August 23, 2018

The 2018 NBAA Compensation Survey results reveal that industry salaries are on the upswing, with several positions reflecting double-digit growth on average compared to survey results from 2017.

This year, 790 NBAA operating member companies participated in the survey by providing compensation and benefit data for 4,130 employees – the survey’s largest data set to date. Across all 16 surveyed job descriptions pay increased by 3-4 percent on average. The categories seeing the biggest increases, according to the audited data, were aviation department managers (managers who don’t fly), up 30 percent in total cash compensation to $205,000; maintenance foremen, up 14 percent to $127,000 and senior captains, up 12 percent to $164,000.

“The survey shows that our members are adjusting and keeping up with industry trends,” said Peter Korns, NBAA’s manager, tax, operations and workforce engagement. “As our industry continues to work to attract and retain quality talent we are seeing real efforts to fairly compensate pilots and mechanics who may otherwise seek out alternative opportunities.”

The overall increase, he said, “is on par with expectations, however we see some significant decreases in dispatcher and line service personnel salaries (12 percent and 10 percent, respectively), which is cause for further analysis.

Since the late 1960s, NBAA has conducted annual salary surveys to give aviation managers and human resources personnel benchmarks for employee compensation. Each year, the association and its committee leaders evaluate the survey questionnaire and develop new methods to streamline the submission process for participating companies, while focusing on essential compensation elements.

NBAA added two new questions to this year’s survey. One asked participants if their company uses sign-on bonuses to attract talent. The other asked, “Do you formally track or record flight hours, duty hours, RONs or weekend days worked?” This question was posed to ensure greater legitimacy in those hours, RONs and weekend days that participants provided by only accepting that data which is formally recorded.

The NBAA Compensation Survey is an important resource for association members, and we encourage them to take advantage of this valuable information,” said Patrick Haller, NBAA’s director of membership and member services.

The 2018 survey results are available for free to NBAA members who participated in the survey. NBAA members who didn’t participate may access the online results for $700.

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