Why Become A Flight Attendant?

"I have been looking for an improvement on my current customer service job. I work retail in a big store, and I am paid pretty poorly (I’m on food stamps, and I work 40 hours a week). I really would love to find a way to increase my wages, but I don’t want to get out of customer service. This woman in the store the other day told me I should become a flight attendant. I thought that wasn’t a very high paying job either? But she kept swearing that it is the smartest thing someone like me could do. Why would I want to become a flight attendant?"

asked by Daphne from San Francisco, CA

Flight attendants actually make more money than you realize. If you want to work in customer service and actually make a living wage, it is one of the better gigs out there. Even a part-time job as a flight attendant can pay quite well. You might make around $35,000 a year part-time. A full-time salary could easily be double that.

Many flight attendant jobs are part-time only, so that needs to be something that you are okay with. And if you actually want a part-time job, that is yet another incentive. The average hours a month is around 80 for the majority of flight attendants. Be aware that the hours may change from week to week, and you may be asked to work on weekends and holidays, as well as overnights.

The longer you work as a flight attendant, the more opportunities you have to make good money. After you are in the industry for years, you may very well earn over $75,000 a year, even working part-time. You are not going to find part-time wages like that in too many other industries.

There are also some perks! “Stand by” travel really does exist. You may be able to travel the world for free if you are not too picky about your destinations. Families are often granted the same perks.

Sadly, there is a drawback to all of this, and that is availability of openings. There are not a whole lot of jobs for flight attendants, and there is no growth in the field according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Worse, there is actually a decline in the field. 200 flight attendants are expected to lose their jobs over the next six years. In an industry which is oversaturated, you may struggle to find work opportunities.

Since you have a job right now you are unsatisfied with however, you really do not have much to lose. Remember to conduct your job search confidentially if you do decide to look for openings so that you do not lose your current income. Also, steer clear of generic “training programs” which you see promoted for flight attendants. If you are interviewed for a job, the airline that interviews you will provide their own training program for you.

Career Spotlight: Flight Attendant

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