For people who like to travel, becoming a flight attendant has a lot of positive draws. Free travel and time to explore new destinations, discounted flights, flexible work schedules and overnight hotel stays. Another major plus for job seekers? You can do it without any previous flight experience.
What Does a Flight Attendant Do?
Flight attendants are safety professionals first and foremost and their number one job is the safety of the passengers. They know how to evacuate a plane, treat medical emergencies and protect the flight from dangers as well as how to serve drinks and sell duty free with a smile.
What is the Average Salary for a Flight Attendant
The average salary of a flight attendant in the US is around $62,000 but this can vary a lot depending on the airline. Most companies pay based on a formula for each hour attendants are in the air.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Flight Attendant?
Once your application has been accepted most airlines have a six to eight week theoretical training period depending on how many air carriers they have in their fleets. After the theory you’ll have to complete several practice flights.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Flight Attendant?
You must have a high school diploma or equivalent and some experience in a customer service role.
A Typical Flight Attendant's Schedule
As you can imagine, a flight attendant's work schedule is not typical. Flights run all day and night and if you are on a reserve schedule you’ll have to be on call 24 hours a day for last minute flights. Usually flight attendants work 12 to 14 hours a day and 65 to 85 flight hours per month.
What Perks Do Flight Attendants Get?
When they aren’t working flight attendants get some good travel perks. There are big discounts on international flights and you can usually add one or two family and friends to enjoy the benefit. When working on long haul flights you’ll be put up in nice hotels during layovers and have easy access to all the local attractions.
Is Becoming a Flight Attendant a Good Career Choice?
If you love flying, you're great with people and you don’t mind being on your feet a lot this could be a good career path depending on the airline. You will never get rich as a flight attendant but for some people the perks make up for it.
How Far Can Your Progress in Your Career as a Flight Attendant?
With experience you could progress to cabin crew supervisor or a senior cabin crew role. People often pivot into other roles within the airline such as training, recruitment, passenger services, marketing or sales.
How to Become a Flight Attendant
Complete Your Education
A high school diploma is a must and a bachelor's degree will increase your chances of being hired but isn’t necessary.
Gain Relevant Work Experience
Any type of customer service experience will help your application. Airlines want to know you are presentable, professional and can work well with customers.
Prepare & Submit Your Resume
List any hospitality, retail or safety training you have done. Highlight customer service and communication skills and any other languages you have. As you will have little experience build up your education and how it can apply to the role.
Pass Your Flight Attendant Interview
Airlines often have conservative uniforms so dress formally and look presentable. Be prepared for customer service questions such as ‘What would you say to a passenger who was being rude to staff?’ or ‘How would you help a passenger who was afraid of flying?’
Complete the Airline's Training Program
Ok so you passed the interview, now comes the hard bit. Flight attendant training is short but intensive- usually 6 to 8 weeks of long days with lots of homework and exams. Learning the service part of the job only takes 2-3 days, the rest is spent on things like fire fighting, first aid and emergencies. You will have to learn about safety equipment and emergency procedures, practicing them again and again.
Get Your FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency
At the end of your training you will have to pass an exam to prove you meet the standards set by the Federal Aviation Authority. If you pass, the airline will apply for your FAA certificate and you will be ready to fly!
It’s possible to become a flight attendant with no experience if you dedicate yourself to getting an interview and passing the training period. It’s not an easy job and the time away from home and long hours put some people off. But if you’re looking for a way to work and travel at the same time, it could be the perfect opportunity.
Written by Laura Sedlak