Flight Attendant: Educational and Training Requirements
Flight attendants are responsible for passenger safety before, during and after a flight. They attend to travelers' needs, from simple drink and food requests to serious medical situations. Read on for detailed information on how to become a flight attendant.
Educational Requirements for Flight Attendants
Airlines require flight attendants to possess at least a high school diploma or a GED certificate to qualify for the position. While postsecondary education is not necessary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that many employers prefer it (www.bls.gov). Airlines especially favor candidates with degrees that might facilitate customer service skills, such as communications, psychology and education. International airlines generally seek flight attendant candidates who speak one or more languages of the countries they frequent.
A certificate or associate degree program concentrated in flight attendant training is also available for prospective flight attendants who want a competitive edge over other applicants. Students in such programs may take courses in crew emergency management, airline operations and aviation safety. Prospective flight attendants are educated in emergency management, CPR and rescue techniques.
Training Requirements for Flight Attendants
According to the BLS, after completing the screening process and being hired, flight attendants must be trained by their airline. Training typically lasts from 3-6 weeks, and each company provides a specific program that covers its own core values and business models. Topics of study include first aid, safety, emergency preparedness, federal regulations and flight procedures.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates that all flight attendants must receive certification (www.faa.gov). To become certified through the FAA or the National Transportation Safety Board, flight attendants must apply to and gain a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency after completing training requirements.
There are usually a number of additional requirements related to age and physical condition for flight attendant positions. Airlines often require certain age, height and weight restrictions. Additionally, employers place high standards on physical appearance, hygiene and grooming. Airlines also conduct medical screenings and background checks of prospective hires.
Career and Salary Information
The BLS predicted that flight attendant employment will have little to no change in the years 2010 through 2020. Flight attendants earned $37,240 as a median annual wage in 2012, according to the BLS.
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