Aviation Incentive Pay and Bonus Programs (2023)

Aviation Incentive Pay and Bonus Programs (1)

These are the current payment tables for aviation bonus, aviation incentive pay and critical skill incentive pay programs, according to the most recent updates.

Eligible active-duty and reserve component officers may receive aviation incentive pay and aviation bonuses for continued service.

Eligible regular and reserve component enlisted service members may receive critical skill incentive pay for continued aviation service when they serve in an aeronautical career field or a critical skill area.

These payments and bonuses are generally added to any other pay or allowance the service member receives. Some exceptions apply.

Find the current 2023 military pay rates here.

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Maximum Officer Aviation Incentive Pay (AvIP) Rates (Formerly Aviator Retention Pay)

(effective Oct. 1, 2017)

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Years of Aviation ServiceMonthly Amount
Two years or fewer$150
More than two years$250
More than six years$800
More than 10 years$1,000
More than 22 years$700
More than 24 years$450

Source:Defense Accounting and Finance Service

The listed AvIP are the maximums allowed by the Department of Defense. Each branch of service establishes its own payment tables that will not exceed these amounts.

Pilots of remotely piloted aircraft can receive up to $1,000 AvIP effective Jan. 1, 2016.

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Monthly Critical Skill Incentive Pay (CSIP) Rates for Air Force Enlisted Flyers (formerly Career Enlisted Flyer Incentive Pay, CEFIP)

(effective Oct. 1, 2017)

Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Four years or fewer$225
More than four years$350
More than eight years$500
More than 14 years$600

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Aviation Bonus (AvB) Payments

According to paragraph 200402 of the DoD’s “Military Pay Policy – Active Duty and Reserve Pay,” the maximum aviation bonus payments are as follows:

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  • $35,000 per year for regular component officers or Reserve component active Guard and Reserve officers performing qualified flying duty
  • $35,000 per year for regular component officers or Reserve component active Guard and Reserve officers performing qualified flying duty related to unmanned aerial system (UAS) operators
  • $18,000 per year for all other Reserve component officers performing qualified flying duty, to include UAS operators

The listed AvB amounts are the maximums allowed by the DOD. Each branch of service will establish its own payment tables that will not exceed these amounts.

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Air Force Aviation and Bonus Pay Programs

Air Force Aviation Bonus Program

(according to numberspublished by the Air Force Association)

Bomber/fighter/mobility/special operations/combat search-and-rescue fixed-wing pilotsEight- to 12-year contracts

Eligible to opt in for upfront payment



Bomber/mobility/special operations/combat search-and-rescue fixed-wing pilotsFive-to seven-year contracts

Eligible to opt in for upfront payment



Combat search-and-rescue rotary-wing pilots

Eight- to 12-year contracts

Eight- to 12-year contracts$25,000
Eight- to 12-year contracts
Surveillance/combat search- and-rescue rotary-wing pilotsFive- to seven-year contracts$15,000
Remotely piloted aircraft pilotsEight- to 12-year contracts

Eligible to opt in for upfront payment



Remotely piloted aircraft pilotsFive- to seven-year contracts$25,000
Combat systems officers/air battle managersEight- to 12-year contracts$25,000
Combat systems officers/air battle managersFive- to seven-year contracts$15,000

Non-contracted pilots, including remote aircraft (RPA) pilots, and those whose aviation bonus contracts expired before FY 2021 may receive annual bonuses of $25,000 for eight to 12-year contracts and $15,000 for five- to seven-year contracts. They can only re-sign for up to 24 years of aviation service.

Air Force Monthly Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

(effective Oct. 1, 2017)

Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Four years or fewer$225
More than four years$350
More than eight years$500
More than 14 years$600


Monthly Army Officer Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

(effective Jan. 1, 2020)

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Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Two years or fewer$125
More than two years$200
More than six years$700
More than 10 years$1,000
More than 22 years$700
More than 24 years$400


Monthly Navy Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

(effective Oct. 17, 1998)

Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Two years or fewer$125
More than two years$200
More than three years$188
More than four years$206
More than six years$650
More than 14 years$840
More than 22 years$585
More than 23 years$495
More than 24 years$385


Monthly Navy Aviation Incentive Pay Rates for Officers in Administrative Milestone Billets

(effective April 1, 2018)

Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Two years or fewer$125
More than two years$156
More than three years$188
More than four years$206
More than six years$650
More than 10 years$1,000
More than 22 years$700
More than 24 years$450


Administrative milestone billets include department head, commander command and major command or their equivalents.

