikTok channel.

Or check out some of our most popular articles on how to become an airline pilot and airline pilot salaries.