Flight Attendant Salary

Flight AttendantWhen customers see flight attendants they see the people that serve them drinks and snacks.  However, they are integral parts of flight crews.  They are the frontline staff that interacts with customers before, during, and after a flight.  They have to be personable and at the same time help ensure the safety of all passengers during plane travel.  Want to know how much Flight Attendants make?  We will go over Flight Attendant Salary in this article.

Flight Attendant Salary

What is the salary of a flight attendant?Currently, the annual average salary for flight attendants is $46,300 and the monthly average salary is $3858.  The top 10% of individuals in the occupation are earning around $72,560 while the starting wage can be as low as $28,820.The top paying states are Florida, Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin and South Carolina.

Flight attendants are afforded certain benefits as their jobs sometimes require them to work odd hours.They are often given allowances for meals and accommodations while they work away from home.  Initially, attendants are required to purchase a set of uniforms as well as luggage, but most airlines will pay for upkeep and replacements of these items.  Most are eligible for discounts on airfare through their airline.  Attendants also often receive health benefits and some airlines offer incentives for working holidays, nights, or weekends.  25% of flight attendants work part time.

Flight Attendant Job Description

Attendants typically fly 75 to 90 hours a month and spend another 50 hours a month on the ground preparing for flights, writing reports, and waiting for planes to arrive.  On average they spend 2-3 nights a week away from home.  While in flight they are responsible for providing personal services to ensure safety and comfort of airline passengers.  Their main duties include attending preflight briefings, ensuring adequate supplies of refreshments and emergency equipment, assist in cleaning cabins, demonstrating usage of safety gear, ensure all in-flight safety requirements are met, serve snacks, meals, beverages, etc., reassure passengers during flight, administer first aid if necessary, and direct passengers in case of emergency.

By law airlines are required to provide flight attendants for the safety and security of passengers.About one hour before takeoff pilots inform attendants of evacuation procedures, length of the flight, and weather conditions.  Attendants then check to make sure the emergency equipment is working properly, the cabin is clean, etc. As passengers board attendants direct them to their seats and assist with anything if needed.  Once the plane takes off they instruct passengers on the use of safety equipment.They also ensure that all federal laws and company policies are in compliance regarding stowing of carry-on luggage, fastened seatbelts, etc.

When they land they take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, payments, and overall condition of the cabin.  They also report on any medical problems that may have occurred during the flight.

Work Environment

They work in the cabins of passenger aircrafts.Attendants handle the public on a regular basis.They are also required to stand for long periods of time in sometimes stressful and tiring environments.Flight attendants spend many nights away from home and often sleep in hotels or apartments shared with other attendants.

Injuries can occur when opening overhead compartments, pushing carts, or during aircraft emergencies.Medical problems can also arise from irregular sleep patterns, stress from frequent travel, and exposure to ill passengers.

Most work full time and have variable schedules.A typical shift is about 12-14 hours per day, but duty time can be increased for international flights.The FAA requires flight attendants have 9 consecutive hours of respite before beginning another duty period. Junior attendants have to maintain flexible schedules as they are often hired as on call and can be called at the last minute for work.

How to become a Flight Attendant

A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a flight attendant.Most employers however, prefer applicants have a degree in hospitality, public relations, business, social science, or communications.  Those that work on international flights may have to be fluent in a foreign language.

Most flight attendants have 1-2 years of work experience in service before obtaining their first job as a flight attendant.This experience can include work in restaurants, hotels, or resorts. Experience in sales or other positions that require contact with the public may also help develop the necessary skills to be a flight attendant.

Once at attendant is hired they must undergo 3-6 weeks of training.  In these programs individuals learn emergency procedures and receive specific instruction on flight regulations, company operations, and job duties.  They have to successfully complete the training to receive the FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency.  To maintain this certification attendants are required to take periodic training. This training must be certified by the FAA.  Additionally, attendants must be certified for every type of aircraft they are going to work on.

Some individuals choose to attend flight attendant school prior to applying for jobs and certification.Courses can vary depending on the school, but in general they all teach airport codes, airline safety, customer service, geography, etc.  In these cases the cost of attending these schools can range in price from $1,000 to $12,000 depending on whether the school is accredited with the FAA.

Career Outlook

By 2022 employment of flight attendants is expected to decline by 7% despite growth in air travel.The airline industry is high susceptible to the ups and downs of the economy and as such may prevent airlines from hiring additional flight attendants.  Economic difficulties will lead airlines to furlough some of their flight attendants.Union contracts usually stipulate that furloughed flight attendants must be rehired before new employees can be hired.  Competition for will continue because the occupation often attracts more applicants than there are job openings.

Outlook is best for those with applicants with a college degree.Job opportunities might be slightly better in regional or low cost airlines.Most current job opportunities come from the need to replace attendants who leave the workforce.

Related Careers

Customer service representatives handle customer complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.  They are employed in nearly every industry with nearly one fifth working part time.  The minimum requirements for this position are a high school diploma and are trained on the job.They should be good at communicating with people and have basic computer skills.  Annual average salary is $30,580.

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in restaurants and other dining establishments.  Most waiting jobs are entry level and employees learn their skills through on the job training and experience.  About half work part time and schedules can vary from early morning hours to late nights.  Average annual salary is $18,540 not including tips.

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