How To Become A Flight Attendant in 2022 | Education Salary Scope

By | September 9, 2022

How To Become A Flight Attendant in 2022 | Education Salary Scope

There are a total of 86,000 flight attendants employed in the United States. Of the thousands of applicants each year, only four percent are accepted to fill the approximately 8,000 new hires annually. The allure of travel makes it a highly competitive job, but the harsh reality of 12- to 14-hour work days often deters many new hires.

Requirements needed to become a flight attendant

There is no official set of standard requirements governing the hiring of flight attendants; however, there are some traditional requirements that most airlines follow.

Minimum age requirement

The traditional minimum age for hiring flight attendants is 18; however, some airlines set a minimum age of 21. Federal law prohibits setting a maximum age because of age discrimination laws.

Education requirements

Education is the traditional standard of either a high school diploma or GED equivalent. You should check the airline’s website for education requirements. Some airlines now require you to have at least two years of college or 2 years of experience in a related field such as customer service, communications, nursing, travel, tourism or psychology.

Languages

If you work for a US-based airline, you must speak English as your first language. If you want to be an international flight attendant, you need to be fluent in a second language. Given the competition for these jobs, being able to speak more than one language fluently increases your chances of being accepted. You must also have a valid passport before you can fly out of the country.

Features that can help you

There are some qualities or personality traits that can help you in a flight attendant position. These include:

  1. Calm under pressure and stressful situations
  2. Confidence
  3. Conflict arbitrator
  4. Conscientious and dedicated
  5. Great attitude (positive thinking)
  6. Excellent communication skills
  7. A multi-tasker
  8. Attentive and aware of his surroundings
  9. A problem solver
  10. Professional behavior
  11. Exact
  12. Realize the importance of customer service
  13. Safety conscious
  14. Team player

Physical requirements and job requirements

Most people do not clearly understand the physical demands of being a flight attendant. You must be able to pass a regular physical to work.

  1. Height: Most airlines have a height requirement. These can range between five feet to six feet three inches. Other airlines only require you to reach certain heights, such as the overhead bins where luggage and safety equipment are stored.
  2. Weight: There are no set weight standards.
  3. Vision: Your vision must be 20/30 either with or without corrective lenses.
  4. Other physical requirements: If you have tattoos or piercings, they must not be visible. Your makeup should be understated. Men must be clean shaven with hair longer than collar length.

Physical stamina

You need to be able to do a lot of walking around airports. Good balance is needed as you will often be moving around the aircraft during turbulence.

There are many hazards in the aircraft cabin that can result in workplace injuries from stowed luggage, service carts, constant work in a pressurized cabin, and breathing recycled air for long periods of time.

Lack of sleep can also play a major factor in accidents, as flight attendants often work very long hours.

Background check requirements

The FAA requires all airline employees to pass background checks. This is usually a 10-year history of your life. Some of the things investigated:

  1. Criminal record
  2. Birthdate
  3. Employment history
  4. School records
  5. Verify US citizenship or legal right to work in the United States
  6. Preschool courses and schools

Each airline will provide you with three to six weeks of official airline training; however, because the competition for flight attendant positions is so fierce, a specialized industry of preschools has emerged.

These companies advertise that their training gives you an edge over the competition, but the airline industry does not support any prep schools.

Certification

You must be certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). There’s only one way to get certified, and that’s by completing the airline’s official training program. This includes training in:

  1. Emergency medical care
  2. Evacuation
  3. Firefighting
  4. Safety procedures

At the end of your training, you must pass a performance and proficiency assessment to become certified. You are required to hold certification for each type of aircraft in which you serve as a flight attendant. This additional training can last one day or up to several days.

Other topics tested for certification

The airline will expect you to know quite a few things before you can get certified. These and other things will be taught to you during your flight training.

  1. Aircraft configuration
  2. Airline call letters
  3. Airline terminology
  4. Airport codes
  5. Ability to tell 24 hour time
  6. Emergency procedures and aircraft evacuation
  7. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
  8. First aid including CPR
  9. National and international geography

Work hours

Your working time is divided into ground and flight time. An average working month is divided into three days of flight and three or four days off.

That’s an average of about 15 days a month of work, which can be up to two or three years a day. According to FAA law, you must have nine hours of idle time between work days.

Home life interrupted

Moving is a work requirement, so you need to consider what lifestyle your job will dictate.

Your routine and life commitments will be constantly interrupted by irregular flight hours until you gain seniority and the right to choose your flight time.

You should plan to be away from home at least one-third of the time. You may have layovers due to weather and mechanical problems.

Steps For How To Become A Flight Attendant

1. Obtain a college degree (not required, but preferred)

While a college degree is not required to become a flight attendant, getting one can certainly help boost a candidate’s resume.

Although a college degree is not required, applicants must have a GED or High School Diploma to become a flight attendant.

