Some pilots earn less than airport window washers

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  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Some pilots earn less than airport window washers:confused:

    Airline pilots are widely seen as having some of the best jobs in America. In reality, pay for pilots has been on the decline for years.

    Recent salary records show that a rookie first officer on a regional airline flying out of San Francisco International Airport may be paid less than the worker who washes the airport’s windows.

    First officers, sometimes called co-pilots, are second in command on commercial aircraft.

    On regional airlines, their starting salaries range from about $20.50 to $29 per hour. That is significantly less than the skipper of a passenger ferry on San Francisco Bay, records compiled by California Watch show. Some earn less than toll takers on the Golden Gate Bridge or state prison nurses.

    http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/some-pilots-earn-less-airport-window-washers-12398

     
  2. viguera
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    Old news, since the salary of regional pilots drew a lot of media attention recently after the ComAir / Colgan incidents a couple of years back.

    Incidentally, anybody that hasn't seen the Frontline "Flying Cheap" episode about this should definitely take a look.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/flyingcheap/
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  4. uggboy
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Sure. But I also think that people's jobs should have a rate of pay that's appropriate for the task at hand. What's their task? Sit in a booth and collect $5 (or whatever it is these days) from each driver passing through. And they aren't even friendly when you say hello, in my experience (I was shocked how nice the toll takers in Florida were by comparison).
     
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  6. uggboy
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    Was shocked at first by how much they make against some co-pilots of regional airlines in the article, one thing however is for sure there seems to be the whole regional airline industry at fault and in what they pay and drive their pilots to longer and longer hours too!:confused:

    Sounds like they are spoilt somewhat!:confused:
    Oh! Thanks for sharing your experiences with toll booth operators! Interesting comparison with the Florida experiences!:)
     
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  7. viguera
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    That was before they were all replaced by machines too... :)

    In NJ they're gradually phasing out the booths with high-speed EZ-Pass and while it sucks that people lose their jobs and get replaced by technology, it makes a huge difference when you can just fly by a toll-booth -- doing the speed limit of course :)
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yes, I definitely think there is something majorly wrong with the compensation system for regional airlines. I also think that, say, FAs in general probably don't earn enough for the work they do (again, compare sitting in the toll booth to FA work... and I know there are lazy FAs...).

    I am pretty sure toll takers aren't the most popular people in the world. But of course I don't hold the annoyance of having to pay tolls against them, so when I stop at the toll booth I say hello and thank you. Like I said, I was amazed how friendly the FL folks where. Generally smiling, wishing me a good day etc. Here in CA I usually don't get any response. Now, I can imagine that saying hello five thousand times a day isn't exactly fun, but since the FL folks manage it, it seems doable (and I have a feeling that the state of FL pays them a lot less than we do in the Bay Area).

    Here's another example: If these numbers are correct, we pay airport security screeners between $10 and $18. Now I know that TSOs aren't popular, but I think we can agree than in theory we would want security to be effective and efficient, which to me implies having bright, intelligent and educated people do the screening (especially if we are talking Israeli-style). You have to pay for that, and more than $10 (Starbucks pays more than that!).

    Or another: $23/hour at 40 hrs/week gets you to nearly $90k a year. How much do we pay the teachers who are supposed to educate our children? And who has a more complicated/challenging job that required more training/education?
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Nope, that was a few months ago. I was driving around in central Florida, and since I didn't want to pay the daily fee for the PlatePass (?) in my rental car, I *always* used the manual toll booth lanes. I generally wasn't in a great hurry.
     
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  10. Jimgotkp
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    I reason why I would go to another country if I were to be a pilot....
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    On that note, how many of the regional pilots end up going abroad to work for a foreign carrier? It seems like there's quite a bit of demand especially in Asia.
     
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  12. Gaucho
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    Not surprising..... sometimes, wages that are negotiated on broad contract basis can go in directions that make no sense given where the economy is..... this kind of wage madness also happens in Argentina, where for an example a junior worker that lays fiber optic cable makes more money that the head of a sales team that sells cable service and brings in 2 million pesos in revenues.... sometimes, unions are not only a good thing but they also distort things in the worst ways....
     
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  13. travelgourmet
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    I fail to see the problem. There hasn't been a rash of aircraft accidents, so things appear to be safe enough. All this talk about how young and inexperienced pilots don't have the ability to "make quick airmanship calls" kind of ignores the fact that the need to make such calls is relatively rare. Sorry, but the job simply isn't that hard.
     
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  14. uggboy
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    Interesting point!;)
     
  15. Scottrick
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    I know a couple rookies who fly regional jets. Not a great job money-wise. It's a step-up from teaching lessons at a flying club, and it has potential for advancement, but otherwise it's really just an opportunity to get to fly planes for a living. If you enjoy your work, that can be enough for a few years.
     
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  16. Jimgotkp
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    Not unless you owe a lot of money for flight school. I know at my other school (Purdue) that getting a diploma in their Flight Program is getting very expensive with all these budget cuts. Yes, it is a university and not a flight school but still.

    Don't know how pilots will be able to pay off their debt with low income unless their parents paid for it along with their private pilot's license which is required at some schools.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Don't know if it's hard or not, but I can imagine that it's at least a bit more difficult than being a toll taker or window washer! So why should it not be paid better, thus enabling the crew members to have better work and living conditions that might decrease the chances (as small as they may already be) of accidents due to, say, exhaustion. Seriously, if you haven't already, please do watch the Frontline investigation

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/flyingcheap/
     
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  18. N965VJ
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    Aviation incidents and accidents are usually caused by a series of things. Pilots used to build time for a major airline career doing things like flying canceled checks in a Piper Navajo, now they do it at the controls of an RJ. If we are collectively better off because of this is certainly debatable.
     
  19. canucklehead
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    I think there are many glaring examples of wage disparities and things that make you go :eek::mad::confused:!

    For example, in my field, some PhDs can graduate and make a whopping $35K, as post-doctoral fellow. That's in NYC!

    Hardly seems like a compensatory salary for someone who has done 8-12yrs of post-secondary education.
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    isn't that a modern day euphemism for "slave worker"? :(
     
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  21. uggboy
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    That's a very very good reason!:)
     
  22. uggboy
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    A lot of modern-day insights here in this thread!;)
     
  23. uggboy
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    I am surprised to hear this! In NYC! Could you actually live in NYC doing this qualified work in your field and earn 35K$?:eek:
     
  24. canucklehead
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    I just checked in my lab, the post-doctoral fellows get paid more than that ;), but I do know some who get paid $35K. The NIH guideline is a starting salary of $38.5K for anyone who is funded by the major federal research organization. Some labs offer a cost of living benefit (some don't).
     
  25. canucklehead
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    Intern, apprentice, slave, coffee-fetcher...... its all part of the 'training' process, similar to pilots in regional airlines making it to the big leagues of the major airlines. (not that I condone it, but it happens!)
     

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