What Education Is Required to Be a Flight Attendant?

Get ready to take to the skies! Learn about the ins and outs of becoming a flight attendant, from the educational requirements and the salary to the job duties and outlook. Schools offering CCAF degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Flight attendants see to the safety and comfort of all passengers aboard a flight. No degree is required to become a flight attendant, but they do undergo intense training and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. See our chart below for more info on becoming a flight attendant.

Education Required High school diploma
Training Required On-the-job training
Key Skills Customer service, physical fitness, communication
Certification Required FAA Certification
Job Growth (2016-2026) 10%*
Median Salary (2017) $50,500 per year*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do Flight Attendants Do?

First and foremost, flight attendants are in charge of the safety of the passengers onboard the flight. This means doing safety announcements and demonstrations, conducting checks of emergency equipment, and speaking with anyone in an emergency row to ensure they'll be able to perform their duties in the event of an emergency. If something does happen, flight attendants are responsible for calming unruly passengers, keeping order and getting everyone off the aircraft -- whatever is called for by the emergency.

Flight attendants make sure fliers find their seats, stow their luggage, use their seat belts and put their tray tables up during takeoff and landing. If service is offered, flight attendants will serve meals, snacks or beverages, and collect trash afterward.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

The amount flight attendants make varies by airline and experience, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does provide a median salary for all flight attendants. The BLS reports an annual median figure of $50,500 in 2017. On top of their salary, flight attendants usually receive free or discounted flights and an allowance for hotels, meals and uniform upkeep.

What Training Do You Need to Become a Flight Attendant?

Airlines provide training for flight attendants after they are hired. Training can take anywhere from three to six weeks. Trainees receive instruction on flight regulations, job duties and the company's policies as well as safety procedures like working emergency equipment, giving basic first aid and evacuating the aircraft.

Do You Need Licensure or Certification?

All flight attendants must be certified by the FAA to fly. This is a natural part of each airline's training program. Provided they complete the training in a satisfactory way, new hires will get an FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency at the end of the program.

What's the Job Outlook for Flight Attendants?

Flight attendant candidates face a lot of competition -- there are typically a wealth of applicants for only a few job openings. Applicants with a college degree may fare better than those without one. However, airlines are purchasing and operating larger and larger aircraft to allow for more and more passengers. This, in turn, should increase the need for flight attendants in the coming years, according to the BLS. Employment in the field is expected to rise by 10% between 2016 and 2026, which is higher than the average percentage for all other careers.

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