Crew Lounge HomeWant a Pilot Pay Raise? Try This
Want a Pilot Pay Raise? Try This
BizJetJobs
BJJ

At BizJetJobs.com, we regularly brainstorm on what topics will be of value to our pilots and crew. This month, we're talking about pilot pay. Based on an informal survey of our staff and pilots, this is definitely an issue on your minds, too. Staying with the same employer for years may feel comfortable, but the choice to remain stagnant can cost you big bucks over the course of your career. We spoke with one pilot whose company was looking for a new pilot to fill a recently vacated position. The company happened to interview someone who was an old friend of this pilot's. A week later, when the two touched base, he learned not only was his old friend turning down the job, but the offer from his company was more money than he was currently making. "His starting pay was going to be higher than mine," the pilot told us. "Is this a good time to ask for more money?" From our perspective, while it seemed like the logical time to ask, it could be in poor taste to use this type of situation to one's advantage, especially with nothing to back it up. We advised our pilot to first test the job market. Having a good sense of the job market allows you to negotiate more comfortably with your employer. Approaching an employer frustrated that someone was offered or making more money, even if you don't come out and say it, will likely put your employer on the defensive. You could end up further from a raise than when you started. Another of our pilots thought he may have been "caught" at work looking at a job site when his boss entered the room. "I wasn't even looking at jobs," he told us. He was actually checking out a friend's profile. But his employer offered him a pay raise by email the same day. Coincidence? Bottom line: there is nothing stopping your employer from looking for new employees. As a seasoned corporate pilot, there really should be nothing stopping you for looking at other jobs and the pilot pay associated with them. One tactic we've seen is to interview with another company, get an offer you would be willing to take, and then discuss a comparable upgrade from your employer. Just keep in mind that if you decide to use the offer as ammunition to negotiate a raise, be prepared for your employer to call your bluff. Just knowing you have options, without specifically saying it, may be enough to start the conversation. Staying active in the job market, even while currently employed, is probably the easiest way to protect and increase your pilot pay over time. Yet if you find yourself in a position where you just can't wait, here a couple tips that can help. Greg Jenkins, a member of the BizJetJobs.com team, remembers showing up on a sales call and witnessing the owner of a company ending a salary negotiation with an employee. "Come back and tell me what else you'd be willing to do and then we can discuss more money." He then told Greg, "Can you believe that? He walks in here asking for more money, but has zero ideas as to how he is going to make my life easier." Describe additional responsibilities you've taken on since your last pay raise, the unique strengths you possess within the flight department, and/or suggest new responsibilities you'd like to take on, in exchange for a higher salary. Tell them you really appreciate the new responsibilities you've taken on and want to know if a pay raise is something the company is willing to consider. If you're worried about timing, consider:

  • How busy is your flight department? Is it growing?
  • Has your employer recently acquired new aircraft?
  • Is your employer putting more responsibility on you lately?

If things are stagnant or if your employer is having a tough time filling open positions, it may not be the right time to ask for a pay raise. It may even be time to leave. But if you're on the proverbial "rocket ship about to blast off," see if you can find a better seat. Your employer may even appreciate your initiative and dedication. The Wall Street Journal claims that if a pay raise hasn’t been forthcoming from your current employer, your best option may be another employer. In 2014 the average company raise was 3%, while job switchers’ average wage growth was 5.6%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. So, should you ask for a pay raise, or is it time to dust off your resume? Call us with your stories, we are here to listen - and help.

BizJetJobs
BJJ
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