Monthly Marine Corps Officer Aviation Incentive Pay Rates

(effective March 1, 2018)

Years of Aviation Service

Monthly Amount

Two years or fewer$125
More than two years$156
More than three years$188
More than four years$206
More than six years$650
More than eight years$800
More than 10 years$1,000
More than 17 years$840
More than 22 years$585
More than 23 years$495
More than 24 years$385
More than 25 years$250


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Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP) for Flying


Amount not to exceed

Aircrew members$250
Non-Aircrew members$150


AvIP, AvB or CSIP Limitations and Restrictions (not a complete list)

  • Officers receiving AvIP may not receive hazardous duty pay or skill incentive pay or proficiency bonuses for the same skill and period of service.
  • Enlisted service members receiving CSIP may not also receive HDIP for the same period of service in the same career field or skill.
  • Officers receiving AvBs may not receive payment for the same period of service in the same career field or skill.
  • Enlisted service members may receive only one skill incentive payment in any given month for the same skill and period of service enlisted service members may not receive CSIPs and proficiency bonuses for the same skills and periods of service.
  • Officers are not eligible for CSIP.

DoD Glossary

Here is a glossary of terms related to aviation incentive and bonus pay according to DOD Instruction 7730.67, “Aviation Incentive Pays Bonus Program.”

Aviation Incentive Pay (AvIP):Additional pay, issued by the military departments, that is designed to encourage officers to continue to perform duties in operational flying duties (OFD) or proficiency flying duties (PFD) or other aviation assignments designated by the secretaries of the military departments concerned.

Aviation Bonus:A bonus payment selectively offered to aviation officers who agree to remain on active duty for specified periods of time.

Aviation Service Date:The effective date of the first aeronautical order to perform flight duties. For rated officers, this date is set when the service member first reports to the aviation activity in which he or she will receive flight training in a specific aircraft leading to an aeronautical rating and is placed on aeronautical orders, or the date of commission, whichever is later. This date may be adjusted for breaks in military service or periods of nonpermanent disqualification. Also referred to as “aviation entry service date” by the Navy and Marine Corps.

Critical Aviation Occupational Specialty or Rating:The designation by the secretary of a military department of a military occupational specialty, designation, or aeronautical rating, which the service member holds, or is in training toward, as critical for mission success of the military service. This provision is applicable to both officers and enlisted service members.

Critical Skills Incentive Pay (CSIP):Monthly incentive pay used by the DOD to attract and encourage enlisted service members in the regular or Reserve component of a military service to serve in an aviation career field or skill designated as critical by the secretary of the military department concerned.

Officer Aviation Services and Skills:The services performed and skills utilized by officers in the regular or Reserve components who hold an aeronautical rating or designation or are in training to receive an aeronautical rating or designation and who meet the requirements of this issuance and such additional regulations as the secretary of the military department concerned may prescribe.

Officer Service:All service creditable pursuant to Section 205 of Title 37, U.S.C., as a commissioned officer, warrant officer or flight officer.

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Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS):A remotely piloted, controlled or programmed autonomous aircraft used for surveillance or strike missions, which may also be described as an “unmanned aerial vehicle” or a “remotely piloted aircraft.”

Years of Aviation Service (YAS):Service computed beginning with the effective date of the initial order to perform aviation service. It may be adjusted for breaks in military service or periods of non-permanent disqualification, as defined by the secretary of the military department concerned.


How much is aviation incentive pay? ›

Aviation Career Incentive Pay for Officers
Years of ServiceMonthly Amount
2 or Less$150
Over 2$250
Over 6$700
Over 12$1,000
2 more rows
Aug 8, 2022

Is Fly pay special pay or incentive pay? ›

Although commonly referred to as Flight Pay, in actuality there isn't one specific type of special pay called flight pay. Flight pay is a generic name for special compensation or incentive, paid to those who perform various military flight related duties.

What is US Air Force aviation incentive pay? ›

Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP): Service members under orders to participate in regular and frequent aerial flights as crew or non-crew members may be entitled to flying pay for that duty. Monthly payments for crewmembers vary by rank and range from $150 to $250 for Officers and $150 to $240 for Enlisted.

What is the aviation retention bonus for 2023? ›

highlighted a section in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act directing the Air Force to establish a demonstration program to offer bonuses worth up to $50,000 annually and/or guaranteed future assignment locations to sweeten the pot.

