Career prospects for flight attendants (2023)

SOC: 53-2031 OOH: U232

flight attendant
quick stats
Total number of jobs in 2016 116.600
expected growth 10% (faster than average)
New jobs are added
from 2016 to 2026
average content 35,000 to 54,999 US dollars
  • Career prospects for flight attendants
  • pay flight attendants
  • What do flight attendants do all day?
  • the working environment
  • how to become a

Short video describing: Flight Attendants

Job prospects for flight attendants

Flight attendant employment is forecast to grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Many airlines are replacing smaller planes with newer, larger planes that can accommodate a larger number of passengers. As a result, this change may increase the number of flight attendants required on some routes.

job prospectus

Competition for jobs will remain strong, as the profession typically attracts far more applicants than vacancies. Career prospects are likely to be better for applicants with a college degree.

Most job opportunities arise from the need to replace caregivers who leave the workforce.

Typical pay for flight attendants

The median annual salary for flight attendants as of May 2016 was $48,500. Median wage is the wage at which half of the employees in a job earn more and the other half earn less. The bottom 10% earned less than $26,570 and the top 10% earned more than $78,650.

As of May 2016, average annual salaries for flight attendants in the major industries they work in were as follows:

planned air transport 48.660 $
Air transport support activities 44.150
regular air transport 41.520

Flight attendants receive a food and lodging allowance while working from home. Although participants must purchase an initial set of uniforms and luggage, airlines generally pay for replacements and maintenance. Flight attendants are usually entitled to discounted fares or free reserve seats from their airline.

Flight attendants typically fly 75 to 100 hours a month and typically spend an additional 50 hours on the ground preparing for flights, writing reports and waiting for the plane to arrive. You may spend several nights a week away from home. Most work variable hours. Approximately 1 in 4 flight attendants worked part-time in 2016.

community membership

Most flight attendants belonged to a union in 2016.

What Flight Attendants Do All Day

Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.


Flight attendants typically do the following:

  • Participate in pre-flight briefings with thepilotsto discuss cabin conditions and flight details
  • Perform pre-flight inspections of emergency equipment.
  • Demonstrate the use of safety equipment and emergency equipment.
  • Make sure passengers are belted when required and that all other safety procedures are followed.
  • Serving and selling drinks, meals or snacks
  • Meet the needs of passengers, especially those with special needs
  • Reassure passengers during the flight, e.g. B. if the aircraft encounters turbulence
  • Manage and coordinate emergency medical care as needed
  • Provide instructions to passengers, including evacuation of the aircraft in an emergency.

Airlines are required by law to provide flight attendants for the safety of passengers. The primary job of flight attendants is to keep passengers safe and ensure that everyone follows safety procedures and that the flight deck is secure. Flight attendants also try to make flights comfortable and stress-free for passengers. Sometimes they deal with passengers who exhibit disruptive behavior.

Approximately 1 hour before take-off, the captain (pilot) may hold a pre-flight briefing with the flight attendants on relevant flight information, including the number of flight hours, flight route and weather conditions. Flight attendants check that emergency equipment is working, that the cabin is clean, and that there is enough food and drink on board. Flight attendants greet passengers as they board the plane, guide them to their seats, and provide assistance if needed.

Flight attendants demonstrate the proper use of safety equipment to all passengers, either in person or via video recording, before the plane takes off. They also verify that seat belts are fastened, seats are locked in an upright position, and that all carry-on luggage is properly stowed in accordance with federal law and company policy.

However, a flight attendant's most important job is to help passengers in an emergency. This responsibility ranges from dealing with unruly passengers to first aid, firefighting, securing the flight deck and directing evacuations. Flight attendants also answer questions about the flight, accommodate passengers with special needs, and generally provide assistance to all passengers when needed.

Before the plane lands, flight attendants do one last check to make sure seat belts are fastened, seats are locked upright, and all carry-on and kitchen items are properly stowed.

Before leaving the plane, flight attendants assess the state of the cabin. Submit reports of medical or safety issues that may have arisen during the flight.

Working environment for flight attendants

Flight attendants had about 116,600 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of flight attendants were:

planned air transport 96%
regular air transport 2
Air transport support activities 1

Flight attendants mostly work in the cabin of passenger aircraft. Dealing directly with passengers and standing for long periods of time can be stressful and tiring. Occasionally, flights experience turbulence in the air, which makes service difficult and can cause anxiety for some passengers. Dealing with emergencies and unruly customers can also be difficult and stressful.

