Flight attendants ensure the comfort and safety of their passengers. These service employees verify tickets, greet passengers and demonstrate the use of safety equipment. Flight attendants spend much of their time passing out food and beverages and answering passenger requests. In 2009, flight attendants earned approximately $25,420 to $71,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to a salary, flight attendants have attractive incentives, such as discount airline rights. If you are interested in becoming a flight attendant, you must first obtain a Federal Aviation Administration certificate. Employment is expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent from 2008 through 2018.
Research majors in college to become eligible for more opportunities. More airlines prefer job applicants with a college degree. A college degree can offer an edge in the job market, according to College Board, a non-profit that connects students with educational opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, desired areas of concentration include communication, nursing, psychology, hospitality, travel and tourism, and education. Applicants who attend schools or colleges that have flight attendant training may actually have a distinct advantage over the competition.
Submit your resume and fill out job applications online or at an airline's office location. Upon hire, applicants undergo formal training. Training takes place at a flight training center and lasts between three to six weeks, depending on the type and size of the carrier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Until they successfully finish the training program, new trainees are not considered airline employees. Trainees learn emergency procedures, including how to evacuate the airplane, administering first aid, surviving in water and operating emergency equipment and systems. New hires learn how to handle disruptive passengers and in more severe cases, how to deal with hijacking and terrorist situations. Trainees learn about the company and its policies; flight regulation and duties; and instruction on weight control and personal grooming. New hires for international routes learn about customs regulations and passport instructions. Throughout the training, trainees continually take tests they must pass to move ahead.
Take the FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency examination. After successful completion of the training, flight attendants become certified by the FAA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to receive the certificate, students must perform unaided duties and drills in front of a training staff. Trainees must also go on practice flights.
You must have high school diploma. This is the minimum educational requirement to become a flight attendant, according to College Board
If you are interested in working for an international airline, be fluent in 2 foreign languages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- aviation image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com