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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info


Flight Attendant

Overview: Flight attendants perform safety, first aid, multi-lingual information giving and food and beverage services during passenger boarding, the flight and disembarking stages of passenger flights. They may also be responsible for ticketing procedures during airplane boarding.
Duties: The main job of flight attendants is to keep passengers safe and evacuate them in an emergency. They receive special training for this part of their job. However, only a few flights ever require an emergency response. On most flights, attendants follow the same routine.

Flight attendants provide emergency instructions to passengers before airplane take-off and explain procedures for emergency exiting in case of fire, crash, water landing, etc. They provide passengers with destination information, such as connecting flights to other cities, baggage pick-up, ground transportation, etc. They may be required to have a knowledge of foreign languages.

Flight attendants give first aid to passengers experiencing medical problems. This may involve CPR and oxygen. They counsel and help defuse passenger's anxiety during flight, and control unruly passengers.

Flight attendants serve food and beverages to passengers during flight. They may perform ticketing & check-in services during passenger boarding and assure that all passengers follow pilot's safety instructions. They keep flight records and write down any problems that occurred during the flight. On smaller airlines, flight attendants may clean the passenger cabin.

Some flight attendants become supervisors or take on additional duties such as recruiting and instructing. Their experience also may qualify them for numerous airline-related jobs involving contact with the public, such as reservation ticket agent or public-relations specialist.

Degree(s): A.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences 
A.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Science) 
Job Outlook: Employment of flight attendants is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018. Population growth and an improving economy are expected to boost the number of airline passengers. As airlines expand their capacity to meet rising demand by increasing the number and size of planes in operation and the number of flights offered, more flight attendants will be needed.
Starting Salary: Beginning pay scales for flight attendants vary by carrier. New hires usually begin at the same pay scale regardless of experience, and all flight attendants receive the same future pay increases. In addition to their salary, flight attendants and their immediate families are entitled to free fares on their own airline and reduced fares on most other airlines.
Salary Range (National Average): $40,000 to $48,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.
Additional Training/Education: Airlines prefer to hire flight attendants who have a college associate degree or equivalent. A liberal arts background is appropriate and foreign language training is helpful. Some colleges offer programs in aviation management with courses in flight safety and flight operations that would enhance your credentials. Most large airlines require new hires to complete a four to six week intensive training in their own schools. Hiring requirements are similar among all the airlines. Flight Attendants must be at least 19 to 21 years old. Height may be between 5' 2" and 6' 0", with weight in proportion to height and bone structure. Depending on the airline, natural vision must be at least 20/50 to 20/200; corrected vision (glasses or contacts) must be 20/20 to 20/50. General health must be excellent; all airlines give pre-employment physicals.
Advancement Info: After finishing initial training, flight attendants are assigned to one of their airline's home bases. They are placed on "reserve status." They are called on to staff extra flights or fill in for crew members who are sick, on vacation, or re-routed. When not on duty, reserve flight attendants must be available to report for flights on short notice. In general, flight attendants remain on reserve for at least one year. In some cities it may take five or ten years before they advance from reserve status. Once they move from reserve, flight attendants bid for regular assignments. Because these assignments are based on seniority, only the senior attendants may receive their choice. Advancement takes longer today because experienced flight attendants are staying in the field. Some flight attendants with leadership skills may move into supervisor positions. Others may take on more responsibilities and recruit or instruct new flight attendants.
Recommended Skills:
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
Recommended Values:
  • Being involved in helping other people in a direct way either individually or in a small group.
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
 

* National data collected by the Department of Labor between 2008-2012.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.