Flight Attendant

Flight attendants spend a lot of time traveling by air, providing assistance to passengers aboard aircraft. Read on to learn more about the job and the requirements for becoming a flight attendant.

Is Becoming a Flight Attendant for Me?

Career Details

Flight attendants are a vital part of air travel because they ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers. As a flight attendant, you can work on both commercial and private airplanes. You might also be known as an airline stewardess or airline steward. Your typical duties include greeting passengers as they board and deplane, serving food and beverages, ensuring compliance with federal safety regulations, guaranteeing cabin cleanliness and attending to other passenger needs. You must be familiar with emergency procedures and federal aviation regulations to work as a flight attendant.

Requirements

If you're interested in becoming a flight attendant, you must possess a minimum of a high school education, although college education is preferred among many employers. To work as a flight attendant, you'll need to pass a background check, complete a vision test and pass a medical exam. You'll also need to demonstrate that you can work well under pressure. You should be personable and clean-cut. Some airlines might have other requirements, such as age or height. You should prepare to work irregular hours and be open to relocating.

Advancement

Upon gaining experience as a flight attendant, you might eventually become a lead flight attendant or first flight attendant, also known as a purser. You might even move onto becoming base manager, manager of in-flight operation or even vice-president of in-flight operations.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition for jobs should be keen because of financial problems experienced by many airlines. (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities for flight attendants are projected to decline seven percent from 2012-2022. In May 2012, the BLS reported that flight attendants earned an average annual salary of $42,340.

How Do I Become a Flight Attendant?

Education and Training Options

An undergraduate degree in hospitality, travel and tourism, such as an associate degree in travel and hospitality management or a bachelor's degree in hospitality management or a related field, may be advantageous for you if you are an aspiring flight attendant. Although a limited number of schools offer flight attendant training programs, completion of such programs is not necessary to begin your career because commercial airlines commonly provide training programs for new employees. Upon successful completion of the training program, you are then eligible to apply for a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You must hold a FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency in order to work as flight attendant.

Degree and Certificate Programs

If you choose to enroll in a college program specifically geared towards flight attendants, offerings typically range from flight attendant certificates to flight attendant or aviation associate degrees. You can find these at 2-year and 4-year educational institutions. Studies might include customer service, security and airline procedures. You may also learn how to respond in emergency situations and learn self-protection techniques. You'll also learn about different traveling spots and ethnic travels.

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