Becoming a pilot is a dream for many. After all, you get to fly a humongous aircraft and travel the world in the process. There are many other reasons why being a pilot is a sought-after job. But one of the more compelling reasons behind this is a pilot’s salary. Is pilot salary really that high? If it is, what are other responsibilities and benefit that comes with it? Read on to know more about these questions.
US National Pilot Salary Figures
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for pilots is $102,520 a year in 2015. For a large aircraft, the median annual figure goes up to as much as $126,000. However, the typical range is usually anywhere from $109,000 to $142,000 depending on various other factors.
On the other hand, the average salary for pilots in the US is much lower compared to its median figure. Indeed states that pilots make an average of $76,534 every year. The said salary information was gleaned from over 2,100 data points from employers themselves. Overall, pilots are paid a few levels above the national average salary in the US. Pilots who earn the highest are ones who have been employed in their airlines for a long time.
New Pilot Starting Salary
If you’re a newly minted pilot, chances are you’re in the lower totem pole of the salary spectrum. So what exactly is at the lower end? You’re looking at anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 a year. Translated to hourly, this would be anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour. This depends on what airline you’ll sign up to, the aircraft you’ll be flying, and whether you’ll be flying domestic or international.
The thing about being a pilot is that your flight hours will be highly regulated. And you’re likely to spend as much time on the ground as you do on air. Airline pilots, on average, log around 75 flying hours a month. They then log another 75 for carrying out ground tasks such as record maintenance, pre-flight checks, and flight planning—to name just a few.
Aside from the hourly wage pilots receive, they also receive a training stipend as well as a per diem rate when based away from home. The said rate covers their meals and other additional expenses that come with traveling. Moreover, airlines also pay for a pilot’s accommodation when flying to places that are away from home.
Although the starting salaries for pilots have been reputed to be fairly low, recent development in the industry has seen entry-level pay for pilots to be on the rise.
As mentioned previously, one of the factors that affect pilot salary is the aircraft you’ll be flying. Pilot training will then depend on the type of aircraft you’ll be designated to fly.
For a large jet, a pilot’s salary can reach as much as $120,000 annually. While smaller jets usually net a pilot a salary around the $100,00 a year range. On the other hand, pilots who fly non-jet aircrafts make significantly less. Those who fly large non-jet aircrafts earn around $80,000 per year. While small non-jet aircrafts have a median salary of $85,000 annually.
The highest pay rate based on aircraft is when a pilot flies any of the Legacy carriers. It’s one of the oldest and largest carriers available in US. For instance, flying a Boeing 757 carries a $70 per hour pay rate. The pay then significantly increases after the first and second year. After a decade of flying a Legacy aircraft, a pilot can enjoy as much as $150 per hour pay rate. Even with a minimum logged time of 65 hours a month, a pilot flying a Boeing 757 can still stand to make around $50,000 a year. This doesn’t include the per diem rate.
However, not all airlines provide the same rate. Delta, for instance, pays about $200 per hour for flying the Boeing 757 on a pilot’s first year. By year 10, this is set to increase to $222. This translates to a salary of $160,000 annually on a pilot’s first year and over $170,000 on the 10th year. Both estimates don’t include the per diem.
As lightly touched on in the last section, pilot salary can vary depending on what airline you sign up with.Every airline will offer a different base pay rate depending on your ranking. Most often than not, major airlines will offer higher salaries compared to smaller, regional ones. Regional airlines also usually have smaller fleets which means lower pay for their pilots as well.
Despite the lower pay, pilots commonly fly with regional airlines as a way to gain experience. And for pilots who are on the rise, it’s a must to have experience first before being hired by major airlines. Island Air, a regional airline, pays its first officers about $40 an hour. This goes up to almost $60 by the 5th year. Their captains make almost $70 an hour on their first year and about $100 by their 5th year.
