With 2,000hrs of flight time, a commercial ticket for ASEL and AMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI, and a Master's in Aeronautical Science I could easily qualify to fly right seat for a regional airline, but I just can't compete with pilots willing to work for $17k/yr. For comparison, federal minimum wage is currently just over $15K/yr.
Why are the starting salaries at US Regional Airlines so low?
It seems odd that pilots go through extensive training which takes a great deal of time and expense, but they have to be prepared to work for what is a very low salary compared to other jobs that require a high level of skill and education.
Supply and demand is one explanation, but I really don't understand how there is so much competition for flying jobs but at the same time there is a supposed "pilot shortage".
Are there really so many pilots out there that the competition for jobs drives down starting salaries so low?
I am hoping to understand why it is that well-qualified pilots appear to have so little earning power in the marketplace.