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How Can I Find a Flight Attendant School for Private Carriers?

Learn about training programs for aspiring flight attendants and the requirements to enroll in these programs. Find out about prerequisites, program options and government certification.

Students who want to become flight attendants will have opportunities to gain their training through certificate and/or associate's degree programs. Coursework includes management communications, homeland security, and airline operations. Additional training and certification will be required for employment.

Are There Flight Attendant Schools for Private Carriers?

Except for military or government operations, all airlines are private carriers. They're subject to rules set down by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA states that all aircraft with 20 or more seats must have a flight attendant. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that even though a high school diploma, or its equivalent, is the only requirement you need to be hired, more and more airlines prefer that you hold a college degree.

There are private, for-profit flight-attendant schools. These don't offer degree-granting programs and some of their training may not be reliable. But the National Center for Education Statistics features an online database of traditional, postsecondary institutions that offer appropriate certificate- or degree-granting programs. Though many programs are presented through an institution's school of aviation or aeronautics, you may also find flight attendant-appropriate programs offered through a school or department of tourism, travel or hospitality.

What Certificates or Degrees Can I Earn?

You can earn a flight attendant basic certificate in less than a year, through programs that lasts 15-17 credits. Courses typically cover passenger safety and services, airline operations, customer care and, in some cases, pilot ground school. These programs are not generally available online.

Schools give you the opportunity to earn an advanced flight attendant certificate. A program lasting 29-36 credits can take you up to a year to complete. Expanding on basic certificate courses, an advanced certificate program might consist of such additional courses as first aid, CPR, psychology, management communications, cultural tourism, self-defense and homeland security. You may also have the opportunity to serve a flight-attendant internship.

You may choose to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Aviation. These programs offer courses in meteorology, crew resource management and accident prevention, paired with a specified number of general education courses. Generally consisting of 60 credits, the program can take you two years to complete.

Which Schools Offer Certificates for Flight Attendants?

A variety of certificate programs are available for potential flight attendants. Most programs are offered at community colleges.

  • The Community College of of Baltimore County offers a Certificate in Flight Attendant Training program
  • Glendale Community College offers a Flight Attendant Certificate program
  • Orange Coast College offers a Certificate's of Achievement in Airline Travel Careers; Ground and/or Flight; Corporate Contract Flight Attendant

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees for Flight Attendants?

Consider these associate's degrees for flight attendants which are also offered at community colleges. Depending on what you're most interested in studying, there is a pathway for you.

  • Liberty University offers an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in Aeronautics: Airline Flight Attendant
  • Glendale Community College offers an Associate of Science (A.S.) Flight Attendant degree program
  • Green River College offers an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Air Transportation

Does a Certificate or Degree Complete My Training?

A certificate or degree is intended to familiarize you with the duties and responsibilities of flight attendant and perhaps enhance your chances of employment. The BLS states that once a private carrier hires you, you're not actually considered an employee until you complete that airline's training program. Training programs can last 3-6 months and include practice flights.

According to the Association of Flight Attendants, the U.S. Congress passed a regulation in 2003 that requires flight attendants to be certified by the FAA. In order to work as a flight attendant, you must hold a Flight Attendant Certification of Demonstrated Proficiency. Once you pass an airline's training course and demonstrate your competence and abilities as a flight attendant, the airline can recommend you to the FAA for certification. Upon review and approval, the FAA grants you certification, and you're free to begin your career.

Flight attendant programs are available via certificates and associate's degrees. These programs can typically be completed within two years.