Flight attendant essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $37,240
- 2012, number of jobs: 84,960
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 0 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Flight attendants; what they do:
It takes a strong personality, an ability to handle difficult (sometimes dangerous) situations quickly and calmly and a love of flying to pursue a flight attendant career. Flight attendants offer personal services to ensure that airline passengers are secure, safe and comfortable.
Flight attendant careers typically include verifying all safety equipment including oxygen bottles and fire extinguishers are working, discussing preflight briefing and issues, and ensuring an airplane has the required food and drink supplies on board. Flight attendant careers also involve showing passengers how to use emergency equipment and making sure they fasten their seatbelts.
A flight attendant career involves offering refreshments and meals, taking care of passengers during flight, assisting those with special needs and directing and assisting passengers in cases of emergency.
Flight attendant job titles:
- Corporate Flight Attendant
- Airline Stewardess
- Flight Stewardess
- Flight Attendant
- In-Flight Crew Member
Flight Attendants Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in a flight attendant career need a high school diploma or equivalent, be at least 18 years of age or older and be eligible to work in the U.S. Some employers prefer applicants who have a college degree in an area such as tourism or public relations and have some customer experience.
People seeking a flight attendant career need to meet specific physical and medical requirements.
Flight attendant training usually lasts three to six weeks and covers topics such as emergency procedures and flight regulations. In addition, qualified flight attendants need certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), they also need to complete training on practice flights.
Flight attendant programs cover subjects such as:
- Airline industry operations
- Customer service and sales
- Ticket and gate agent procedures
- Emergency equipment
- Fire fighting
- Aircraft security
- Evacuation slide
- Ditching drills
- CPR and AED training
Career Advancement Opportunities
Flight attendant career advancement depends on how long an attendant has worked in the industry. After several years of flight experience, senior flight attendants can advance in their career to a management job overseeing instruction and scheduling.
Flight Attendants Job Outlook
Forecast: Little or no change in employment for flight attendants from 2010 to 2020. Higher fuel prices and union contracts limit the hiring of new attendants. The retirement of flight attendants provides opportunities for people interested in a flight attendant career. However, the number of job openings may decrease due to budget constraints and airline companies cutting back on staff.
Flight Attendants Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $37,240
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $50,240
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $32,580
Flight Attendants Major Employers
- Airline companies
- Chartered Flight Companies