How To Become A Flight Attendant
A flight attendant is responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers onboard an aircraft, as well as attending to any needs they may have. Flight attendants fly all over the country and globe. This is a great position for somebody who loves customer service, and wants to help passengers have a good flight experience. In order to become a flight attendant, new hires must attend a training academy and become certified.
Why Become A Flight Attendant
Airlines are required, by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to have flight attendants onboard each commercial flight. Flight attendants make sure that passengers follow safety regulations and are comfortable during their journey.
Flight attendants demonstrate the correct use of safety equipment, such as how to use the seatbelts to buckle themselves in, and how to operate the oxygen equipment in case of emergency. They show passengers how to evacuate the plane in case of emergency. They help guests stow away their belongings. They also serve food and drinks during the flight.
Flight attendants help passengers during emergencies. They will perform first aid, direct evacuations, and deal with unruly passengers. They answer questions about the flight, and are available to assist with anything passengers might need in general.
When not on a flight, flight attendants spend time writing reports about previous flights they were on, preparing for the next flight, and waiting for aircraft to arrive.
Flight attendants combine their customer service skills with their love of travel.
Flight Attendants should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Great at Customer Service
- Good Communicator
- Not Afraid of Flying
- Public Safety
- Critical Thinking
Flight Attendant Work Environment
Flight attendants work on commercial aircraft. Their duty is to make sure the passengers on the airplane have a pleasant experience onboard. Airlines have strict regulations and safety procedures, and flight attendants must follow these and make sure that the passengers follow them as well. During flights, attendants will serve food and drinks to passengers.
They will help passengers with any other special needs. Often there are emergencies that happen on an aircraft, which flight attendants must know how to handle.
Attendants have schedules that vary. Because airlines fly at all hours of the day, flight attendants will work weekends, holidays and have to do overnight flights. Flight attendants typically fly at least 100 hours each month. When they are not at home, their airline gives them hotel accommodations.
Flight Attendant Salary
The median annual salary for flight attendants was $48,500 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition to their salary, flight attendants receive numerous benefits as part of their role. They receive an allowance to provide for accommodations while working away from home. The airlines also provide money for meals. Flight attendants are able to get discounted airfare, or even free airfare, as part of their position.
Average Flight Attendant Annual Salary
The average annual salary for flight attendants is $52,660 a year. Salaries start at $26,860 a year and go up to $79,520 a year.
Stats were based out of 119,000 employed flight attendants in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Flight Attendants
- 1. Connecticut $85,630 / yr
- 2. Oregon $77,400 / yr
- 3. Washington $74,680 / yr
- 4. Pennsylvania $66,080 / yr
- 5. Arizona $65,740 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Flight Attendants
- 1. Portland, OR $79,940 / yr
- 2. Seattle, WA $74,820 / yr
- 3. Phoenix, AZ $65,760 / yr
- 4. Orlando, FL $60,480 / yr
- 5. Boston, MA $58,700 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Flight Attendant Career Outlook
Employment for flight attendants is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than most other occupations within the United States.
Many people consider this to be a glamorous occupation – traveling across the world, being able to see the sights – and because of this, there historically is more applicants than jobs available. Still, applicants can make themselves competitive by earning additional experience in the field. Deregulation of airlines in recent years has resulted in expansion and mergers of airlines. Many airlines have prospered, while others have gone under. Those who are interested in this profession should be flexible.
There are many opportunities for advancement in this position. While there is the general role called “flight attendant”, there is a larger ladder that people can climb, including senior flight attendants, base manager, inflight manager, and more.
Flight Attendant Degree
There is no formal education required to become a flight attendant. However, some experience is required. In order to learn more about this profession, read below.
Step 1: Customer service experience. Airlines require flight attendants to have at least 1 or 2 years of customer service experience before applying. This can be in the form of restaurant industry work, hotel, retail, office work, or any other type of position that involves working with customers. The more years of experience a person has, the more competitive they will be getting the job.
Step 2: Training. If hired by an airline, the airline will provide flight attendant training. Over the course of several weeks, flight attendants learn all about the aircraft, first aid, how to handle emergencies, safety regulations, and other important things to know. They also go on flights.
Step 3: Certification. All flight attendants must be certified. At the end of the training period, flight attendants will need to take an exam. A flight attendant’s certification is only good for the specific type of aircraft that they are flying on; they must take a new exam each time they work aboard a new aircraft carrier type. The Federal Aviation Administration certifies all flight attendants.