Flight Attendant Career Guide

If you are someone who is decisive, confident and enjoys being around others for long periods of time, you ideal career may be as a flight attendant!

Although many of us think of flight attendants as just serving drinks and good to passengers on planes, they actually have a much deeper purpose than that! A flight attendants main purpose is to help ensure the safety of  all passengers!

We have prepared a detailed career profile of the flight attendant profession by interviewing real-world flight attendants. Every profile contains insider details about working as a flight attendant straight from professionals in the field, so browse below to find out more.

Flight Attendant Career Ratings



Personal Growth



Job Profiles

Real-Life Flight Attendant Job Profiles

Below is a list of links to anonymous job profiles of REAL PEOPLE who have filled out our survey and offered to share their insights with our users about their job in the Flight Attendant field.
ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
32583 Flight Attendant Female 33 $33,000 Brooklyn, NY 01/01/2010


What a flight attendant does

A flight attendant works for an airline and is responsible for providing in-flight customer service to passengers. While most people think of flight attendants only as the people who bring drinks and food during a trip on a plane, their primary purpose is actually to help ensure the safety of passengers! They are trained in the use of emergency equipment, and supplies, and they have the  very important job of inspecting all safety equipment aboard the plane before each flight takes off. As well as ensuring the safety of passengers, flight attendants carry out tasks such as:

  • Participating in preflight briefings with the pilot
  • Demonstrating to the passengers how to use of safety equipment and emergency equipment
  • Ensuring that passengers have their seatbelts fastened when required
  • Serving beverages, meals, or snacks
  • Taking care of each passengers’ needs
  • Reassuring passengers during the flight
  • Administering and/or coordinating emergency medical care

Why they are needed

It is estimated that, in the US alone, 5,670 commercial passenger flights take of daily. Worldwide, roughly 100,000 flights take off and lands every single day. Thats a lot of flights, and theres a lot of reasons why we need flight attendants on these thousands of flights! The first, and most important, reason is because they ensure the safety of all passengers. Imagine riding on a plane without a flight attendant – it would be chaos, and if there was ever an issue, no one would know what to do! On top of this, you wouldn’t be very comfy on this flight. You’d have no drinks, clean blankets or snacks! As a modern day society, we need flight attendants to keep our flights safe and comfy.

Pros and cons of a career as a flight attendant:


  • It is a job that offers lots of variety
  • It is a rewarding career as you get to help people feel safe and comfortable as they embark on their holidays
  • You get paid to travel the world
  • No two days are the same, which keeps it interesting
  • It is a very sociable role as each day, flight attendants get to meet interesting people
  • Discounted flights for family and friends holiday
  • There are minimal educational requirements needed to become a flight attendant
  • There are opportunities to work full time or part time


  • It is a demanding job
  • It can be a very stressful job
  • There is always a chance that something might go wrong (e.g., plane crash, terror threat)
  • Flight attendants often receive a low salary
  • Flight attendants may have to be away from home for long periods of time


Job market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of flight attendants is projected to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth in employment is expected because of the demand in people that are wanting to travel. As a result, many airlines are replacing smaller aircrafts with new, larger planes that can accommodate a greater number of passengers, which will increase the number of flight attendants needed on some routes.

Career paths

Typically, a high school diploma is required to become a flight attendant. In some cases, airlines may prefer to hire applicants who have taken some college course or those who can speak a foreign language. On top of this, it is helpful to have relevant work experience in a service occupation before applying to be a flight attendant. Relevant jobs include customer service positions in restaurants, hotels or resorts.

To become a flight attendant in the United States, you must be over the age of 18, have a valid passport and pass all background checks. On top of this, they must ave visions that is correctable to at least 20/40 and often need to conform to the airlines heigh requirements and complete a medical evaluation. After achieving the relevant education, work experience, and meeting the airlines pre-employment standards, it is absolutely vital that flight attendants receive training from their employer and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Training lasts anywhere between 3-6 weeks and usually take place at the airlines flight training center. Trainees learn emergency procedures, such as evacuating aircraft, operating emergency equipment and administering first aid. They will also receive company specific instruction on flight regulations, company operations and job duties. Towards the end of their training, aspiring flight attendants will go on a practice fight to show their proficiency and competence.

Example Job Titles for Flight Attendant

Below is a list of common job titles in the Flight Attendant field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for flight attendants in the United States was $59,050 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,790.

The highest paying industries of flight attendants was the schedule air transportation industry, where the median annual salary was $59,220. This was followed by nonscheduled air transportation ($57,320) and then support activities for air transportation ($48,550).

Autonomy and Flexibility

As a whole, flight attendants are unlikely to feel a huge sense of autonomy. They will have to follow the airlines policies and rules and won’t have much control over decisions. Flexibility is likely to be higher as flight attendants can often ‘bid’ for their preferred route and effectively choose their schedule and travel time.

Locations and commute

According to Zippia, the best states to be an flight attendant, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, were:

  1. Washington, where the average annual salary was $77,450
  2. Florida, where the average annual salary was $62,610
  3. Oregon, where the average annual salary was $80,410
  4. Texas, where the average annual salary was $58,820
  5. Indiana, where the average annual salary was $60,080

Work environment

The largest employer of flight attendants in the United States is the scheduled air transportation industry, which employs 97% of flight attendants. This was followed by the nonscheduled air transportation industry, which employs 2% and then, finally, the support activities for air transportation industry, which employs only 1% on flight attendants.

