Flight Attendants

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Purpose: 83
  • Supported: 83
  • Social: 83
  • Creative: 51
  • Analytical: 24

What Flight Attendants Do

Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers.

Work Environment

Flight attendants work evenings, weekends, and holidays, because airlines operate every day and have overnight flights. Attendants work in aircraft and may be away from home several nights per week. Most have variable schedules.

How to Become a Flight Attendant

Flight attendants receive initial training from their employer and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Although flight attendants must have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent, some airlines prefer to hire applicants who have taken some college courses. Prospective flight attendants typically need previous work experience in customer service. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, be eligible to work in the United States, have a valid passport, and pass a background check and drug test.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Flight attendants

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of flight attendants is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for applicants with a college degree.

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    Job Trends for Flight Attendants

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    This occupation supported 84,800 jobs in 2012 and 97,900 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 15.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to decrease by 6.6% in 2022 to 79,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 83,600, compared with an observed value of 97,900, 17.1% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 2.6% in 2024 to 100,100 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 78,000 jobs for 2024, 22.1% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.