Pilot Salary Structure in Nigeria: How Much a Nigerian Pilot Earns (2024)

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 08:15 pm

Being a Nigerian pilot is one of the most lucrative jobs or occupations to do. The job demands carefulness and requires loads of preparation, since you are flying an airplane containing lives and properties. But the end is rewarding, as through their hard work in the aviation industry, it’s absolutely one reason why pilot’s salaries reflect massive compensation and rewards for the difficult work they go through.


How much do pilots earn in Nigeria? You’re about to find out. It is argued that Nigerian pilots salary are higher than the salary structure for Nigerian Navy monthly. Take for example, an Arik air pilot, who flies an airline is believed to earn really high in not just salary alone but in other allowances. No wonder pilot jobs are one of the highest paying jobs in Nigeria.

This article will let you in on the salary scale of Nigerian Pilots per month and what makes flying aircrafts really interesting. Nigeria has twenty (20) airports and many regulated airstrips and heliports; 23 active domestic airlines; 554 licensed pilots; 913 licensed engineers and 1700 cabin personnel.

Nigeria currently has Bilateral Air Services Agreements with over 78 countries. From Nigeria, air travelers can fly directly to many of the world’s business centers such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Johannesburg, Atlanta, Amsterdam, Dubai and Jeddah to mention a few. With the attainment of America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category One Certification, Nigerian registered carriers can now fly directly into the United States of America (USA)

Civil aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Every single technical personnel, equipment and airport must be certified and monitored by competent regulatory agencies known as Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs). Even the CAAs themselves are in turn assessed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international bodies. The operating principles, guidelines and standards applied in civil aviation are based on the Standards And Recommended Practices (SARP) of ICAO and stipulated National laws and regulations.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is the apex regulatory body, overseeing the activities of all airlines and their pilots, engineers and cabin staff, airports, airstrips and heliports, navigation aids, all service providers including the airport authority and the air traffic service provider, aviation training institutions, etc. NCAA watches over the entire industry.

The term “Civil Aviation” deals with all non-military aviation, both commercial and private. Having taken a walk through what civil aviation is, let us however, focus our attention on how much Nigerian pilots are paid monthly.

Nigerian pilots are paid per month considering a number of factors which determine their take home pay at the end of the month. These factors include the following:

1. Years of experience

2. Type ratings

3. Flying hours

4. The airline

5. Rank of the pilot

In Nigeria today, a fresh pilot from the Nigerian aviation school with Comercial Pilot Licence (CPL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) but without Type Rating, may find it a challenge to pin down an aviation job in Nigeria. If the fresh pilot without Type Rating eventually gets a job with an airline that would be willing to send him to a Type Rating course, that pilot may earn between N200,000-N500 – N500,000 monthly depending on the airline.

Furthermore, a Nigerian pilot with type rating (a first officer) may earn between N300,000 – N800,000 and this basically depends on the airline that employed the pilot, the aircraft the pilot is rated on, and his flying hours.

Finally a Nigerian pilot who is a captain (the authority on the aircraft) earns between N500,000 – N1.5million monthly. The specific salary again depends on the airline and the aircraft he captains. (A Cessna captain cannot earn the same salary with a B737 captain).

Airline Pilots abroad can earn up to $10,000 – $25000 monthly (that’s 2-5million assuming exchange rate to be 1:200). Because you cannot compare Emirates pilot with local Air peace pilots.

If you are considering flying as a career in Nigeria; make sure you have a plan for employment after spending the millions they pay at Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT for training. Right now, very few aircrafts are flying in Nigeria. If you are getting a scholarship, grab it.

Overview of the Piloting Job

At the point when you pick from the main five highest paying jobs in Nigeria, you would be certain that the piloting profession is included. Nigerian pilots are well respected and building a career in this profession can be quite daunting but fun. We have dully covered in one of post on how to become a pilot in Nigeria, citing the necessary requirements and procedures. We know that just as law and medical courses are competitive and becoming one is expensive, it takes a considerable amount to be a certified pilot.

Aside from the expensive fees they pay to be prepared in aviation schools, getting into a pilot school is very serious and given the tough procedure, its normal for only a few pilots to get the required certification to fly an aircraft. It isn’t sufficiently only to move on from a flight related school, it is basic you get a permit as a prepared and qualified pilot before you are viewed as one. In this way, every one of these techniques makes the pilot work exceptionally one of a kind, old style and fulfilling.