In comparison, one of the biggest airlines in US, Southwest, has a reported salary of $50 an hour or about $193,000 for its first officers on their 1st year. This rate is set to more than double by a pilot’s 5th year to $130 an hour. By a pilot’s 10th year, the hourly wage for a first officer would be around $150 an hour.
Captains, on the other hand, stand to make as much as $190 an hour for their first year with Southwest. By his 5th year this is set to increase to $200 an hour and $212 for his 10th year.
How Pilot Salaries are Increased
Every airline has their own pay schedule but almost each one raises their pay yearly. Expect the biggest salary increases to be in the first five years of a pilot’s career. More specifically, the biggest increase will be after a pilot’s first year of probationary period. The pay raise for those ranking as first officers is also much more substantial compared to those already ranked as captain. Despite this, a lot of importance is still usually placed on seniority as a basis for a salary increase.
Aside from the standard salary that pilots get, there are also other forms of compensation that add to their total pay. Many airlines offer profit-sharing schemes as well as bonus and incentives to their pilots.
It has been reported that negotiations are in order for an increase in salary for pilots in some major airlines. In Delta, unions have been lobbying for as much as 13% increase in 2016 as well as an additional 3% raise in 2017. This will then be followed by a 3% boost in 2018 and 4% in 2019. With 2015 being the year that airlines made its highest profits, industry pundits are looking at a pay increase for pilots in the coming years.
Job growth for this career is slated to grow at 5% from 2014 to 2024 which is average. The forecasted employment change between 2014 to 2024 is about 5,400. All in all, the outlook for a pilot career will be steady in the next 10 years with little to no change.
However, a study by University of Dakota has forewarned a shortage of 15,000 pilots by 2026 which could put a dent in the growth of the industry. Should this shortage happen, it’ll no doubt slow down airline growth in the coming years. More specifically, it could increase labor costs as travel demand grows.
Due to this impending shortage, many regional airlines are increasing their pay and bonuses in order to attract more people into the flying career path. Major airline carriers haven’t felt this shortage since they hire mainly from regional airlines.
Pilot Job Description and Career Path
Being a pilot requires a number of serious responsibilities. Their biggest one is to transport a carrier and its passengers safely to the designated destination. They are also in charge of making sure that the aircraft is in good working order before every flight by doing pre-inspections. Another one of their responsibilities is modifying a flight plan in cases of emergencies.
Once you pass the hiring process, you’ll then start out as a flight instructor. The salary for a flight instructor usually starts out low. The common hourly rate for an instructor is anywhere from $15 to $20. This doesn’t include benefits such as health insurance, sick leaves, and vacation times. Due to this, there are some states that allow flight instructors to receive public assistance since the majority of pilots starting out are also beginning to pay their debts as well.
After a stint as a flight instructor, many new pilots move on to flying charter either in corporate flight, a small commercial airline, or flying freight while others directly work as a regional airline pilot. Once you’ve amassed enough experience, most pilots then go on to work for major airline carriers. Flying in any of the said options entail benefits and bonuses aside from the standard salary.
In terms of ranking, you may have to stay as a first officer for a couple of years before you’re promoted as a junior captain. Following a few years as a junior captain, you will then get promoted as a captain. In total, you’ll have to wait at least seven years before you can occupy the left seat of the cockpit as a captain. The key thing here is to stay in just one airline in your career so you don’t lose your seniority status.
How to Become a Pilot
If you want to know how to become a pilot, we have just the right information for you. The basic requirement to being one is having a college education. Most airlines require their pilots to have a bachelor’s degree rather than just an associate one.
Although not always necessary, it’ll be helpful if you get a college degree program that’s related or close to being a pilot so that you’ll have a solid educational foundation. An example would be mechanical or aerospace engineering. Some airlines also prefer pilots who have taken courses in liberal arts and aeronautical engineering subjects. You can then take classes in a flight school that’s certified by the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA.