What airlines value more than anything else in flight attendant candidates is a proven track record of customer service or hospitality.

2. Get customer service skills

There is no substitute for a high level of customer satisfaction or service positions on a resume. One of the best ways for potential flight attendants to stand out in the minds of airlines hiring flight attendants is to come to the table with a wide range of customer service skills that have been tested with real customers. The more customer service experience a candidate has accumulated over time, the more likely they are equipped with the skills potential employers are looking for.

3. Search for potential employers

Finding a flight attendant job can be just as difficult as finding a job in any other industry.

Some good places for potential flight attendants to look for jobs include LinkedIn, job boards, and directly on major airline websites. After searching for airlines looking for new flight attendants, it’s time to go through the application process. Factors such as working conditions and salary are likely to vary by airline.

4.  Apply for the jobs you want

Applying for a flight attendant position can be overwhelming at times. In addition, applications are usually accompanied by a CV and cover letter. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of candidates applying for the opportunity to become flight attendants, so the goal should be to present an application that stands out from the crowd.

5. Train for certifications

Most training programs last approximately six weeks.

6. Complete the FAA certification exams

After completing the training required by the airline, the next step to getting on the plane as a flight attendant is to become FAA certified. An airline’s COO can request a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency from the FAA for new flight attendants who have demonstrated proficiency in key areas of their new hire training, such as the use of first aid and evacuation techniques. After receiving a Certificate of Proficiency, flight attendants are responsible for maintaining their certification through routine testing.

7.  Run the reserve status

After receiving FAA certification, flight attendants begin their careers in the Reserves. Flight attendants who are placed on reserve status are often relied upon to fill out calls.

8. Advance your career

Many of the benefits of becoming a flight attendant only come into play after you’ve spent a significant amount of time with one airline. Similar to other career fields, the best way to move up the ladder is to continue learning the skills that match the role. For example, one way to start working with flights to and from Canada would be to learn French. Hard work and a commitment to learning valuable skills are the best ways to advance as a flight attendant.

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a flight attendant

Every job has its downsides and becoming a flight attendant is no different. You will have to dress in a specific uniform. Hair and makeup must comply with your airline’s regulations, and sometimes flight attendants’ heels must be a certain height.

You will often be required to work on holidays and are usually paid hourly for flight time but not for time spent going through security or layovers.

The advantage, of course, is that you can travel almost anywhere for free or at very low cost. This means international flights at significantly discounted prices, and these discounts sometimes apply to first class seats as well.

FAQ

What kind of training is required to become a flight attendant?

Prospective flight attendants receive training in all aspects of their job, including customer service, pre-flight procedures, boarding, in-flight services, safety and security procedures and first aid.

Flight attendants will also learn about the types of aircraft they will be working on, how to deal with unruly passengers and what to do in different types of emergencies.

New flight attendants usually receive paid training after being hired by an airline, but there are flight attendant training schools and some choose to pay for their own training before looking for work.

Are there any certification or licensing requirements?

Since 2004, every flight attendant who works on an aircraft with more than 20 seats must hold a Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Flight attendants earn this certificate after completing an FAA-approved training program, usually offered by the airline that hires them.

Flight attendant certification programs focus on fire prevention and control, use of emergency equipment, evacuation and escape from aircraft, and survival skills for various types of accident scenarios.

How long does it take to become a flight attendant?

Most entry-level flight attendant positions require you to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, but some positions may require you to wait until you are 21 to apply.

If you are hired as a new flight attendant, you will need to complete several weeks of training before you can start working.

What does a flight attendant earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for flight attendants in the United States was $37,740 in 2010. An entry-level flight attendant can expect to earn $16,000 to $25,000 per year, while experienced flight attendants can earn $50,000 or more.

Many flight attendants point to their opportunity to travel as a unique benefit of their career.

What are the long-term career prospects of flight attendants?

The past few years have been tough for business in the commercial airline industry, and the number of flight attendants employed in the United States is expected to remain stagnant through 2020.

Flight attendants who establish themselves in the industry can progress with experience and further training, giving them more choice in their assignments, as well as driving and training opportunities.

How can I find a job as a flight attendant?

Airlines post open flight attendant positions on their websites and you can apply for these positions online. Some airlines, such as Delta, allow you to create an online profile so you can be assigned vacancies that match your experience, location, interests and skills.

Some flight attendant training schools are affiliated with certain airlines, and those airlines may seek out students from those schools to interview for open positions.

How can I learn more about becoming a flight attendant?

You can learn more about the hiring processes, required qualifications and training for flight attendants on the websites of airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and other regional carriers.

Flight attendants are represented by several different unions and professional organizations, such as the Association of Flight Attendants and the Professional Flight Attendant Association, and you can learn about issues important to flight attendants on each organization’s website.

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