How to Become a Flight Attendant

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A flight attendant focuses on the comfort of the passengers, providing them with services and keeping them safe throughout the flight's duration. Flight attendants travel a lot, and some are away from home two to three nights a week. They may work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Flight attendants, who earn an average of $37,740 annually, must pass a medical evaluation and be a certain height in order to reach the overhead compartments.[1] [2]


Flickr: MIKI Yoshihito (´・ω・)
Education High school diploma[2]
Starting pay $24,000[3]
Median pay $37,740[2]
10 yr growth Slower than average[2]
Related professions Airline pilot, EMT, air traffic controller[4]
Author Allison Hughes

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Flight Attendant Job Overview

Flight attendants must have strong communication skills and listening skills. They must also be attentive and have a neat overall appearance. They need to possess customer service skills, which help them handle stressful situations with passengers tactfully.[1] The flight attendant has a variety of duties to perform, including stocking the airplane with food and beverages, making sure the airplane is clean, and checking the working order of emergency equipment. Other duties include:[5]

  • Greeting passengers as they board
  • Providing information about how to use safety equipment
  • Serving food and beverages
  • Performing first aid when necessary
  • Checking that everyone is wearing a seatbelt

Flight Attendant Education

Although flight attendants only need a high school diploma to be eligible for employment, many airlines prefer that applicants have a degree in hospitality, communications, public relations, or tourism.[1] When choosing classes, aspiring flight attendants may want to focus on courses that relate to customer service and business etiquette.[6]

Flight Attendant Training

Flight attendant training begins once an individual has been hired. Training usually lasts three to six weeks and takes place at the airline's flight training center. This training is necessary in order to obtain certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). During training, future flight attendants learn how to operate the emergency equipment, evacuate an airplane, and provide first aid. Trainees also participate in practice flights and learn about the company, their duties, and flight regulations.[1]

Flight Attendant Certification

The FAA requires that all flight attendants be certified. The certification process primarily involves making sure an applicant has completed the airline's necessary training program. In addition, flight attendants need to be certified for specific aircraft. Additional training is required anytime a flight attendant is put in charge of a new aircraft.[1]

A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant

Behind-the-scenes look at a flight attendant's job

Also See: How to Become an Air Traffic Controller, How to Become an Airline Pilot, How to Become an Airplane Mechanic


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