What is the highest paid in aviation? ›

10 high-paying aviation jobs
  • Flight instructor.
  • Terminal manager.
  • Aerospace technician.
  • Aircraft mechanic.
  • Pilot.
  • Test engineer.
  • Airport executive.
  • Aeronautical engineer.
Apr 13, 2023

What is the highest paid salary in aviation industry? ›

High Paying Aviation Jobs
  • Thermodynamics Engineer. Salary range: $117,000-$225,500 per year. ...
  • Aeronautical Engineer. Salary range: $89,500-$141,000 per year. ...
  • Test Pilot. Salary range: $84,000-$139,000 per year. ...
  • Avionics Engineer. ...
  • Avionics Manager. ...
  • Fixed Wing Pilot. ...
  • Pilot. ...
  • Aerodynamics Engineer.

How does incentive pay work? ›

Here is the incentive pay definition: A type of compensation given in addition to base wages that can help motivate employees to perform their best. In turn, the company boosts profit because employees have an extra incentive to work harder. Incentive pay can be cash or non-cash payments to your employees.

What does incentive pay include? ›

The most common type of incentive pay is a bonus, which is a payment that is made in addition to the employee's regular pay. Bonuses are usually given to employees who meet or exceed specific performance goals. Other types of incentive pay include commissions, stock options, and profit sharing.

What is an example of incentive pay include? ›

Examples of incentive pay include: Cash, including commission, year-end bonuses, sign-on bonuses, and performance bonuses. Shares or company stock options. A company car.

Is aviation incentive pay taxable? ›

Flight pays are taxable except for service in designated combat zones. For details on flight pay, visit www.militarytimes.com/money and click on “Pay Charts.” In an effort to expand language capabilities, the services offer up to $12,000 per year for active-duty members with needed language skills.

How much money do you get after 20 years in the Air Force? ›

Defined Benefit: Monthly retired pay for life after at least 20 years of service (so if you retire at 20 years of service, you will get 40% of your highest 36 months of base pay). Retired pay will be calculated as follows: (Years of creditable service x 2.0%) x average of highest 36 months basic pay.

Do you get a pay increase every year in the Air Force? ›

Basic pay is determined by rank and length of service, and is set in law in a pay table. All service members get at least one raise each year that is approved by Congress. Service members also get automatic raises when they are promoted to a higher rank, as well as longevity raises for time in service within one rank.

What is a $2000 retention bonus? ›

A retention bonus, also called retention pay or a retention package, is a lump sum of money a company pays to an employee to stay with the company for a specific amount of time.

What is the highest re enlistment bonus? ›

The current maximum SRB is $30,000 per year of additional obligated service, making the maximum SRB payable $180,000 for a 6 year reenlistment. You may qualify for up to $360,000 in SRBs during a military career. The bonus is usually paid in a lump sum of 50% paid at the time of reenlistment.

How many times can you get a retention bonus? ›

A retention bonus is typically a one-time payment made to an employee. Companies usually prefer to offer a retention bonus instead of a salary increase because they may not have the necessary finances in place to commit to a permanent salary raise.

Do some pilots make 500k a year? ›

However, some Southwest pilots earn as much as $549,000. Similarly, United Airlines pilots earn an average of $205,000. The average Delta Airlines pilot earns $192,000 with top-earners making $526,000. American Airlines pilots earn an average salary of $118,000, with some pilots earning in excess of $700,000.

What is the hardest job in aviation? ›

As a result, many pilots fly with incomplete understanding and control, sometimes contributing to our LOC-I statistics. These early flight lessons are where an educator has the greatest opportunity to make a difference and move the needle on safety, but it is also the hardest job in aviation.

Can pilots make 300k a year? ›

Traditionally a pilot at a regional airline might start out earning less than $50,000 per year, but get hired on by a major airline and that goes up quickly into the six figures, and well over $300,000 for senior captains flying widebody aircraft overseas. Some earn over $400,000.

What airport job pays the most? ›

Airline Pilot: $117,000

While some commercial pilots earn as little as $20/hour, experienced pilots with thousands of hours are by far the best-paid workers in aviation, with some earning well over $200,000 a year.

Which state pays the most for pilots? ›

Here's a list of the top-10 highest-paying states for airline pilots.
  • California average airline pilot salary: $208,070.
  • Illinois average airline pilot salary: $194,810.
  • Colorado average airline pilot salary: $186,620.
  • Texas average airline pilot salary: $183,000.
  • Alaska average airline pilot salary: $171,030.
Aug 26, 2020

What is the most successful job in the world? ›

So, given below is an updated list of the most paid jobs in the world.
  1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ...
  2. Medical Professionals. ...
  3. Corporate Lawyer. ...
  4. Investment Banker. ...
  5. Data Scientist. ...
  6. Project Manager. ...
  7. Senior Software Engineer. ...
  8. Web Developers.
May 9, 2023

How is incentive bonus calculated? ›

Companies that want to incentivize their sales process offer sales commission bonuses, which is a performance-based bonus. You can calculate it by multiplying the amount earned by the bonus percentage.

