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So far, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The average new pilot at 14 regional airlines is paid about $24 per hour for the first year of employment, the GAO said. Hourly wages increase for the second year of employment for first officers to about $30.

The academic education and flight training from a 4-year aviation degree program to obtain up to a commercial pilot certificate with additional ratings necessary to be hired as a pilot for commercial flying can cost well in excess of $100,000, the report said.

Pilot schools that GAO interviewed reported fewer students entering their programs resulting from concerns over the high costs of education and low entry-level pay at regional airlines.