He might even be better paid. New ag pilots fresh out of flight school earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year, but experienced pilots can make more than $100,000 and the top earners can pull in more than $200,000 a year. As is the case with many flying jobs, how much a pilot makes depends on how much he flies. Aerial application generally pays by the acre, with a pilot typically receiving a cut of perhaps 20 percent. So, for example, if a farmer pays $6 an acre for spraying, the pilot’s one-fifth share would be $1.20. An ag pilot’s day can last 12 or 14 hours, and the acreage can quickly pile up.