The next step is to rack up on flight hours so you can earn your pilot license. For this, you have to have at least a minimum of 250 hours. If you’re 18 or older you can then complete your other requirements such as a physical examination to determine if their eyesight and hearing are sound. It also serves the purpose of assessing whether you have no physical impairments whatsoever in terms of doing your job as a pilot.
Aside from this, you also have to take a written exam that will test your flight expertise and knowledge about safety. The test will be monitored by an FAA-certified instructor. You might also be required to take other additional licenses or tests depending on your pilot position. Some airlines also require their pilots to take intelligence and psychological tests.
Once you’ve passed all the requirements to be a pilot and have been hired by an airline, you’ll then undergo pilot training. Some airlines such as Emirates have their own training facility that they exclusively use for training their pilots. Other airlines like EasyJet partner with other flight training schools in training their pilots.
Airline training usually integrates specific requirements unique to that airline as each one has different operational procedures and policies. Training usually covers topics such as jet orientation, crew cooperation, and line-oriented flight training—to name just a few. Pilots will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills that will prepare them to serve as a pilot flying both domestic and international flights.
Pilot training is also structured depending on the license it confers (e.g. Multi Pilot License). It can also be laid out according to a pilot’s position and what aircraft he’ll be flying. For instance, first officers usually receive a different training from captains.
Aside from actual flights, you’ll also be undergoing flight simulation training according to your airline’s operational requirements. The first six months is usually done in a classroom in order to build your aviation expertise. You will be regularly tested on your knowledge throughout the period and will then undergo actual flight training in the airline’s designated training center.
Flying an aircraft is no doubt an amazing experience. It’s the next best thing to being able to fly. Work as a pilot can be challenging since you’re responsible for the safety of thousands of people every day. More than that, it requires many skills as well to master flying something so big. Being a pilot can be a number of things. You can be an aircraft pilot, commuter pilot, and airline transport pilot, to name just a few.
Being a pilot can be a number of things. You can be an aircraft pilot, commuter pilot, and airline transport pilot, to name just a few. Below are more information on what it’s like to be a pilot.
Pilots are the ones who operate an aircraft during transportation from one place to another. They can either be employed privately or publicly. There are also pilots who work on a self-employed basis. Either way, a pilot’s life is often on the road, living in hotels and transferring from location to location.
But before you could ever hope to be a pilot, you have to have the education for it first. This costs anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 depending on your school. After that, you then have to get certified before you could officially assist in flying an aircraft.
Process of Becoming a Pilot
The process of becoming a pilot doesn’t stop when you finish your education and get certified. You then start out as a flight instructor and then, later on, move to being a charter pilot. You also have the option to make the shift to corporate and become a co-pilot. Flying for an airline is also an alternative that many take before becoming a captain.
During your career, you are also required to take regular simulation rides, crew training, flight assessments, and upgrade training, to name just a few.
Being a flight attendant is one of the most in-demand jobs out there. As a matter of fact, the ratio for applicants and for vacant spots is extremely high. There are 13 to 45 applicants all vying for just one spot judging by the applications received by U.S. airlines. Crazy, right? If that’s not competition for you, I don’t know what is.
With that many people clamoring to have a flight attendant job, you’re probably curious on how much a flight attendant job pays. If you want to know, the median salary in the U.S. for flight attendant jobs is $20.45 per hour. While profit sharing and bonuses can go as high as $3,000.
Annually, most flight attendants make anywhere over $55,000 to more than $86,000 as of May 31, 2016. The bottom 10% on the other hand, earns around $43,000. While those in the top 90% earns way over $100,000.
However, entry-level flight attendants stand to make only around $18,000 to $20,000 a year if you’re working for a major carrier.
Take note that flight attendant salary is dependent on a number of things. Factors such as seniority and how much hours you work per month are important. The more hours you work or the more senior your position is, the bigger your earning potential.
Flight Attendant Salary by Employer
Every airline has their own pay scale that they abide by. If salary is one of the top deciding factors for you when it comes to choosing the airline you want to work in, it pays to have an idea of the typical salary range airlines offer. Here are some of the major airlines in U.S. and their respective salary range.