Flight attendants spend many nights away from home, often sleeping in hotels or apartments shared by a group of flight attendants.

injuries and illnesses

Flight attendants must follow safety procedures to avoid injury. For example, they need to ensure overhead bins are closed, especially during turbulence, so that carry-on luggage doesn't fall out and pose a danger to everyone in the cabin. Flight attendants also make sure carts are properly stowed and locked during aircraft emergencies to prevent injury to carts and passengers.

work schedule

Flight attendants often have variable hours. They usually work nights, weekends and holidays because airlines operate every day and offer night flights. In most cases, an agreement between the airline and the crew union determines the total daily and monthly hours worked. A typical duty shift is about 12 to 14 hours a day. However, for international flights, the service period may be extended. HeFederal Flight AdministrationThe FAA requires that flight attendants have a minimum of 9 consecutive hours of rest after each duty shift before starting the next duty shift.

Flight attendants typically fly 75 to 100 hours a month and typically spend an additional 50 hours on the ground preparing for flights, writing reports and waiting for the plane to arrive. You may spend several nights a week away from home. During this period, employers usually provide hotel accommodation and meal allowance.

A companion's base of operations and routing are based on seniority. New flight attendants must be flexible in terms of hours and location. Almost all flight attendants start out with on-call status, otherwise known as reserve status. Reserve flight attendants usually live close to their home airport as they may need to work at short notice.

As seniority increases, followers can have more control over their schedules. For example, some flight attendants choose to live far from their home base and commute to work. Others may choose to work only regional flights. For small corporate airlines, flight attendants can work as needed. Approximately 1 in 4 flight attendants worked part-time in 2016.

This is how you become a flight attendant

Flight attendants receive training from their employer and must be certified byFederal Flight Administration(FAA). Flight attendants need a high school diploma and work experience in customer service.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to work in the United States, have a valid passport, and pass a background check and drug test. They must have at least 20/40 correctable vision and generally must meet height requirements set by the airline. Flight attendants may also be required to undergo a medical examination.

Flight attendants must look professional and not have visible tattoos, body piercings, unusual hair or makeup.


A high school diploma is usually required to become a flight attendant. Some airlines may prefer to hire applicants who have taken some college courses.

Those working on international flights may need to be fluent in a foreign language. Some enroll in flight attendant academies.

Work experience in a related profession

Flight attendants generally need 1 to 2 years of work experience in a service occupation before landing their first job as a flight attendant. This experience may include customer service positions at restaurants, hotels or resorts. Experience in sales or other positions that require close contact with the public and a focus on customer service can also help you develop the skills needed to be a successful flight attendant.


Once a flight attendant is hired, airlines offer their initial training, which lasts between 3 and 6 weeks. Training usually takes place at the airline's Flight Training Center and is required for FAA certification.

Students learn emergency procedures such as evacuating aircraft, operating emergency equipment, and administering first aid. You will also receive specific instructions on flight rules, company procedures and professional duties.

At the end of the training, students perform practice flights. You must complete the training to hold a job with the airline. Upon passing initial training, new flight attendants receive the FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Competence and continue to receive additional on-the-job training as required by the employer.

Licenses, Certifications and Registrations

All flight attendants must be certified by the FAA. To earn certification, flight attendants must complete their employer's initial training program and pass an exam. Flight attendants are certified on specific aircraft types and must complete retraining for each aircraft type they are assigned to work on. In addition, participants receive recurrent training each year to maintain their certification.

Financial help

Career progression is based on seniority. On international flights, senior flight attendants generally supervise the work of other flight attendants. Senior assistants can rise to management roles where they are responsible for hiring, mentoring and scheduling.

important properties

Attention.Flight attendants must be aware of any in-flight safety risks. They must also meet the needs of passengers to ensure an enjoyable travel experience.

communication skills.Flight attendants must speak clearly, listen carefully and interact effectively with passengers and other crew members.

Competition in customer service.Flight attendants must have the composure, tact, and resourcefulness to handle stressful situations and attend to passengers' needs.

Decision authority.Flight attendants must be able to act decisively in emergency situations.

Physical resistance.Flight attendants push, pull and carry service items, open and close overhead rollers, and stand and walk for extended periods.

“Flight Attendant” SOC:53-2031 OOH Code: U232


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