Nigerian pilot salary in 2018

Nigerian pilot salary in 2018

Aviation is the most expensive transportation, and pilots are well known for their high payments. Let us talk about Nigerian pilot salary. Is it worth choosing this industry as your future profession? What are the civil aviation jobs in Nigeria offered in 2018?

Nigerian pilot salary in 2018

Taking a flight is the quickest way to reach a foreign country. The modern world easily connects countries that are thousands of miles away. This is possible thanks to aircraft, but every plane or helicopter needs a pilot.

Why do people choose this job? Of course, many pilots are in love with flying. This is the job they love more than life. However, pilot salary also plays an important role when selecting a future profession.

Young Nigerians who are thinking about their future occupation after school can look at some of the aviation jobs in Nigeria and learn the average salary of a Nigerian pilot.

Nigerian pilot salary per month

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Many students and even school kids believe that pilot salary is one of the highest in Nigeria. Is it true?

Pilot salary in Nigeria in 2018

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Well, firstly we should say that every pilot might does start with the highest salary when he or she lacks experience.

Secondly, the average salary of a Nigerian pilot depends on a number of factors. We have to list the most important of them:

  • How experienced the pilot is
  • Flying hours (how many hours he/she has flown)
  • Pilot’s personal ranking
  • Rating types
  • Company (the airline the pilot works for)

The younger the pilot is in terms of hours/years of experience, the lower the salary of a Nigerian pilot is. You have probably guessed this by now.

What is Nigerian pilot salary per month like? We'll discover this below.

Salary of commercial pilots with license

Every new pilot (who has no experience and has just graduated from an aviation college) usually has a NCAA license (it is called CPL or Commercial Pilot License) but does not have a rating yet.

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He/she may have problems with finding a job right after the graduation and can only hope for 200,000 Naira or might be lucky to receive up to 500,000 Naira (in a good airline company) per month. This can only happen if the employer will send their new pilot to Type Rating courses.

Nigeria NCAA and pilot salary in 2018

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Salary of FO and SFO

Pilots who are first officers (FO) and senior first officers (SFO) meaning they do have their Type Rating can expect their salaries to be between 300,000 – 800,000 Naira per month.

In their situation, the amount of money they are paid absolutely depends on the company that offers them a job, their experience and flying hours.

Salary of Captain

Local captains can expect a higher salary than new pilots. Their average monthly salary depends on the company and their working hours. Depending on these factors, these Nigerian pilots might be paid from 500,000 Naira to 1.5 million Naira a month.

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If a captain is working for an international company, he can earn 1-2 million Naira per month.

P.S. Such high salaries do sound incredible, even though pilots of local airlines earn less than their colleagues from international airlines. Still, each citizen of Nigeria who wishes to become a pilot has to go to the College of Aviation Technology. The college is not cheap, you will spend about 7-8 million Naira or even more (if you choose to study abroad) to learn and be trained how to fly before you can finally join the airline company and start earning your hundreds of thousands of Naira per month.

Of course, talented people can apply for a scholarship (airline companies often offer such opportunities) and get financial help to pay later by working for the company.

How much Nigerian pilots earn per month in 2018

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Aviation jobs in Nigeria

There are over 500 pilots who have the license to fly, less than 1000 engineers and even more cabin personnel.

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Who wouldn’t like to work in the industry where passengers fly from Nigeria to some of the most curious and popular destinations such as New York, Dubai, Paris and London? Since the country has agreement with more than 70 international countries, flying has become a breeze.

At the same time, this sphere is probably regulated the most compared to other industries all across the planet. The airport has to meet all technical requirements to function fully. Besides, it requires getting up-to-date licenses and certificates and each country’s regulatory agencies (in Nigeria, this is the Civil Aviation Authority abbreviated as NCAA) monitor all the functions and every step taken.

Needless to say, that all pilots and personnel that work in the airport, on airplanes and with equipment also need to meet all safety requirements.

What aviation jobs can you find in Nigeria? Here is a list of some of them:

  • Helicopter pilots
  • Airplane pilots
  • Cabin staff members
  • Engineers
  • Service providers
  • Air traffic service providers
  • Training instructors
  • Airport workers

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You can work for private companies and in commercial organizations. Civil aviation is an interesting industry for a good-paid future profession.

International pilots

Pilot salary in Nigeria vs the USA

It is always curious to compare what you can earn in Nigeria in 2018 and how much you can get in another country, the US for example.

If a Nigerian pilot can expect to receive from 300,000 Naira to about 2 million Naira per month depending on his experience, hours of flight and company, his USA colleagues usually earn from approximately 2,000 U.S. dollars or over 700,000 Naira (the beginners) to 10,000-12,000 U.S. dollars or 3.6-4.3 million Naira per month.

As you can see, Nigerian pilot salary in 2018 really differs from what foreign companies pay their pilots in the USA and other countries. Still, pilots in Nigeria can earn more than people of many other professions, including teachers and civil workers.

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Adrianna Simwa avatar

Adrianna Simwa (Lifestyle writer) Adrianna Simwa is a content writer at where she has worked since mid-2022. She has written for many periodicals on a variety of subjects, including news, celebrities, and lifestyle, for more than three years. She has worked for The Hoth, The Standard Group and Triple P Media. Adrianna graduated from Nairobi University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 2020. In 2023, Simwa finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach her through her email:

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