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15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

If you are a pilot looking to find your perfect new home state, take a look at our list of the 15 best states for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers.

So, what exactly do airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers do? In short, they fly the airplanes that get us from place to place safely. Though much of modern airline flight has become automated, these professionals must remain vigilant in order to alter routes or avoid obstacles to keep their passengers and cargo safe.

Becoming an airline pilot requires a great deal of education and training. While some positions require a degree or several years of collegiate education, training is more of a focus for prospective pilots. Pilots-in-training are required to undergo 250 intense and goal-specific hours as a private pilot before they can become licensed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an airline pilot is about $127,820 per year. Not only must you be able to meet these training requirements, but you must also pass very strict mental and physical tests. For instance, you must be in peak physical health and have perfect vision. Work as a pilot is always unpredictable. Hours can be all of the place, weather can impact your entire week, and you have to act as a PR person for unhappy passengers.

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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If you are interested in working in a slightly different field, you can also check our list of 25 best states for aircraft mechanics and service technicians.

Deciding which states qualify as the best states for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers is not a simple task. Different factors matter more to different people. We decided to consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics for information on the average mean wage and the number of employed airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers in each state. We then sourced information on the cost of living index from Missouri Economic Research And Information Center. Considering all of these factors, we were able to sort our list.

It is not enough for a state to simply have a high average salary. It must also be considered that the number of working professionals in this field in the state may affect the number of job positions that are open to newcomers. On the other side of that argument, more employed airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers points to the possibility of a more steady stream of work available. The cost of living index can also not be considered alone. It is great to have a low cost of living, but this only matters if your salary is also not super low. A low cost of living paired with a high salary is the most advantageous situation. States falling into this category made the top of our list.

Without further ado, here is our list of 15 best states for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers.

15. North Carolina

Cost of living index: 94.2

Annual mean wage: $96,940

Hourly mean wage: $46.60

Number of employees: 2,580

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Alexey Y. Petrov/Shutterstock.com

14. Mississippi

Cost of living index: 86

Annual mean wage: $89,750

Hourly mean wage: $43.14

Number of employees: 200

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Alexey Y. Petrov/Shutterstock.com

13. Minnesota

Cost of living index: 101.1

Annual mean wage: $105,700

Hourly mean wage: $50.81

Number of employees: 2,980

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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12. Ohio

Cost of living index: 93

Annual mean wage: $98,310

Hourly mean wage: $47.26

Number of employees: 1,140

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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11. Iowa

Cost of living index: 91.7

Annual mean wage: $98,120

Hourly mean wage: $47.17

Number of employees: 50

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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10. Alabama

Cost of living index: 91.2

Annual mean wage: $100,790

Hourly mean wage: $48.45

Number of employees: 310

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

9. Louisiana

Cost of living index: 94.4

Annual mean wage: $110,600

Hourly mean wage: $53.17

Number of employees: 110

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

8. Arizona

Cost of living index: 98.1

Annual mean wage: $117,160

Hourly mean wage: $56.32

Number of employees: 2,910

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

7. California

Cost of living index: 123.8

Annual mean wage: $118,480

Hourly mean wage: $90.61

Number of employees: 8,290

We’re halfway through our list of best states for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, and for the other half click next.

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

6. Indiana

Cost of living index: 87.9

Annual mean wage: $124,780

Hourly mean wage: $59.99

Number of employees: 710

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

5. Illinois

Cost of living index: 95.5

Annual mean wage: $142,230

Hourly mean wage: $69.37

Number of employees: 7,350

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

4. Florida

Cost of living index: 99

Annual mean wage: $165,660

Hourly mean wage: $79.64

Number of employees: 4,640

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

3. Washington

Cost of living index: 107.1

Annual mean wage: $199,560

Hourly mean wage: $95.94

Number of employees: 2,120

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

2. Colorado

Cost of living index: 102.1

Annual mean wage: $207,680

Hourly mean wage: $99.84

Number of employees: 2,980

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Benny Marty/Shutterstock.com

1. Texas

Cost of living index: 90.7

Annual mean wage: $199,610

Hourly mean wage: $95.96

Number of employees: 10,590

15 Best States For Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

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This was our list of 15 best states for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers. We hope we managed to show you some great options, and what you should expect from each state when deciding where to move.