Review answers to common questions about participating in NBAA’s Compensation Survey and accessing and interpreting results.

Q: Who may participate in the Compensation Survey?

A: NBAA Business or Operating Members are eligible to participate in the current years survey. Member Representatives, and Compensation Survey Alternates, designated by NBAA Member Representatives may participate.

Other contacts – line pilots, maintenance personnel, support staff, etc. – are not eligible to submit survey information, unless designated by a Member Representative.

Companies that do not operate aircraft are not eligible to take part in the survey. NBAA Individual Professional members are not eligible to access or purchase the NBAA Compensation Survey.

Q: Who may access the Compensation Survey results?

A: Only NBAA Business or Operating Members who have participated receive complimentary access to the year in which there was participation. NBAA Member Representatives, or Compensation Survey Alternates, who have not participated in the current year’s survey may purchase access to survey results for $1,000.

NBAA Individual Professional members are not eligible to access or purchase the NBAA Compensation Survey.

Q: How does NBAA protect the confidentiality of salary data?

NBAA follows Safe Harbor guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to protect confidentiality with respect to the salary surveys. Only composite data is presented when results from at least five departments are included in a particular category, and when no individual department’s data represents more than 25% of that category (on a weighted basis), and when results do not reveal or disclose information about a responding department. NBAA’s published salary survey results represent data that is at least three months old.

Q: How do I access survey results?

A: To access results, NBAA Member Representatives or Compensation Survey Alternates, must either have participated in the current year’s survey or purchased access to survey results. Access is restricted to NBAA Business or Operating Members only.

Q: Do the survey results include data on international operations?

A: No. The Compensation Survey is comprised of data provided by Part 91 operators within the United States and broken down by region to display pay differences across the country.

Q: As an NBAA Member Representative, how to I designate another employee at my company to participate in the survey or view results?

A: To designate an employee as a Compensation Survey Alternate, please contact NBAA Member Services at 202-783-9280 or email

Q: Do you have to be an NBAA Member to participate in the survey or purchase access to results?

A: Yes. The Compensation Survey is an NBAA Business or Operating Members-only product. To join NBAA, visit NBAA Membership Application. (NBAA Membership must be in good standing to access results)

Q: Do you need to use Microsoft Excel to complete the questionnaire/view the results?

A: Yes. The Compensation Survey is an Excel-based product, with both the questionnaire and results provided in an Excel format. You must use Microsoft Excel to complete the questionnaire for the application’s macros to work. For the results, it is best viewed in Microsoft Excel, but other spreadsheet applications may work adequately.

Q: What basic information is required in order for my participation to count?

A: Survey submissions must include a base salary entry for each employee. Participants who do not provide this information will not be eligible for complimentary access to survey results.

Q: What is “base salary?”

A: Base salary is the annual amount earned by the employee for work. It does not include bonuses, overtime pay, or any value associated with employee benefits (i.e. health insurance).

Q: What is “total compensation?”

A: Total compensation includes base salary, plus any bonus or overtime pay. This does not include values associated with employee benefits (i.e. health insurance).

Q: What should I enter for an employee who has not worked a full calendar year?

A: If the employee has not worked a full year in the position, the yearly equivalent should be used.

Q: May I enter information for part-time or contract employees?

A: No, the Compensation Survey should only include salary and benefit information for full-time employees.

Q: What is a “salary range minimum – minimum?”

A: Members are asked to provide the salary range for flight department positions, if they have preset ranges. On the “Salary Range – Minimum” table, these ranges are displayed, with the values in the “minimum” column showing the lowest value received – the lowest possible value, on the low end of this salary range.

Since these values reflect companies’ defined salary ranges for employee categories, they may not reflect actual salaries. Not all companies have a set compensation range for employees.

Q: How do I interpret the Compensation Survey charts?

NBAA Compensation Survey charts follow the box and whisker format. The box indicates the first (lower) quartile on the left and the third (upper) quartile on the right. The band inside the box indicates the median. The dot, if present, marks the average (the arithmetic mean). The whisker lines represent the minimum value to the left and the maximum value to the right.

Q: What is included in a “duty hour?”

A: Duty time should include the overall time required to prepare, perform (including RONs) and conclude a scheduled flight as well as the time needed for administrative functions, training, meetings and other duties not related to a flight. The duty day begins when the crew enters company premises and ends when the crew leaves the premises. Time away from the domicile on a flight would count towards duty hours.

Q: Is it too late to participate?

A: NBAA welcomes participation from all Members during the defined survey period each Spring, beginning in March. Once the survey has closed, and the results compiled, NBAA can no longer accept survey submissions.

Q: When will survey results be published?

A: Survey results are published as soon as the compiled data has been reviewed and verified. The publication date is determined by the number and quality of responses. Survey deadlines may be extended if necessary to ensure the survey results are as comprehensive and accurate as possible. Survey results for the most recent data set are expected to be available in September each year.

Q: Where are the survey questions related to flight department operational information, which were previously included in the NBAA Compensation & Benchmark Survey?

A: The operational questions have been removed to create a focused Compensation Survey. The hope is that this will streamline data entry for participants and increase participation, particularly among human resources professionals and salary administrators. A separate flight department operations benchmark survey may be conducted at a later date.