Elements Which Determine the Salary of a Nigerian Pilot

There are such a significant factors to be considered to know what a Nigerian pilot earns per month or on an annual basis. This ensures fairness in the aeronautics business or segment which is the place pilots work basically. These factors include:

  • The pilot’s positioning i.e his/her order
  • The long periods of experience the pilot has
  • The quantity of hours the pilot flies month to month
  • The aircraft or airplane company the pilot works in

Flying an airplane isn’t simple at all and it is the reason pilots got high figures as salary every month end, due to the risks involved. Additionally, considering the measure of preparing put in to turn into a pilot, and the cash engaged with going to class to be authorized as one, it shocks no one why the individuals who become effective get paid in millions of Naira as annual salaries.

Pilot Salary Structure in Nigeria (2024)

Salary structure of pilots in Nigeria are according to their positions and ranks. Below is the salaries structure for pilot in the country.

Here is a table showing the salary structure of Pilots in Nigeria according to their ranks:

Rank Position Salary
01 Flight Captains N500,000 to N1 million for local pilots. N1 million to N2 million for international fliers
02 Senior First Officers Around N800,000
03 First Officers Between N300,000
04 Novice Pilots About N200,000 to N500,000

Also, we would discuss these ranks of various pilots and how much they are paid monthly

New/Novice Pilots

Pilots who are new with no expert experience in flying airplanes and recently, graduated from the flying school needs to initially gain a NCAA which is essentially a permit to fly airplanes called the CPL (Commercial Pilot License). However the fledgling pilot isn’t positioned at this point since the individual has no work experience.

Most aircrafts are reluctant to utilize pilots with little or no expert experience.

The normal compensation for pilots without experience is about N200,000. However some business carrier settle up to N500,000. First the carrier would need to support the beginner pilot to experience further preparing and affirmation in what is known as the “Type Rating Courses”. They’d initially be evaluated as Junior Flight Officer and Flight Officers straightaway.

First Officer and Senior Officers

As I expressed earlier in the article, Nigerian pilots have their ranks and further up are the main officials – alluded to as FO-and Senior first officials. Obviously, they have diverse Type Ratings which connotes their appraisals, which likewise is a significant determinant of what they earn either as FO or SFO.

First Officers and Senior First Officers earn between N300,000 to N800,000 consistently as their pay. However as I have expressed previously, the specific pay rates a FO and SFO depends upon the aircraft organization which utilizes them, the expert experience they have gained and the quantity of hours they fly month to month, which could be used in judging their salaries.

Flight Captains

The contrast between what a flight chief and another pilot with no expert experience acquired is unquestionably self-evident. The salary earned by Nigerian flight commander is deemed upon the aircraft company which they work, the quantity of hours they fly monthly and the proficient experience plus the qualification/certificates they have procured.

For a Nigerian flight captain who flies locally, the average monthly salary package could range from N500,000 to N1 million consistently, while if the flight commander flies international course, the pay would extend from N1 million to N2 million consistently.

Best Pilot Training Schools in Nigeria

Top aviation schools to get trained as an expert pilot in Nigeria include

Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT)

The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology situated in Zaria, Kaduna State and it is the most seasoned and the official flight school in Nigeria where people who are citizens in the nation and need to get completely trained as expert pilots need to get educated with.

Other different schools preparing pilots in the nation are; Landover Aviation Business School (LABS), International Aviatuon College (IVC), Kwara, Dhaewood Aviation Business School (DABS) and the Universal School of Aviation.

Cost of Pilot Training School

Students would need to spend up to N7 million or more on education costs and other vital prerequisites to get prepared on how to deal with and fly airplanes. The amount is on the high side, but it comes with the esteem, significant pay rise in being a certified Nigerian pilot and there is room to have a good career ahead as time passes.

Airlines in Nigeria To Work For As A Pilot

These are airlines working in the nation where services of professional pilots are required;

ADC Airlines PLC, Air Nigeria, Arik Airline, Bellview Airlines, EAS Airlines, Aero Contractors, Allied Air Associated Aviation, Capital Airlines, Dornier Aviation Nigeria, Kabo Air, Air Peace, Allied Air, IRS Airlines, Pan African Airlines, Air Afrique, Air France, KLM, Air India, Atlantic Express, Alitalia, British Airways, Bellview Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Ghana Airways, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Airways, Saudi Air, South African Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Nigeria and Ibom Air.


Considering to turn into the piloting profession? It’s actually quite acceptable as it opens you up to new things and the calling gives you presentation to various individuals and culture as you travel from one nation then onto the next nation to another. One intriguing thing about this piloting profession is that the pay that accompanies it is appealing.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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