Airline Stewardess: Job Description and Training Information

Sep 24, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an airline stewardess, also known as a flight attendant. Get an overview of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and on-the-job training to see if this is the career for you.

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If you are thinking about becoming an airline stewardess, you need a high school diploma, although a college degree is preferable. It also helps to be fluent in a foreign language, as stewardesses can travel and work on international flights. A flight attendant training program is required, and leads to certification through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Essential Information

While a career as an airline stewardess - more commonly called a flight attendant - includes serving and satisfying passengers, it also entails ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members. Though preferred, a college education is generally not required, because airlines provide thorough training. Flight attendants receive extensive emergency training, because in the case of an emergency, they may have to lead the evacuation.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements On-the-job training, certification from the FAA
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10% (for all flight attendants)
Median Salary (2018)* $56,000 (for flight attendants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Airline Stewardess Job Description

The main duty of a flight attendant is maintaining a safe and secure flight while keeping passengers at ease. Before takeoff, flight attendants ensure the plane is equipped with emergency gear, first-aid kits and enough food and drink for all the passengers. They also greet passengers, take tickets, ensure seat belts are fastened and drill passengers in emergency procedures. If an emergency does occur, flight attendants may direct the evacuation and provide first-aid to the injured.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), flight attendants typically spend 75-100 hours each month in the air and 50 hours each month getting the plane ready and writing flight reports on the ground (www.bls.gov). Since airlines operate at all hours of the day, flight attendants may work nights, weekends and holidays. They often spend time at destination locations, in which case airlines pay for hotel stays and meals.

Airline Stewardess Training Information

A career as a flight attendant requires at least a high school diploma or GED, though many employers generally prefer candidates with a college education. Applicants with customer service-oriented degrees, such as communication, hospitality or psychology, will benefit from greater job opportunities. During college, students should take foreign language courses, because international airlines favor flight attendants fluent in two or more foreign languages. To earn employment with an airline, a flight attendant must complete an exhaustive formal training program provided by the airline.

Training programs usually span 3-6 weeks and are divided into four sections: basic aviation training, flight attendant instruction and aircraft training. Basic aviation training includes airline orientation, policies and procedures education. Flight attendant instruction focuses on safety procedures such as fire prevention, usage of flotation devices and oxygen masks, emergency evacuation and survival after a crash. Aircraft training familiarizes the candidate with the galleys, flight attendant jump seats, lavatories and aircraft communications systems for the airplanes on which they'll be working. After passing the training program, the candidate receives the Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency from the Federal Aviation Administration and can legally serve as a flight attendant (www.faa.gov).

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

The BLS reported in May 2018 that flight attendants made a median salary of $56,000 annually. Due to the replacement of smaller aircraft with larger planes by airlines, the BLS predicted a ten percent increase in the number of flight attendant jobs from 2018-2028.

Airline stewardesses, or flight attendants, ensure the safety and comfort of passengers on flights. A college diploma is preferred, and a training program that includes basic aviation, aircraft training and flight attendant instruction is required. Flight attendants work all days and times of the year, and job opportunities are predicted to grow by 10% from 2018-2028.

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