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Thread: Ag Pilot Salary

  1. #1
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    Ag Pilot Salary

    I know most pilots make 25 to 30% of what the plane grosses. If you are paid by the acre what is the going average. Also how much for applying fertilizer?

  2. #2
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    I don't know where you got your figures, but the general rate is 17.5 TO 20%. Never heard of anyone getting 25-30%. Must be a heck of a good seat! "By the acre" pay would be your percentage of what ever the operator charges. If an operator charges $10.00 per acre and you get 17.5% of gross then you would get $1.75 per acre. There are some variables such as fuel ser' charges etc. that is not applied to pilot pay in most cases. Depends on what you have worked out with the operator. There is nothing that is set in stone.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy In brazil...

    Here in Brazil, 15,5% of the price is the legal minimum to be paid to an agpilot... the most common is 18% and very rare 20%.... for first season pilots, there are some employers that pay 10 % OR LOW PERCENT....
    Last edited by SEPEBARRADAS; 06-06-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb Here in Belize

    Here in Belize we have a total of 8 ag planes in the entire country. We have about 10 ag pilots. The company were I work has 3 of the 8 ag aircraft in the country. They pay 2 of the pilots by the hour on contract and 1 pilot is salary. We fly 52 weeks a year spraying bananas. In Guatemala which is pretty much spanish they pay most of the pilots working in the banana industry by the month. Also in Costa Rica, Honduras. I am originally from Canada and since starting my ag flying in 1993, always sprayed by the acre in Canada except for the work I did with the SEAT program, that was per day plus per hour of flying. There are companies that work out percentages for the pilots which works out in most cases. This being said, a good work ethic, not aggressive, a good work ethic will always open doors. It may take some time which a person may not always think he or she has, but the doors will open.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Tracy T;38]I don't know where you got your figures, but the general rate is 17.5 TO 20%. Never heard of anyone getting 25-30%. Must be a heck of a good seat! "By the acre" pay would be your percentage of what ever the operator charges. If an operator charges $10.00 per acre and you get 17.5% of gross then you would get $1.75 per acre. There are some variables such as fuel ser' charges etc. that is not applied to pilot pay in most cases. Depends on what you have worked out with the operator. There is nothing that is set in stone.[/QUOTE]

    I agree. I've never heard of 25 to 30%.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=Bugbomber;35]I know most pilots make 25 to 30% of what the plane grosses. If you are paid by the acre what is the going average. Also how much for applying fertilizer?[/QUOTE]

    I have been crop dusting 31 years and started out at 25%, but went to 30% after getting a few years exp. That's 30% of the application rate. Most of the fertilizer I done is by the pound.

  7. #7
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    I've been flying ag for 31 years and have never worked for less than 25%. I've made 30% for at more the 25 years. 25% was once the standard rate.

    John Seay

  8. #8
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    john,I dont know if the owner has ever run the numbers but if they're paying 30% they're operating that airplane at a loss. I have two of my own and there isnt enough profit margin after ins.,eng reserves,payments,maint.,annuals,fuel,ground crew,loading equip,(and maintenance there of),and office help, to pay that kind of %

  9. #9
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    Let's see,.... my 2nd airplane grossed 510,000$ this season. At 30% my pilot would have made 153,000$ for 7 months work and only 490 hrs. of flight time. that equates to 312.00$/hr. I personally have never heard of even a most senior British Airways 777 capt. making that hourly rate. And why should the pilot make more money any time the operator has to increase rates to compensate for overhead.Do the employees of any other industry get a raise because of the same situation? no

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=agrinaut;98]Let's see,.... my 2nd airplane grossed 510,000$ this season. At 30% my pilot would have made 153,000$ for 7 months work and only 490 hrs. of flight time. that equates to 312.00$/hr. I personally have never heard of even a most senior British Airways 777 capt. making that hourly rate. And why should the pilot make more money any time the operator has to increase rates to compensate for overhead.Do the employees of any other industry get a raise because of the same situation? no[/QUOTE]

    If you paid the extra pilot the 30% your aircraft would be taking in $729 per hour after the pilot is paid. What kind of aircraft do you have that you cannot make a profit at $729/hour. I think maybe your overhead is a bit high.

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