Flight Attendants Careers - Salary, Duties, & Job Information

Flight Attendants Career Description

Flight attendants are in a class of work that portrays a glamorous lifestyle, as it involves national and international travel. Flight attendants tend to work unsociable hours as they need to fit into airline schedules and timetables which are not always convenient for flight staff needing to prepare aircraft cabins for joining passengers. Flight Attendant duties include having to carry out emergency evacuation procedures, which requires appropriate training pertaining to particular aircraft. While the Flight Attendant skills that are required vary by airlines, most have a height requirement that stipulates that people in this line of work be tall enough to reach overhead lockers; further, weight must be reasonably commensurate with height to allow agility when exercising evacuation procedures. Flight Attendants are expected to present an impeccable appearance at all times and wear a regulation uniform which they must pay for and keep in excellent order. Basic background checks are usually required to comply with airport security regulations.

Work Environment

The typical work environment for a Flight Attendant is an airplane or other method of air travel. They will also spend quite a bit of tie in airports and hotels.

Employment Opportunities

Flight Attendant opportunities are available, although there are almost always more applicants for this kind of work than there are jobs available due to the attraction of being able to meet people and travel while working in a comfortable environment and having hotel accommodation paid for. Although jobs in the Flight Attendant market are profuse, many are snapped up quickly as the opportunities for travel are attractive, especially to younger applicants. Flight Attendants may advance to become Pursers or Senior Flight Attendants and Cabin Supervisors. A great number of Flight Attendants leave the job for family commitments.

How much does a Flight Attendant make - Flight Attendant Salary and Wages

The Flight Attendant salary range is relatively low, starting at around $16,000. However, frequent absences on expenses can push annual earnings up to double that amount, and extra pay is always offered to those who are prepared to take on higher responsibilities for in-flight services and duties that involve the completion and submission of flight-related paperwork. Flight Attendants also receive a modest allowance for the care and cleaning of uniforms and for repair or replacement of accessories. Median per-hour wage based on years of experience breaks down as follows: 1-4 years, $16.79-$21.81($961 annual bonus); 5-9 years, $22.47-$32.56 ($1007 annual bonus); 10-19 years, $33.47-$42.47 ($1008 annual bonus); 20+ years, $37.19-$46.59 ($1939 annual bonus).

How to become a Flight Attendant

Education and Training

Flight attendant qualifications vary depending on the outfit, although airlines tend to seek recruits with a high school diploma; further, preference is usually given to those who are bilingual. Flight Attendant degrees do not exist, but a college degree that lends itself to dealing with the public is a plus. A short period of training is given to successful candidates who are expected to pass examinations in emergency procedures, first aid and various aspects of hospitality. Those candidates who perform below standard on these flight attendant courses are usually rejected and a pass rate is usually set relatively high as the course material is considered to be fairly simple. Flight Attendants are required to have a working knowledge of health and safety procedures. When a Flight Attendant is transferred to a different type of aircraft their training must often be supplemented by a short course on the emergency features for their new aircraft. FAA licensing requires that such training is carried out formally, albeit briefly. As air travel is progressing and expanding to bigger and faster aircraft, it is always a good idea for Flight Attendants to constantly re-train to stay employable.

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