How much is a typical incentive bonus? ›

Executives receive higher bonuses that can multiply based on performance, while most employees earn bonuses equal to 1% to 5% of their overall salary.

Is an incentive a bonus? ›

The key difference between a bonus and an incentive is that bonuses are typically given out in response to short-term goals, or as a gift after the fact. While incentives are typically given out in response to long-term goals and are often communicated and set in place in advance.

Who benefits from incentive pay? ›

Employee incentive programs allow companies to improve productivity, reduce employee retention, and lower production costs. It builds engagement among employees to encourage teamwork, boost morale and motivation. Both the employees and employers benefited from the incentive programs.

Is incentive pay a raise? ›

Incentive pay is generally a one-time reward. Since merit pay is a permanent increase in employees' pay, it serves as a strong motivator. Employees work to improve their performance so they receive a raise.

What are the three types of incentive plans? ›

Incentives can be generally classified as financial (monetary) incentives and non-financial (non-monetary) incentives.
  • Financial (Monetary) Incentives. Financial incentive pertains to those incentives which are in the form of money or can be measured in monetary terms. ...
  • Non-Financial (Non-Monetary) Incentives.

What are the three main categories of incentive pay plans? ›

What types of incentive payment are there?
  • Annual bonus: Defined as an annual payment that's generally based on a worker's annual salary. ...
  • Signing bonus: A one-time reward given when a candidate commits to working for a company.
  • Discretionary or spot bonus: A one-time cash payout that rewards past work.

Does BAH and BAS count as income? ›

The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) are both nontaxable income.

How should incentive pay be taxed? ›

Instead of adding it to your ordinary income and taxing it at your top marginal tax rate, the IRS considers bonuses to be “supplemental wages” and levies a flat 22 percent federal withholding rate.

What can airline staff claim on tax? ›

The cost of alarm clocks, flight luggage and flashlight batteries qualify as tax deductions for flight attendants and pilots. Uniforms and the cost to dry clean them are also deductible. The portion of personal cell phone service, internet and fax lines that are used for business purposes are deductible as well.

How much does a retired E7 make a month? ›

The SBP does have a 6.5% pension cost in order to participate. Therefore, a retiring E7 could expect to pay almost $80,000 of retirement pay to cover SBP costs over the 30 year enrollment period. The average E7 would receive $2683/mo pre SBP. Post enrollment, death benefits will only be about $1,000 per month.

Is E7 a high rank? ›

Sergeant First Class (SFC) is the seventh enlisted rank (E-7) in the U.S. Army, ranking above staff sergeant (E-6) and below master sergeant and first sergeant (E-8), and is the first non-commissioned officer rank designated as a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO).

What rank should you be after 10 years in the Air Force? ›

USAF Officer Rank Structure
RankRank (Abbrev.)Officer Rank Timeline (See notes)*
ColonelCol18 - 20 years
Lieutenant ColonelLt Col14 - 16 years
MajorMaj8 - 10 years
CaptainCapt4 years
7 more rows
Nov 12, 2017

How much is a $2,500 raise? ›

If an employee's current annual salary is $50,000, and he earns a $2,500 raise, then the annual salary will increase to $52,500.

How much is a 3% raise? ›

Let's start with our example of an employee making $52,000. Using our formula, a 3 percent raise would look like this: $52,000 X . 03 = $1,560 raise over the course of the year.

How much does a 4 star general make? ›

Regardless of continued time in service, once a military officer achieves the four-star rank of general or admiral, they will no longer receive pay raises and are capped at $16,974 per month.

Can a company take back a bonus if you quit? ›

Just like commissions, bonuses are protected even if you are terminated. You are entitled to payment of your earned bonuses at the time you are fired, let go or quit your job.

Should you accept a retention bonus? ›

In conclusion, retention bonus agreements are a great way to keep key employees on board during difficult times. They can also be used to incentivize employees to stay with a company during a period of transition or change.

Do you have to pay back the taxes on a retention bonus? ›

A retention bonus is seen as income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) even though they're supplemental wages and not base salaries. Because of that, a retention bonus is considered taxable income.

What is the 90000 enlistment bonus? ›

A few lucky enlisted airmen could get as much as $90,000 to re-enlist, according to the newly released selective re-enlistment bonus calculations. Though not too many people are likely to qualify for such a whopping bonus, there are likely to be more who get as much as $72,000 to re-up.

How to get 40k enlistment bonus? ›

Quick Ship Bonus: A Soldier could earn up to $40,000 just for reporting to Basic Training within 30 days of enlistment. This bonus can be combined with other enlistment bonuses.

