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Flight Attendant: Career Information

July 29, 2014 Blog, FA_Articles No Comments

Job Description – Flight Attendant:

Flight attendants' primary responsibility is to make sure safety regulations on airplanes are followed. They also do what they can to make sure passengers are comfortable during their flights.

Educational Requirements – Flight Attendant:

While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for those who want to work as flight attendants, many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have a college degree. Candidates who have taken flight attendant training courses have the best chance of getting hired. In addition to previous training, all newly hired flight attendants receive three to eight weeks of formal training from their employers.


Other Requirements – Flight Attendant:

Those who want to work as flight attendants must be at least 18 to 21 years old. Airlines prefer to hire flight attendants who have experience working with the public. Work with an international airline requires that one can speak a foreign language. There are also height requirements as flight attendants must be able to reach overhead bins. Vision must be correctable to 20/30 or better. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that airlines do a thorough background check of all new hires.

Advancement Opportunities – Flight Attendant:

Once formal training is completed, new flight attendants are placed on reserve status where they could remain for at least one year, but as many as five to 10 years. This means they work when called upon to fill in for absent or vacationing flight attendants or on extra flights. After being on reserve status, flight attendants bid for regular assignments, and generally get their choices based on seniority. Because flight attendants remain in their jobs for a longer period than in the past, advancement takes more time.



Job Outlook – Flight Attendant:

Employment of flight attendants is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2018. There is a lot of competition for jobs as there are more job candidates than there are positions available.



Earnings – Flight Attendant?:

Median annual earnings of flight attendants were $40,010 in 2009. Starting pay was much lower.



A Day in a Flight Attendant's Life:

On a typical day a flight attendant will:

  • get briefed by the captain on emergency evacuation procedures, coordination of the crew, the length of the flight, expected weather conditions, and special issues having to do with passengers;
  • make sure that first-aid kits and other emergency equipment are aboard and in working order;
  • assess the passenger cabin to make sure there are adequate supplies of food, beverages, and blankets;
  • greet passengers as they enter the plane, check their tickets, and tell them where to store their coats and carry-on bags ;
  • instruct passengers in the use of emergency equipment;
  • check to see that passengers' seat belts are fastened, seats are in the upright position, and bags are properly stowed prior to takeoff;
  • help passengers in the event of an emergency;
  • reassure passengers in the event of turbulence;
  • direct passengers if they must evacuate the plane if there is an emergency landing;
  • answer questions about the flight;
  • distribute blankets, pillows, and reading material;
  • distribute beverages, snacks, and sometimes heat and serve meals;
  • help those needing assistance, e.g. small children, or elderly or disabled passengers;
  • administer first aid to ill patients;
  • take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, and money collected prior to landing;
  • report passengers' medical problems, lost and found articles, and condition of cabin equipment;
  • sometimes, if in a supervisory position, oversee the work of the other attendants aboard the aircraft;


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