- Delta Air Lines Inc — $30K-$58K
- Southwest Airlines Co — $30K-$62K
- American Airlines — $29K-$81K
- United Airlines, Inc. — $22K-$52K
- US Airways Group Inc. — $38K-$79K
- Frontier Airlines — $39K-$70K
- Alaska Airlines, Inc. — $35K-$43K
- Delta Air Elite — $28K-$50K
- Delta Airlines — $30K-$79K
- JetBlue Airways Corporation — $33K-$95K
- Virgin America — $44K-$56K
- ExpressJet Airlines — $14K-$40K
- Republic Airlines — $39K-$56K
- Skywest Airlines, Inc. — $48K-$61
From this list, the top companies in terms of having the highest flight attendant salaries are JetBlue, American Airlines, US Airways Group, Delta Airlines, and Frontier Airlines, to name a few.
Southwest is particularly noted for its high salary. But even for them, it’s highly likely that no entry level cabin crew stands to make more than $50,000 a year. Moreover, they are known to base their salary on total flight times and distance. Their flight attendants are guaranteed around 80 flights.
Areas Where Flight Attendants Earn High
According to BLS, Texas pays the highest flight attendant salaries. The yearly average wage for Texas flight attendants is about $53,000. While other high-paying states for flight attendants are Florida, Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin.
Florida pays about $50,770 and Tennessee, $49,470. California comes a close second with $47,490 and Wisconsin with $46,420.
For top-paying metro areas, New York takes the spot. In fact, the Nassau County-Suffolk County in NY has a yearly average wage of $69,370. While other high-paying metro areas for flight attendants include cities like Dallas-Plano-Irving in Texas.
In California, San Diego and are Carlsbad the cities that pay the most. If you’re in Florida, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall have high flight attendant salaries. Lastly, airlines in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land in Texas also pay handsomely.
Flight Attendant Salary by Experience and Location
Salary as a flight attendant also depends on experience. Entry-level are those with no experience or have worked as much as five years in the industry. A mid-career level is those who have 5 to 10 years of experience under their belt. Experienced level flight attendants have anywhere from 10 to 20 years of experience. While in late-career level are those who have notched more than 20 years of cabin crew work.
If you’re in the beginning stages of your career, you can make around $38,000 annually. For those in mid-career level, expect to make an average of $49,000 a year. Once you’ve reached a decade or two of service, the median salary goes to as much as $70,440 as of Jan. 30, 2017.
In terms of location, the top cities hiring for flight attendants are Newark in New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta. The pay difference in the first two cities is around 9 and 8 percent higher, respectively. While in Atlanta, the pay difference for flight attendants is at -10%.
Benefits and How to Bump Up Your Flight Attendant Salary
There are a number of excellent bonuses that come with the job.
Work before check in and check out of a flight is paid. This is for the pre and post-flight preparation. However, this is usually constrained from 30 to 60 minutes of paid time for both.
Another good thing about being a flight attendant is that there are per diems granted. You can use this for meals to offset your living expenses. This is great when you’re not onboard an aircraft or when staying overnight at a hotel. Your meal allowance will largely depend on how long you’re staying at a hotel or layover is.
For example, a 12-hour layover for a domestic flight might bring in a lower per diem rate compared to a 24-hour international flight. The more meal periods you’re bound to have, the higher the corresponding per diem rate is. Your meal allowance is also affected by the strength of the local currency. If you’re currently in a country with a better currency then that means you’ll be able to exchange for them at a higher rate.
In countries such as U.S. and Canada, per diems are considered tax-free. So whatever you receive is yours to keep if you’re employed by an airline in the said countries.
Other airlines, however, such as United Airlines, have a flat rate that they impose for their meal allowances. As of February 2013, their per diem rate for domestic flights is $1.95 and $2.50 for international flights.
