How to become a Flight Attendant

Flight Attendant

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

Personal requirements for 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. On appointment, flight attendants undertake initial in-house training, prior to commencing flight duties.


Additional information

The major airlines prefer candidates who speak a second language or can demonstrate an awareness of and respect for 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.

Duties & Tasks of a Flight Attendant

Flight attendants:

  • 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.

Tasks

  • Checks passengers' tickets and directs them to seats..
  • Conducts safety checks and demonstrations of safety equipment and procedures..
  • Tidies aircraft..
  • Carries out emergency procedures, assists and directs passengers in emergencies..
  • Manages the completion of any customs and immigration documentation which may be required..
  • Makes public announcements..
  • Operates galleys, prepares and heats food for passengers and serves refreshments and meals..
  • Receives and stows food, equipment and cabin baggage..
  • Co-ordinates the sale of goods to passengers..
  • Distributes reading material, pillows, blankets and other amenities for the comfort 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.


Specializations

Flight Attendant

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

Cabin Supervisor
  • Average age
    Average age
    38 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    74% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    41 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,340
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    51% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    8,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.8%
    NSW: 35.9%
    NT: 0.6%
    QLD: 23.0%
    SA: 4.7%
    TAS: 0.4%
    VIC: 23.1%
    WA: 11.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 1.3%
    20-24: 12.3%
    25-34: 28.2%
    35-44: 22.7%
    45-54: 25.6%
    55-59: 7.5%
    60-64: 2%
    65 and Over: 0.4%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 17.6%
    Bachelor degree: 15.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 17.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.5%
    Year 10 and below: 5.2%
    Year 11: 4.2%
    Year 12: 37.5%
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