What Does A Flight Attendant Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Flight Attendants

Flight Attendants monitor safety of the aircraft cabin. Provide services to airline passengers, explain safety information, serve food and beverages, and respond to emergency incidents.

Salary
$59150
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Flight Attendants monitor safety of the aircraft cabin. Provide services to airline passengers, explain safety information, serve food and beverages, and respond to emergency incidents.

  • Verify that first aid kits and other emergency equipment, including fire extinguishers and oxygen bottles, are in working order.
  • Direct and assist passengers in emergency procedures, such as evacuating a plane following an emergency landing.
  • Administer first aid to passengers in distress.
  • Announce and demonstrate safety and emergency procedures, such as the use of oxygen masks, seat belts, and life jackets.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Flight Attendants greet passengers boarding aircraft and direct them to assigned seats. They check to ensure that food, beverages, blankets, reading material, emergency equipment, and other supplies are aboard and are inadequate supply.

A typical day for a Flight Attendant will also include:

  • Announce and demonstrate safety and emergency procedures, such as the use of oxygen masks, seat belts, and life jackets.
  • Prepare passengers and aircraft for landing, following procedures.
  • Conduct periodic trips through the cabin to ensure passenger comfort and to distribute reading material, headphones, pillows, playing cards, and blankets.
  • Attend preflight briefings concerning weather, altitudes, routes, emergency procedures, crew coordination, lengths of flights, food and beverage services offered, and numbers of passengers.
  • Verify that first aid kits and other emergency equipment, including fire extinguishers and oxygen bottles, are in working order.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Flight Attendants also reassure passengers when situations, such as turbulence, are encountered. They may also heat and serve prepared foods.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Flight Attendants inspect passenger tickets to verify the information and to obtain destination information. They might also assist passengers entering or disembarking the aircraft.

In addition, they operate audio and video systems.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them announce flight delays and descent preparations.

To some Flight Attendants, it is also their responsibility to answer passengers’ questions about flights, aircraft, weather, travel routes and services, arrival times, or schedules.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
1%

Very little freedom
4%

Limited freedom
2%

Some freedom
17%

A lot of freedom
77%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
12%

Very little freedom
3%

Limited freedom
4%

Some freedom
30%

A lot of freedom
51%


Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Low

72% said they were satisfied with their job and 41% said they found their job meaningful.


A major U.S. airline

I spent about five years working as a flight attendant and loved it (for the most part). Most of the training is safety-related (evacuations, medical situations, etc.), but the job itself is pretty easy. You’ve board the plane, do the safety demo, hand out snacks/drinks, collect trash, and relax the rest of the day. This … Read More


A major US airline

My name is Nicole Janowski and I work for a major US airline. As a reserve flight attendant, I get 3 hours’ notice when assigned to work on a flight. When I’m on call, crew scheduling can call at any time day or night. I’ll answer their call, confirm my trip details, and start to … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to start and carry out projects.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Salary is below average.

Demand for this career is declining.

How much do they make

Average salary

$59150 per year

Average hourly wage

$* per hour

Entry-level Flight Attendants with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $30,930 to $43,080 per year or $* to $* per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $84,790 $*
Senior (Top 25%) $71,550 $*
Median $59,050 $*
Junior (Bottom 25%) $43,080 $*
No experience (Bottom 10%) $30,930 $*

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Flight Attendants based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Nonscheduled Air Transportation $59690 $*
Scheduled Air Transportation $59230 $*
Support Activities for Air Transportation $53480 $*
Employment Services $51560 $*
Management of Companies and Enterprises $ $*

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Flight Attendants work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Flight Attendants including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Scheduled Air Transportation 112450 $59230 $*
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 1940 $59690 $*
Support Activities for Air Transportation 1180 $53480 $*
Management of Companies and Enterprises 40 $ $*
Employment Services $51560 $*

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
78%

40 hours
7%

More than 40 hours
15%

Working schedule

26%

74%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
0%

Very important
10%

Extremely important
90%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
9%

Fairly important
0%

Important
1%

Very important
6%

Extremely important
83%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
28%

Important
9%

Very important
11%

Extremely important
52%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
39%

Every day
45%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
49%

Every day
1%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
20%

Every day
64%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
28%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
3%

Once a week
20%

Every day
48%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
17%

Once a month
8%

Once a week
34%

Every day
41%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
4%

Once a month
12%

Once a week
7%

Every day
77%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
18%

Once a year
59%

Once a month
10%

Once a week
12%

Every day
2%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
53%

Slightly competitive
8%

Moderately competitive
13%

Highly competitive
18%

Extremely competitive
8%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
29%

Fairly important
1%

Important
12%

Very Important
23%

Extremely Important
35%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
4%

Moderate impact
5%

Important impact
41%

Very important impact
50%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
0%

Once a year
15%

Once a month
2%

Once a week
18%

Every day
65%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
7%

Moderate responsibility
19%

High responsibility
18%

Very high responsibility
56%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
19%

Limited responsibility
26%

Moderate responsibility
30%

High responsibility
12%

Very high responsibility
13%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
13%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
23%

Every day
64%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
74%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
19%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
5%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
85%

Once a year or more
11%

Once a month or more
4%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
99%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
30%

Post-Secondary Certificate
11%

Some College Courses
33%

Associate’s Degree or similar
26%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
10%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
2%

3 to 6 months
9%

6 months to 1 year
12%

1 to 2 years
24%

2 to 4 years
36%

4 to 6 years
6%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
10%

1 month
43%

1 to 3 months
29%

3 to 6 months
19%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
0%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Leader

People with this personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.

The Builder
48%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
19%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
33%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
76%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
86%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
67%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
52%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
69%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
90%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
86%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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