NATA salary survey polls 11,000 jobs

 - December 17, 2007, 9:25 AM

The National Air Transportation Association provides an annual salary survey for business aviation professionals including pilots, line-service personnel, maintenance technicians, inspectors, dispatchers, customer service representatives and stock clerks. The agency breaks down compensation figures by a number of factors, including company size (based on gross sales and number of employees), geographic location and the size of headquarters city or town.

The survey was conducted among NATA member companies, and this year 309 responded to the questionnaire. They recorded wage and salary data for a total of 10,926 employees, a slight increase over last year, according to NATA. For this year’s survey, the section on compensation for aircraft salespeople was expanded to include salary, commission totals and average commission rates.

Among all the companies surveyed, gross annual sales averaged just more than $11 million. Broken down by size, those with less than $500,000 in sales averaged about $320,000. Among those with more than $20 million in sales, respondents averaged $79 million.

NATA categorized the companies by FAA region, with the Great Lakes region garnering the greatest response, representing 19.7 percent of the total. The Southern region was next, representing 15.5 percent, followed by the Eastern region at 12.9 percent. Most respondents came from moderate-size cities (35.6 percent), with 26.9 percent from a small city or town. Some 23.3 percent of responding companies identified themselves as operating in large cities.

Though admitting that its sample was small, the survey cited hourly rates averaging $50.01 for light jet captains compared with $31.30 for second-in-command pilots in the same class of aircraft. Captains of turboprops averaged $31.02 per hour compared with $22.42 for right-seaters. Flight operations managers and general managers averaged monthly salaries of $6,013 and $5,635, respectively, for an increase of 5.5 percent for the former and maintenance of the status quo for the latter.

The survey listed the average wage for line technicians nationwide as $11.27 per hour based on data from 2,690 people working for a total of 125 companies. A&P technicians averaged $20.08 per hour ($6.16 more than non-licensed technicians). Inspectors were paid an average hourly rate of $23.41 and avionics specialists averaged $20.30 per hour–about the same as last year.

This year’s 113-page detailed survey, compiled by a Maryland research firm, is available free to the NATA member companies that participated. Non-participating members can buy it for $50. Non- members pay $100 for the information. For more details, contact NATA at