Can you stack enlistment bonuses? ›


Full-time recruits can combine bonuses to earn up to an additional $50,000 for enlisting in certain jobs.

Is a bonus better than a salary increase? ›

A stable pay rise is a much better option than a bonus. While employees may like a cash injection, a pay rise enables employees to plan their finances”.

Who is eligible for a retention bonus? ›

Factors companies consider when determining retention incentives include:
  • Base pay and role.
  • Length of service.
  • Retention timeframe requirements.
  • Consequences to the company if a potential departure were to occur.
  • Financial stability of the business.
Mar 29, 2022

Why retention bonuses don't work? ›

The biggest problem with a retention bonus is that there's no evidence that they're effective. Bonuses have a lot of issues, and as it turns out, they are rarely more attractive than whatever outside reason the employee has to leave. Bonuses are one-time payments and don't foster long-term loyalty.

What is the pilot incentive bonus? ›

The USAF pilot bonus for 2022 is $35,000 annually for 3-12 year options. The total value of the bonus is $105,000 to $420,000. You can earn $100,000 up-front if you take a 5-7 year contract or $200,000 if you take a 8-12 year contract.

What is the health professions officer incentive pay for 2023? ›

Public health officers may be paid a retention bonus in the amount of: $5,000 for a two year commitment. $6,250 for a three year commitment. $7,500 for a four year commitment.

How much is CSPP pay in the Navy? ›

Career Sea Pay Premium (CSP-P)

Service members who have served 36 months of consecutive sea duty are entitled to a career sea pay premium for the 37th month and each consecutive month thereafter. This monthly amount is determined by the secretary and may not exceed $350.

What is the hazardous duty incentive pay? ›

Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay - HDIP provides a monetary incentive to Service members who volunteer to perform a duty designated as hazardous, based upon the inherent dangers of the duty and risks of physical injury.

Are pilot salaries increasing? ›

By the fourth year, American pilots will see a total pay increase that will average about 40 percent, he said.

How much does a pilot win in a year? ›

According to The May 2021 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary for commercial pilots is $99,640 per year. The median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers is $202,180.

What is the signing bonus for 18X? ›

Are there any enlistment bonuses for 18X? The MOS 18X option is enticing for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The financial incentives may also happen only once in a lifetime. Army signing bonuses come and go, and as of May 2023, an 18X MOS is eligible for a bonus of up to $40,000.

How much does an o 3 get paid 2023? ›

2023 Active Duty Officer Basic Military Pay Chart
Pay GradeYears of Service
Over 6
15 more rows

Who is eligible for the$ 3000 bonus? ›

Those who worked at least 35 hours a week for the two vesting periods can get $3,000. And that's just for the first two vesting periods. Three more vesting periods are upcoming under the program. Submissions for the third vesting period between October October 1, 2022, and March 31 2023 open up on April 1, 2023.

Will civilians get a pay raise in 2023? ›

As you've likely seen in the news, federal civilian employees are getting a significant pay boost in 2023. Civilians will be getting an average 4.6 percent increase. Here are the new GS pay tables.

How much do Navy SEALs make per year? ›

The national average salary for a Navy SEAL is $81,863 in United States. Filter by location to see Navy SEAL salaries in your area. Salary estimates are based on 21 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Navy SEAL employees. How accurate does $81,863 look to you?

Do Navy SEALs get extra pay? ›

Base pay, housing and food allowences are based on rank and time in the Navy. Every Sailor earns off the same scale. SEALs qualify for a number of special pays, including jump, dive, demo, etc. Some SEALs get special pays for being SDV trained, knowing a foriegn language, etc.

What is USCG base pay 2023? ›

A new officer's basic pay begins at an estimated $3,637.26 in 2023, while a more senior officer with a paygrade of O-4, having served more than 10 years, will receive an estimated $8,254.82 monthly. Basic pay is a service member's primary compensation.

How much is dod hazard pay? ›

Rates Payable

HFP/IDP is payable at the monthly rate of $225.00. Service members will receive $7.50 for each day they are on duty in an IDP area up to the maximum monthly rate of $225.

What is the assignment incentive pay? ›

Assignment Incentive Pay (AIP): AIP is often paid to Service members for unusual or extended assignments. Service members who are involuntarily extended in combat zones receive an additional $800 per month in AIP.

How much is airborne jump pay? ›

Section 301(a)(3) Parachute Duty Pay

For performance of hazardous duty involving jumping, and to attract members to volunteer for, and to continue performing, parachute duty. Payment is flat $150 per month, except for duty involving High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumps, which is $225 per month.


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