Flight attendants will work primarily in the cabin of a passenger aircraft. They deal directly with passengers, and must stand for a long period of time. Occasionally, flights will encounter turbulence, which can make providing a service more difficult and promote anxiety.

This occupation also has one of the highest rates of injury and illness of all occupations. However, procedures are in place to avoid injuries. For example, to ensure that overhead compartments are closed, passengers are wearing seatbelts and to ensure that the food carts are stowed away properly.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Flight Attendant careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Flight Attendant career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Flight Attendant.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

Big Five (OCEAN)


Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Personality types

There has been no exploration as to what personality traits will make a successful flight attendant. However, it could be assumed that they will be score high on extraversion, as this will give them the skills to confidently interact with passengers. They will also probably be open to experience, as this will give them an enthusiasm for travelling and going on adventures. Finally, flight attendants will most likely be conscientious, as this will help them check equipment thoroughly and stick to company policies and procedures.

Accomplishment and mastery

Flight attendants learn many of the skills they need through their training, and through gathering experience. They use these skills to ensure that passengers on planes are safe every time they travel.. Therefore, it is possible that they may feel a high sense of accomplishment and mastery. On top of this, flight attendants are required to keep training throughout their career, which ensures that their sense of accomplishment and mastery remains high.

Meaning and contribution

Although the work of a flight attendant won’t directly change the world, it still holds a lot of meaning and contribution. Flying, both nationally and internationally, is so important. Whether the travel is for work, holidays, weddings or funerals, it is necessary. And, flight attendants play a fundamental role in ensuring that this travel is safe, comfortable and fun.

Life fit

Flight attendants usually have variable schedules. They often work nights, weekends, and holidays because airlines operate every day and have overnight flights. In most cases, a contract between the airline and the flight attendant union determines the total daily and monthly workable hours. A typical on-duty shift is about 12 to 14 hours per day. However, duty time can be increased for international flights.

Attendants usually fly 75 to 100 hours a month and generally spend another 50 hours a month on the ground, preparing flights, writing reports, and waiting for aircraft to arrive. They can spend several nights a week away from home, where they will stay in hotels or other accommodation. As a result, it is a career that can provide a difficult life fit.

Who will thrive in this career?

To be a truly thriving flight attendant, you need to be brave and ready to respond to any risks facing passengers aboard the flight. Although rare, emergencies do happen and flight attendants must be able to respond to these with decisiveness and resilience.

They also provide assistance with boarding – offering extra help to children and special needs passengers – and ensuring passengers load their carry-on bags aboard the flight in conformance with restrictions. As a result, a thriving air hostess will have the ability to pay excellent attention to detail, be pleasant to members of the public and multitask.

Finally, a high level of enthusiasm for travelling is essential to thrive as a travel agent. They will spend a lot of time travelling to different locations, staying in accommodation in other countries and advising passengers on where to go.

Who will struggle in this career?

Those with poor people skills, or those who do not like interacting with other people all day, will struggle with being a flight attendant, who needs to be very engaging and friendly as all times! Those who cannot think on their feet or remain calm in stressful situations may struggle as a flight attendant, who can be faced with an emergency at any point. Finally, those not capable of making decisions are more likely to struggle as a flight attendant.


Quick Glance


Skills and talents

As well as a genuine passion for flying and travel, flight attendants need skills and talents such as:

  • Customer service skills, as flight attendants will spend the entire flight ensuring that passengers needs are met in a processional manner
  •  Attentiveness, as flight attendants must be aware of any security risks and must be attentive and understanding of each passengers needs
  • Attention to detail, as flight attendants are responsible for checking the safety of the equipment before the plane departs
  • Decisionmaking skills, as flight attendants  need to be able to act decisively in emergencies
  • Physical stamina, as flight attendants will be on their feet for most of the flight and need to push, pull and carry various items!


As a bare minimum, a high school diploma is required to become a flight attendant. In some cases, airlines may prefer to hire applicants who have taken some college course or those who can speak a foreign language. After this education, flight attendants will receive training from their employer. This training takes between 3 and 6 weeks to complete and covers all the skills and knowledge that a flight attendant needs to know.


Flight attendants must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To get this certification, they need to complete relevant training and continue to take training throughout their career.

How to Become


Although many of us think of flight attendants as just serving drinks and good to passengers on planes, they actually have a much deeper purpose than that! A flight attendants main purpose is to help ensure the safety of  all passengers! They are trained in the use of emergency equipment, and supplies, and they have the  very important job of inspecting all safety equipment aboard the plane before each flight takes off.

As more and more people want to fly, airlines are beginning to fly larger flights – and they’re doing this more regularly! As a result, there is expected to be a big employment growth of flight attendants over the coming years!

Immediate action

If, after reading this career guide, becoming a flight attendant is something that appeals to you, we recommend getting in some experience in a customer service field, such as waitressing, front of house or another hospitality role.

Education and learning

To become a flight attendant, you will need a high school diploma. Some employers prefer to hire flight attendants with additional education, such as college courses or a degree.

Skill development

Once hired, flight attendants will receive the training they need to get their skills and knowledge up to scratch. In order to keep their certification, flight attendants are also required to keep training throughout their entire career.


Ask a Question

Have a question about Flight Attendant careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
32583 Flight Attendant Female 33 $33,000 Brooklyn, NY 01/01/2010