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The career of a flight attendant can be exciting, adventurous, and full of interactions with new and interesting people from all over the world. If you are someone who finds it hard to commit to mundane and repetitive tasks at work, or if you have a dream of traveling the world and exploring different cultures, find flight attendant jobs may be the best decision you could make for not only your career, but for your life in general, as well.
Becoming a flight attendant means opening up your eyes to the world, traveling from country to country, staying in luxurious hotels, and meeting people from all walks of life. These are just a few examples of the possible perks of flight attendant jobs. Continue reading for more information on the job description of a flight attendant, what is entailed in flight attendant jobs, salary information, and more about why you should consider looking for a job as a flight attendant.
What Is a Flight Attendant?
Flight attendants are the individuals aboard the aircraft responsible for assuring the safety, security, and comfort of passengers during flights. They work both with other flight attendants and with the flight’s pilot to inform and educate passengers on the proper safety requirements and precautions, ensure that the cabin is neat and orderly, provide passengers with food and refreshments, and more.
There are many exciting aspects to the job of a flight attendant, and it is very much worth considering as a career. There are many responsibilities and duties that come with being a flight attendant.
Responsibilities of a Flight Attendant
- Inform passengers of safety precautions and requirements
- Maintain cleanliness of cabin
- Ensure safety of passengers
- Ensure comfort of passengers
- Serve food and refreshments
- Administer first aid to passengers when needed
- Assist passengers in the event of an emergency
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Becoming a Flight Attendant
For most flight attendant positions, there is no required college degree. There are exceptions to this; some airlines do prefer to hire flight attendants who have completed college, but for the most part it is not a requirement. In many cases, most flight attendants are only required to have a high school diploma, and they receive formal training and official certification through their employer.
The initial training for newly-hired flight attendants usually lasts anywhere from three to six weeks, and training is usually completed at the airline’s official training center. During this training, flight attendants learn about their basic job duties and requirements, flight rules and regulations, and safety precautions and requirements. They will learn how to operate emergency equipment, the process of evacuating in the case of emergency, and how to administer first aid to passengers.
This training period is extremely crucial to their becoming official flight attendants; once aboard their first real flight, the flight attendants will need to know all aspects of the job as well as be fully prepared in the case of emergency so that they will be able to ensure the safety of the passengers.
At the end of the training program, the new flight attendants will go on test flights where they will put the skills they learned during the multiple weeks of training to the test in real-world application. When these test flights are successfully completed, the flight attendants are then officially considered to employees of the airline and they receive their FAA certification of Demonstrated Proficiency.
Additional Training and Probation
Each year following their initial certification, all flight attendants are required to attend additional training in order to keep their skills as fresh and strong as possible so that they can better serve the passengers on their flights. After officially becoming a flight attendant, new employees are usually placed on what is called “reserve status”, referred to commonly as probation. This essentially means that the employee must be on call at all times to cover for other flight attendants that cannot make their shifts, or to cover flights that require more staffing.
Eventually, the longer the employee works for the airline, the more benefits of seniority they will experience. After the reserve status is completed, flight attendants will be able to choose which flights they will work on.
Considering the Position
While there are many things that are exciting and positive about becoming a flight attendant, it is important to consider all aspects of the position before you look for flight attendant jobs to enter the aviation field. Understanding all the pro’s and con’s of being a flight attendant can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you would like to join the aviation field as a flight attendant.
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Pros of Being a Flight Attendant
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- You’ll get paid to travel around the world
- You have the opportunity to meet new and interesting people
- There’s a constant change of scenery
- You enjoy the benefits of helping people feel safe and comfortable
- There is excellent job security
- You’ll get an allowance for meals and hotels while on duty
- You’ll master the practice of life-saving first aid techniques
- You enjoy free stays in the best hotels around the world
- You have multiple days off every month (10-15)
- You become part of a close-knit community with other flight attendants
- You’ll enjoy discounts on flights unrelated to work
- You have the ability to work part time
- You have the ability to work full time
- You have the ability to work your way up
- You have the ability to make your own schedule
- You’ll need to be ok with multiple days every week spent away from home
- You’ll be required to spend many hours on your feet
- You are required to be on call when first hired
- Starting pay is very low
- You may have to deal with nasty or negative passengers on flights
- There is a possibility of being hurt during bad turbulence
- You’ll be exposed to germs in the cabin over long periods of time
- You will have to work holidays and weekends, especially at the beginning
- Your work schedule will be subject to change
- There are often very early hours
Is There a Need for Flight Attendants?
There is absolutely a need for flight attendants. Contrary to popular belief, flight attendants aren’t just present on flights to hand out miniature liquor bottles and snacks. Flight attendants are present aboard flights to provide passengers with a sense of security, warmth, and a personable experience while flying. Flying can induce anxiety in anyone, so it is important to have calm, friendly professionals available at a moment’s notice to ensure the passengers have a sense of safety and security.
Flight attendants are the go-to individuals to maintain order in the cabin during the flight. They inform passengers on the airline rules and regulations and ensure that all passengers have a safe and enjoyable flight. In the case of emergency, the flight attendants are available to direct passengers in order to keep them as safe as possible.
Perks of Flight Attendant Jobs
As previously stated, there are quite a few different perks, or pros, to flight attendant jobs. Flight attendants enjoy many luxurious benefits, such as free air travel, free lodging in beautiful and expensive hotels all around the world, the ability to choose their own schedule, and more. The benefits that flight attendants enjoy are very often extended to the flight attendant’s families, as well; flight attendant’s family members are also often able to enjoy free or discounted flights when they accompany the flight attendant on a trip.
Most flight attendants must deal with being away from home for an average of three days a week but are compensated with an average of anywhere from 10-15 days off every month to spend at home with their friends and family. In addition to this, most flight attendants belong to a union, ensuring job security and the promise of being treated respectfully by employers.
Many flight attendants are able to enjoy an early retirement; it is common for flight attendants to retire at around 40 years of age. While there are drawbacks to being a flight attendant, many flight attendants would argue that the perks and pros greatly outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to flight attendant jobs.
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Flight attendant jobs can present their own drawbacks and risks, but you would be hard-pressed to find a job that did not. Becoming a flight attendant opens up an entire world–literally–of possibilities for people. Now that you are more informed about flight attendant jobs, you can make a more informed decision about whether this career would be right for you. It certainly is not for everyone, but flight attendant jobs have the potential to create an incredibly cultured, exciting, and fun life for anyone.
If reading through this article has convinced you that the career of a flight attendant is right for you and your lifestyle, it would be a good idea to start applying to airlines as soon as possible. There are hundreds of different airlines, all with different opportunities for their employees. Do some thorough research to decide which airline would best suit you, and always keep in mind that the job of a flight attendant is all about ensuring that passengers are comfortable, safe, and happy, all while exploring the world, meeting new and exciting people, and learning about new cultures.