In an effort to fill their dwindling fighter pilot ranks, the Pentagon has sweetened the pot to lure in new recruits, but they’re asking for a 9-year commitment in return.
The US Air Force needs more pilots.
In an effort to fill their dwindling fighter pilot ranks, the Pentagon has sweetened the pot to retain veteran fighter pilots, but they’re asking for a 9-year commitment in return.
They’re hoping that by offering a salary range of around 35 to 95 thousand a year, benefits, and a signing bonus their 200 pilot deficit problem will turn around.
If it doesn’t, it’s estimated that by 2021 the Air Force will be about 700 pilots short.
On the Air Force’s end, they admit to having used their pool of trained pilots by switching the assignments of over 150 of them, putting them in charge of flying drones instead of planes.
As far as the recruits, many leave the military because of the difficult lifestyle, which includes frequent relocations and deployments.
A significant number of pilots also leave the military for better paying commercial opportunities.
After 11 years of service, an Air Force pilot makes an average of 90 thousand dollars per year.
The median salary for commercial pilots is a little over 100 thousand dollars annually.