How to become a Flight Attendant

Flight attendants provide onboard service to aircraft passengers and ensure the observance of airline safety procedures.

Personal requirements of a Flight Attendant

  • Friendly personality with excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Neat personal appearance at all times
  • Able to work under pressure and within tight time frames
  • Able to adapt easily to an irregular lifestyle
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to satisfy height requirements (for some airlines)
  • Able to swim approximately 20 to 50 metres unaided (for some airlines)
  • At least 18 years of age

Education & Training for a Flight Attendant

You can work as a flight attendant without formal qualifications. Entry requirements may vary, but the major airlines generally require you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with good results in English and mathematics, combined with the successful undertaking of written and practical examinations, as well as behavioural assessments. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications and/or relevant experience in the hospitality or customer service industry. You can also become a flight attendant through a traineeship in Aviation (Flight Operations). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. On appointment, flight attendants undertake initial in-house training, prior to commencing flight duties.

Duties & Tasks of a Flight Attendant

Flight attendants may perform the following tasks:

  • conduct pre-flight cabin checks
  • check boarding passes and direct passengers to seats
  • advise passengers of safety regulations
  • distribute reading material and serve meals and drinks
  • provide first aid treatment and assist sick passengers
  • anticipate and provide for the comfort of passengers needing special attention, including unaccompanied children, parents with infants, people with disability, the elderly and non-English speaking passengers
  • take action in the event of decompression, turbulence, mechanical malfunction or unlawful acts by passengers
  • prepare for emergency landings and the evacuation of passengers.

Working conditions for a Flight Attendant

Flight attendants work in shifts that involve irregular hours, working weekends and public holidays, and spending time away from home. They work long hours in a pressurised cabin and must adjust to varying climatic conditions and different time zones.

Employment Opportunities for a Flight Attendant

Competition for flight attendant positions is very strong and the supply of applicants far outweighs demand. Flight attendants are usually based in particular Australian capital cities. Contact the airlines for full details. With experience and further training, flight attendants may progress to the position of cabin supervisor or cabin manager.

Additional Information
The major airlines prefer candidates who speak a second language or can demonstrate an awareness of other cultures. Applicants are required to have a Provide First Aid Certificate, a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate and a valid passport, all with a minimum of 12 months’ validity. All persons working in the airline industry must satisfy security clearance requirements. Flight attendants receive regular training throughout their careers and their performance is monitored to ensure high standards.
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