How Can I Find an Airline Steward Job?

Explore the career requirements for airline stewards. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, job outlook and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering CCAF degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Airline Steward?

As an airline steward, or flight attendant, you will carry out in-flight safety procedures and assist passengers as they travel the globe. Prior to a flight, they will consult with the pilots to receive any necessary information or details concerning the flight, as well as inspect the plane's emergency equipment. During a flight airline stewards ensure passengers follow safety standards, serve drinks or snacks and take care of the passengers. These professionals must stay calm in emergency or stressful situations and reassure passengers as they give directions. After flights airline stewards will check the condition of the plane and fill out any necessary reports, such as medical or safety incidents. The following table provides basic information for this career.

Degree Required High school diploma (minimum); bachelor's degree sometimes preferred
Training Required Flight attendant training
Key Responsibilities Perform safety procedures, administer first aid, provide passenger service
Certification FAA certification
Job Growth (2014-24) 2%*
Median Salary (2015) $44,860*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Be a Flight Attendant?

Much of the training required for flight attendants takes place after being hired. Training usually takes 3-6 weeks. Many airlines operate their own training centers; other airlines send employees to centers operated by separate companies. Training includes specific emergency protocols, airplane evacuation, first aid, surviving in the water and anti-terrorist techniques.

The minimum requirement needed to work as a flight attendant is a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, many employers prefer applicants with undergraduate degrees in relevant fields, such as hospitality, nursing, psychology or communications. If you want to work for an international airline, you may need to be fluent in a foreign language.

Additionally, you can pursue undergraduate certificates for airline flight attendants. In these programs, you might learn about the airline industries, aviation history, airline policy and business procedures, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. You might also learn about airplane safety, customer service, air travel, crew management and airline operations. Rescue techniques, emergency management and in-flight services may also be a part of the curriculum.

Do I Need to Be Certified?

You must be certified by the FAA for a job in flight attending. You must be able to demonstrate competency in required skills, such as firefighting, evacuation, security procedures and emergency medical procedures.

What Is the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment of flight attendants is projected to increase by two percent between 2014-2024, which is slower than the national average for all jobs (www.bls.gov). You can expect competition for jobs, according to the BLS, because the number of individuals applying for jobs often exceeds the number of available jobs.

What Is the Pay?

The median annual salary for flight attendants was $44,860 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The highest-paid flight attendants earned more than $72,090, while the lowest made less than $25,930.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some alternative careers that require no formal education or a high school diploma include waiters and waitresses, retail sales workers and customer service representatives. Waiters and waitresses work in all kinds of eating establishments and serve customers the food and drinks that they order. Retail sales workers can also work in a variety of environments as they sell different products to customers, such as cars, clothing and more. Customer service representatives work for an organization to help customers. They may answer questions, address complaints, process orders and more.

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