The good thing about this industry is that it very much values career seniority. This means that the longer you stay on the job, the bigger your salary will be. This is mainly due to the fact that you can pick premium routes. Premium routes are usually long international flights to a popular destination so it pays well.
Another thing that can spell a higher salary for you is the aircraft’s size. The bigger an aircraft, the more passenger it has which means more work for you. This goes for flight attendants and pursers. For instance, a purser on a B777-200 is paid more than pursers working on an Airbus 319.
Managing a crew of nine versus a crew of just two or three is definitely more demanding. That’s why it warrants a different pay scale for most airlines.
Get Promoted as a Purser
Another excellent way to increase your salary is to get promoted as a purser. Many flight attendants do after garnering enough experience on the job.
However, this also means you’ll have new challenges and responsibilities to handle. Pursers are usually in charge of managing the crew at a specific aircraft. You’ll be leading the team to make sure everyone’s doing the job in assisting the passengers.
Pursers are also known as service directors. Many airlines require at least one to two years on the job before being considered as a purser.
As of 2011, purser on small aircrafts earned around $50 per hour. On the other hand, pursers on bigger aircrafts earned about $67 per hour. More than just the higher salary, pursers are also paid the standard per diems as well as night premiums along with other expenses flight attendants get.
Other Factors that Affect Flight Attendant Salary
As previously mentioned, flight attendant salary is influenced by a number of things. Depending on a cabin crew’s seniority, an aircraft’s size, and your additional skills or job responsibilities, you can pretty much boost your salary beyond the basic rate.
One of the foremost factors that will affect your pay in the long-term is seniority. This is based on your date of hire. The more senior you are in the company, the more you have a choice in your flying routes and schedule. Conversely, newbies are less likely to get quality, high-paying flights.
Size of Aircraft
There are also airlines who have varying pay scales depending on the size of the aircraft you’ll be working in. This is especially true for pursers who are in charge of a bigger flight crew.
Moving Up to More Responsibilities
Speaking of pursers, you might want to consider being one as you move along in your career. Pursers have more responsibilities than a typical flight attendant. They are the ones who manage a cabin crew team during a flight. It has a lot more duties and obligations, but it also pays more as a result. At Air Canada, pursers earn around $50 per hour of work.
Having Other Languages Under Your Belt
Skills such as knowing additional languages will also indirectly affect your salary. Know Dutch, Italian, or any other such language? You’ll certainly have an edge over others when it comes to being assigned premium flight routes. This is known as “speaker pay.” It will likely add a few dollars to your per hour rate as well. Even if you’re not in a senior position, you can be easily placed on these flights.
Being well-versed in more languages means the higher the chances of you getting hired. This is on top of having a better pay. The only problem with this is that you may be stuck flying the same routes for a while. This is until you reach seniority status or if you can trade schedules with fellow speakers taking the same flight.
In total, you can get around $21,000 a year if you’re classified as a bilingual flight attendant.
Turning in Extra Hours
The average hours worked of a flight attendant is anywhere from 80 to 90 hours a month. While the maximum is around 100 hours. There are a lot of reason why airlines sometimes require their cabin crew to work extra shifts such as when another flight attendant has called in sick. Cabin crews who pick up extra shifts are often rewarded through draft premiums, which is a way for airlines to encourage their employees to cover extra shifts.
For every year of their service, flight attendants are often offered a standard raise.
These are just some of the way you can pad your basic salary as a new flight attendant. It has been claimed that if you’re able to fulfill most of these, you can earn as much as $80,000 a year as a flight attendant although it happens rarely. More than the income, you can also enjoy a host of benefits you can easily use to travel.
Flight Attendant Perks and Benefits
A lot of people say that being a flight attendant is not about the salary, but the travel benefits that come with it. That is definitely true if traveling is one of the most important things in your life right now.
