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How to Become a Flight Attendant

Puja Lalwani
Mesmerized by the glamor of airline jobs, a lot of you may want to learn how to become a flight attendant. Here are all the details that will answer all the queries you have regarding choosing this field as your career.
The job of a flight attendant, or what is popularly known as that of a flight steward (male) or air hostess (female), seems very glamorous.
You get to travel and see different places, you socialize with a lot of people, and you get to wear smart, fancy uniforms that you have only coveted since you first traveled by plane. While all these are important aspects of the job, there is a lot more required to become a flight attendant and deal with all that the job has to offer.
A flight attendant must ensure the safety of passengers on flight and cater to all there necessities through their journey.
They also have to deal with drunk passengers, events of hijacking, medical problems on-board, and any other unforeseen situation that suddenly may make its presence felt. All these attributes of the job are provided in the course of training, though there are certain requirements you need to fulfill before pursuing a career in this field.

What Does it Take to Become a Flight Attendant?

As mentioned earlier, airline jobs such as that of a flight attendant, as glamorous as they appear, also entail a lot of hard work. Enlisted here are some requirements.
  • Surprisingly, in terms of education, becoming a flight attendant does not require much. At the minimum, you must have a high school diploma, though some airlines are very specific that you should have at least a college degree. 
No specific majors are enlisted, but taking courses in public relations will teach you essential communication skills that will help you deal with the various types of passengers you will come across on-board.
  • You must be fluent in English, and knowledge of another language such as French, German, Spanish or Mandarin will always be an added advantage.
  • Since the field is highly competitive, and jobs aren't as many as there are aspirants, going to a well-known aviation academy or school to train will always give you the edge over other candidates. 
In the course of your education, you will be trained to deal with all the various circumstances that you may be privy to in flight, the safety measures you will ensure that passengers follow, and dealing with passengers and their requirements in general.
  • Getting some kind of experience in a job that allows you to train in customer service is another factor that will give you the edge. This is because, the entire job is based on customer service, and having prior knowledge and experience always appears as an added advantage on your resume.
  • Now, an important aspect to remember is to consider your physical appearance. You have to be impeccably dressed all the time, and maintain neatness and personal hygiene. You cannot have visible piercings in places other than your ears, bizarre hairstyles, or any tattoos that may tarnish your image in the airline uniform. 
Also, getting a regular manicure and keeping your hands in great condition is very important. Men are not allowed to have funky hairstyles or facial hair, and have to be well-groomed at all times.
  • Further, before you are made eligible for a job, you will undergo numerous health check-ups to ensure that you have no conditions that will be affected by the continuous travel in airplanes. You must also have perfect vision, as it is a prerequisite for any kind of airline job.
A thorough background check will be conducted before you are hired for the job. So when you do apply and fill out the application, ensure that you provide all your correct details. One mistake and you could miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • When you get a job as a flight attendant, you will be trained by the airline to match their quality and standards, and will be taught all the techniques that the airline specifically employs for the aforementioned circumstances.
  • Those hired without any experience are kept on reserve status for a year. This means they will be called in when there is a shortage of cabin crew on the flight. Such instances may occur suddenly, and you have to be prepared to travel at any given time. 
Also, you may not get to travel on the best routes, and may have to move to another city to get a start into this job. Be prepared for all this. After you complete a year in the reserve status, based on your performance, you will be absorbed as permanent cabin crew.
As you gain more experience, you will be given better opportunities to travel to all those dream places you have always wanted to.

How Long Does it Take?

The process of becoming a flight attendant can take anywhere from 1 - 2 years. Based on the duration of your study, and the amount of time you spend getting some work experience, the duration of becoming a qualified flight attendant will be decided.

Salary Range

It is interesting to note that the salary range is based on an hourly basis. To start off with, you may make anywhere between $14 to $20 an hour.
A flight attendant usually works for about 75 hours a month, and is also given what is known as a per diem of $5.00 to $9.00 for every hour that you are working on flight. Of course, as you gain further experience, you will be given a higher salary that can range from anywhere between $28 to $50 an hour, and more.

Working for Private Jets

Those of you wishing to become flight attendants for private jets have to complete some more requirements, in addition to the aforementioned ones. For one, you have to complete certain years of experience as a regular flight attendant. Only after that will you qualify for private jets, which is a compulsion for such jobs in the aviation sector.
Alternately, special short courses have been charted out for working on private jets. Though they are expensive, they are a great choice for those looking to take their job as a flight attendant to the next level, and earn a higher salary.
Go and pursue your dream to work in the skies, and make a good salary in the process. It is definitely a rewarding career for those who are determined, hardworking, and have a great passion for their jobs.