Pilot Monthly Salary Structure & Ranks In Nigeria


An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person that is trained to
operate an aircraft by operating its directional flight controls. 

In Nigeria the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is the highest regulatory body that controls and regulates all the activities of all airlines and their pilots,engineers,cabin staff,airports,airstrips,heliports,navigation aids etc in Nigeria. 
In this post we shall quickly take a look at what a Pilot is most likely going to earn a month in Nigeria,and also how to become a pilot plus pilot ranks in Nigeria 

Pilot Monthly Salary Structure & Ranks In Nigeria

Q: How To Become A Pilot In Nigeria?

The journey to become a licensed pilot is not for the faint hearted.It costs a lot to become a licensed and trained pilot in Nigeria. 

From our research we have found out that before anyone embarks on the expensive trail of becoming a pilot in Nigeria,he or she must be financially buoyant and have strong connections in other to secure a job after obtaining a license and rating. 

The journey to becoming a pilot in Nigeria starts from being up to 16 years before enrolling into any of Nigeria's aviation school. 

Currently there are 5 civil aviation training schools in Nigeria namely:- 

  • Nigerian College of Aviation Technology,Zaria
  • International Helicopter Flying School,Enugu
  • --
  • Landover Aviation Training School,Lagos
  • Aeroconsult Training School,Lagos
  • International Aviation College,Ilorin

The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria (NCAT) and the International Aviation College,Ilorin (IAC) produce more pilots than the three remaining aviation training schools in Nigeria. 

NCAT and IAC produce up to 40 pilots every year while the other aviation schools produce mainly other airline management and cabin crew members. 

It is very expensive to become a pilot in Nigeria,the school fees for The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology,Zaria (NCAT) starts from ₦ 7.5 million Naira while the International Aviation College,Ilorin will cost between ₦15 - ₦ 17 million Naira including feeding and accommodation for a period of 15 to 18 months.

The The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology,Zaria (NCAT) is cheaper because it has been subsidized by the federal government. 

On graduation the young pilot will be issued a private pilot license. With this license he or she cannot fly a commercial jet (fly for compensation),he or she will need to upgrade the license as it has less than the required 200 - 250 hour flying experience and it is for a single engine aircraft. 
The next step for the fresh graduate is to look for a way to upgrade his license if the aim is to fly a commercial airline and make money,this can be done by getting a Type rating which involves a training.

Afterwards the pilot will be type rated.This is also applicable to helicopter pilots. 

Q: How Much Do Nigerian Pilots Earn Monthly In Nigeria?  

The monthly salary of a pilot in Nigeria depends on some factors such as:- 
  • Flying hours
  • The airline
  • Rank of the pilot
  • Years of experience
  • Type ratings
There are some factors that come into play,for example pilots that work for oil companies earn more than pilots that work for commercial airlines in Nigeria. 

Also fixed wing pilots earn less than rotary pilots. Most people start off as fixed wing pilots after gaining some some years of experience,they convert to rotary pilots to earn more. 

Q: Salary Structure Of Nigerian Pilots Based On Rank? 

(a) Trainee (1 stripe)


This is the rank of a trainee still undergoing classes and taking exams in any of the aviation schools in Nigeria. There is no salary for this rank. The training pilot has no license at this stage.

Read Also: Best Accredited Aviation Schools In Nigeria

(b)  First Officer/Flight Engineer - FO (2 Stripes)


This is the first rank after getting a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and getting a Type Rating. 

First Officers working with a commercial airline in Nigeria earn between ₦250,000 - ₦400,000 monthly. 

A first officer has 2 stripes on his/her epaulette.

(c) Senior First Officer - SFO ( 3 Stripes)


The senior first officer is the rank before captain. A senior first officer has 3 stripes on his/her epaulette.

A Senior First Officer working with a commercial airline in Nigeria earn between ₦350,000 - ₦800,000 Naira monthly. 

(d) Captain


The captain of a commercial airline in Nigeria earn between ₦500,000 - ₦2 Million Naira per month depending on the company he/she works for,the aircraft he/she captains an some other factors. 

The Captain or the authority has 4 stripes on his/her epaulette.

In Conclusion: 

Being an Aviator is a very respectable career choice,however as stated earlier,one most have concrete plans,connection and adequate funds before venturing into this career path to avoid disappointment. 

Read Also: How To Become An Air Hostess In Nigeria

Pilots that work for international airline companies earn higher than pilots working for local airlines in Nigeria. 

International Airline Pilots abroad earn between $10,000 - $25000 monthly which is approximately ₦3.6 - ₦9 Million Naira monthly.