For one, you’ll be able to get discounts on hotels, air travel, car rentals, local events, and partner brands, just to name a few. You can then use your travel passes to commute where you are based or where you want to live. This way, you can choose to work in a place that’s closer to your family or one where the real estate value is within your budget. It’s all really up to you.
Another good thing is the work hours. Compared to a traditional employee working 40-hour work weeks, flight attendants work a total of 6 months out of the whole year.
How to Become a Flight Attendant
If all this talk about flight attendant salary is something you’d want for yourself then the next best thing is to know how to become a flight attendant.
The first step to becoming a flight attendant is to send an application. You can do this online as most airlines prefer online applications. Alternatively, many major airlines also conduct open days in major cities where you can drop off your CV for the first step of assessment.
Open days are often published months in advance. It’s like an open session where you’ll get to know more about the airline, such as their salary, benefits, and training program, to name just a few.
Aside from passing your CV, you have to fill out some forms and submit photos of yourself. There’ll also be assessments such as a reach test to ensure that you reach the minimum height. For males and females, this will be done without any shoes on.
To give you an idea of the common height standard of airlines, Etihad requires its flight attendant to be able to reach 210 cm standing on tip toes while Emirate and Qatar Airways require 212 cm.
You’ll also be interviewed by the recruiters and then if you pass the initial screening then they’ll call you back.
In events such as these, it’s important to give the best impression and come in proper attire. If the required dress code is business or corporate attire, make sure to come in those.
Flight Attendant Training
Once you’ve passed the screening and recruitment process, you’ll then undergo flight attendant training. There are independent flight attendant schools who provide this kind of training but are usually paid. The training phase usually lasts anywhere from four weeks to 2 1/2 months.
During training, you’ll be taught a number of things about flight safety, customer service, grooming, aviation terms, and other related subjects.
To make sure you pass the training with flying colors, remember to study and do any assignments given to you. Be a good team player, interact, and get along with others. Many airlines value flight attendants who work well with others so ensure that you highlight this aspect of your personality.
Other crucial aspects that will also be discussed are grooming, personal hygiene, and customer service. As the representatives of your chosen airline, you’ll be the face of the company every time you interact with the passengers. This is why many airlines include a part of their training program teaching their newly hires how to look good and spruce up their appearance.
Airlines such as Emirates go as far as requiring their flight attendants to have a strict makeup, skincare, and hairstyle routine.
Once you pass training, you’ll then be on probation for six months. You’ll be qualified to fly and assist passengers on flights. After getting through the probation period, you’ll now be able to enjoy the benefits that come with the job. Expect to receive travel passes, meal allowances, discounts, and much more.
If you want to become a flight attendant, focus more on the lifestyle—not the salary. Starting out on the job means you’ll have a small salary. So you really have to like that aspect of the job as well. You’ll often be sharing crash pads with other flight attendants as well as pilots if you want to save on housing expenses.
Just make sure you join one that’s represented by unions for better job security. Although the starting salary is low, having the leisure to say you’ve travelled around the world is more than enough benefit for many!
Have you always wanted to travel the world and get paid for it? It’s definitely possible once you join the ranks of the aviation profession.
Working in the field typically comes with big travel discounts that you can extend to your friends and family. This is why being a flight attendant is a thrilling experience that many people usually vie for.
Although not usually required, going to a flight attendant school can give you a competitive edge over other applicants. To get the lowdown on online and traditional flight attendant schools, read on below!
Online Certificate Programs
There are many kinds of online programs available on the Internet. Most of the certificate courses on the web teach onboarding know-how. However, these programs will differ depending on your target airline. Whether you want to work for a regional airline, international airline, or large international airline.
The reason why you need to take a different course depending on airline size or type is because of the airplanes associated with each. Depending on the type and size of a flight, there are a specific number of airplane models that are fit for that flight. What online certificate programs do is to fit the program curriculum based on the likely airplane models to be used for a particular flight type and size.
