Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Patrick Freiwah
Eurofighter fighter jet of the German Air Force (at a flight demonstration in Switzerland). © IMAGO/Björn Trotsky
What do you earn as a fighter jet pilot in the German Air Force? We explain what merit can be counted on in the Bundeswehr.
Berlin/Munich – In the summer of 2023, a major military exercise took place with Air Defender to train and also demonstrate the defense capability of NATO countries. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and other geopolitical tensions, the focus has increasingly turned to the Bundeswehr again, and financial resources from the federal budget have been increased by means of a special fund.
Fighter jet pilots of the German Air Force take to the skies with two types of models: the older Tornado (a two-seater) and the newer Eurofighter (single-seater). Soon, the aircraft fleet will be expanded with the modern US F-35A fighter jet. The costly new acquisition is not without controversy.
Fighter jet pilot in the German Armed Forces: The area of responsibility
In order to meet future challenges in the course of geopolitical changes, not only efficient aircraft are of great importance: qualified personnel are also needed for the fighter jets.
According to a job advertisement for the German Armed Forces, pilots have a wide range of tasks: the preparation of exercises and missions as well as cooperation with comrades-in-arms are an essential point. In addition, the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge is in the foreground, and regular training in the flight simulator is also part of the everyday life of a fighter jet pilot.
Fighter jet pilots receive "excellent military training" from the Bundeswehr, and increasing physical fitness through targeted training also plays a serious role. The requirements for employment are sometimes a minimum age of 17 years, German citizenship and the school-leaving certificate Mittlere Reife.
Salary of a fighter jet pilot: Five ranks in the Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr provides information on the Internet about the income situation of "fighter pilots". How much salary do men and women receive if they decide to pursue a career with the federal government?
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The Bundeswehrkarriere.de portal sometimes provides information about the earning potential. The monthly salary for a temporary soldier is between 2065 and 3385 euros net, depending on the personal life situation. Anyone who decides to pursue a career as a fighter pilot in the Bundeswehr must commit for at least 16 years.
After completing training to become fighter pilots, armed forces in the service of the Air Force reportedly have one of the following five ranks:
- Captain: Grade A11 and A12
- Major: Grade A13
- Lieutenant colonel: Grade A14 and A15
Bundeswehr: Basic salaries of fighter jet pilots depending on salary grades
The higher the rank, the higher the base salary. In detail, the salary depends on other factors, including the family situation, region, capital-forming benefits, bonuses or even candidate benefits.
- In grade A11, the basic salary starts at 3652.61 euros and goes up to 1.8 euros, depending on experience (levels 4832 to 97).
- In grade A12, the basic salary starts at 3916.11 euros and goes up to 1.8 euros, depending on experience (levels 5322 to 29).
- In grade A13, the basic salary starts at 4592.31 euros and goes up to 1.8 euros, depending on experience (levels 5904 to 36).
- In grade A14, the basic salary starts at 4722.70 euros and goes up to 1.8 euros, depending on experience (levels 6421 to 96).
- In grade A15, the basic salary starts at 5772.62 euros and goes up to 1.8 euros, depending on experience (levels 7251 to 40).
As employees of the Bundeswehr, fighter jet pilots are treated in the same way as civil servants in terms of income: they do not have to pay into the social security systems, which has a corresponding effect on net income. For example, only income tax is deducted from gross income. However, they are obliged to insure themselves with long-term care insurance and pay for the necessary costs. (PF)