Pilot Salary Structure in Nigeria

In this article, Nigerian Infopedia will take you through Civil Aviation and the salary structure for Nigerian pilots, how much Nigerian pilots earn monthly, and what makes flying aircrafts really interesting. Civil aviation is a critical element in Nigeria’s transportation system and indeed its economy. Nigeria has twenty (20) airports and many regulated airstrips and heliports; 23 active domestic airlines; 554 licensed pilots; 913 licensed engineers and 1700 cabin personnel.


Nigeria being Africa’s most populous country is an important destination for over 22 foreign carriers. Nigeria currently has Bilateral Air Services Agreements with over 78 countries. From Nigeria, air travelers can fly directly to many of the world’s business centers such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Johannesburg, Atlanta, Amsterdam, Dubai and Jeddah to mention a few. With the attainment of America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category One Certification, Nigerian registered carriers can now fly directly into the United States of America (USA)

Civil aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Every single technical personnel, equipment and airport must be certified and monitored by competent regulatory agencies known as Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs). Even the CAAs themselves are in turn assessed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other international bodies. The operating principles, guidelines and standards applied in civil aviation are based on the Standards And Recommended Practices (SARP) of ICAO and stipulated National laws and regulations.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is the apex regulatory body, overseeing the activities of all airlines and their pilots, engineers and cabin staff, airports, airstrips and heliports, navigation aids, all service providers including the airport authority and the air traffic service provider, aviation training institutions, etc. NCAA watches over the entire industry.

The term “Civil Aviation” deals with all non-military aviation, both commercial and private. Having taken a walk through what civil aviation is, let us however, focus our attention on how much Nigerian pilots are paid monthly.

In trying to figure out how much Nigerian pilots are paid per month, you should understand that there are generally a number of factors which determine the salary a Nigerian airline pilot earn takes home at the end of the month. These factors include the following:


1. Years of experience

2. Type ratings

3. Flying hours

4. The airline

5. Rank of the pilot

In Nigeria today, a fresh pilot from the Nigerian aviation school with Comercial Pilot Licence (CPL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) but without Type Rating, may find it a challenge to pin down an aviation job in Nigeria. If the fresh pilot without Type Rating eventually gets a job with an airline that would be willing to send him to a Type Rating course, that pilot may earn between N200,000-N500 – N500,000 monthly depending on the airline.

Furthermore, a Nigerian pilot with type rating (a first officer) may earn between N300,000 – N800,000 and this basically depends on the airline that employed the pilot, the aircraft the pilot is rated on, and his flying hours.

Finally a Nigerian pilot who is a captain (the authority on the aircraft) earns between N500,000 – N1.5million monthly. The specific salary again depends on the airline and the aircraft he captains. (A Cessna captain cannot earn the same salary with a B737 captain).

Airline Pilots abroad can earn up to $10,000 – $25000 monthly (that’s 2-5million assuming exchange rate to be 1:200). Because you cannot compare Emirates pilot with local Air peace pilots.

If you are considering flying as a career in Nigeria; make sure you have a plan for employment after spending the millions they pay at Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT for training. Right now, very few aircrafts are flying in Nigeria. If you are getting a scholarship, grab it.

Reference: Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nairaland. 

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The Author


I am Maduawuchi, the Editor of Nigerian Infopedia. I am a Biochemist, I love God, I love my family and I love my life. Writing is natural to me that's why I love what I do... Captain, Leader, Motivator, Brother and Friend. Saved by Grace alone.


Add a Comment
  1. Tony Sahko

    Wow, so pilots earn huge amount of money as take home pay. Thanks for the information, mr. Editor


    I need a sponsor /scholarship for my standard pilot course. Any company, institution/private body. Pls locate me, for this is my career and I promise to serve you as long as u want. 08038082269

  3. Dr. David George

    Hi MADUAWUCHI, I will like to talk with you off here, I want you to assist me to get some Contacts in the Aviation Industry. I know you should know good pIlots for example. Lets talk off here please, send me an email and I will respond or call you if you leave your phone number

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