Included in a standard online certificate program are topics about the history of flight, aviation terminology, uniform policies, boarding, and standard safety procedures, to name just a few. Certificates of completion are then issued via email or you may also opt to purchase a printed certificate.
In terms of cost, online certificate programs for charter operators or regional online usually cost an average of $250 while courses for large international airlines cost an average of $350.
Supplemental Online Courses You Can Take
If you plan on taking your training to the next level, you can also take supplemental courses to add to your knowledge. Typical supplemental courses on being a cabin crew include topics about first aid and emergency, inflight leadership training, and safe food handling, to mention a few.
You can also take short courses on a specific aircraft type. There are a lot of courses out there on airplanes such as the Boeing 737 line, Airbus A330, and Dash 8-100, among others.
For those aiming for management positions, there are also available courses for that.
Traditional Flight Attendant Training School
Traditional flight attendant training schools are those that you have to attend in person. The duration of the courses offered in these schools lasts anywhere from a few days to a few months. The usual curriculum of these short courses is divided into different phases.
You’ll usually start out with basic introduction of responsibilities, aircraft protocols and procedures, as well as emergency situation training. After completing each course, you will undergo a competency check to test your learning and knowledge of the whole course.
Compared to online training programs, going to a traditional flight attendant school can cost you $1,500 to $5,000. If this is too steep for you, seminars are also a good alternative. They cost less than half and are typically held in much shorter duration.
Comparing School Training to Airline Training
There are some cabin crew veterans out there who are not a big proponent of undergoing training schools. This is because once hired, airlines will also provide you with their own training.
Once hired by an airline company, they will typically pay for your training, food, as well lodging. However, you’ll have to shell out your own money to buy your uniforms. In one airline, uniforms can cost as much as $2,000, which is often deducted to your salary over the years.
Nonetheless, your expenses won’t stop there. If ever you’re stationed outside of your hometown (happens about 90% of the time), you’ll have to find your own place. This means you have to have enough money to pay for rent in the city you’ll be based in. This could be a problem if you’re just starting out since you might not necessarily make a lot of money even if you work for a major airline.
Compared to flight attendants who started in the 90s, those entering the field today are making 30% lower than their counterparts.
What Airline Training Is Like
The mandatory training provided by your airline is typically FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved. Training lasts anywhere from a few weeks to two months.
During your training period, you will be taught cabin crew duties, responsibilities, industry terms, emergency procedures, and aircraft exit/entrance, among others. Your most important duty, however, is to assist passengers in any case of emergency.
The passing rate would be anywhere from 85% to 90% in all subjects. In terms of schedule, you could be either assigned to the AM or PM class.
The lessons are fast-paced and only about two or three “Needs Improvement” marks are allowed. Any more than the quota set by airline and you’ll be sent home. Most airlines are also strict when it comes to attendance. A late or no-show are often likely causes of being booted out of the training program.
Every airline has their own training standards and these are just some of the things you can usually expect. It’s very important that you review your airline’s training requirements as this can definitely vary.
Flight Attendant Training Benefits and Salary
Training salary per week ranges anywhere from $300 to $400, which is paid to your bank account. If you translate this to an hourly rate, you would net anywhere from $27 to $32 an hour.
A good number of airlines usually give a cash advance upon starting or on the 1st day of the month. This typically amounts from $800 to $1,000. The rest of the pay is then paid after two weeks, which already includes expense allowance and flight pay.
If the training is in a different city, your hotel, transportation, and food expenses will be usually provided. Any expenses outside of those will be shouldered by you.
During training, you’re also entitled to receive medical benefits (includes dental), pension, and life insurance. These are all on top of your travel benefits and discounts. However, each benefit is instituted at different times throughout your 6-month probationary period.
Every month, you’re guaranteed 13 day offs. For the rest of the month, you’ll usually be required to be on call 24 hours.
How to Pass Training
To pass training, having a stellar attendance is a must. Most airlines are pretty strict when it comes to tardiness and no-shows. Another important thing is to listen to the lessons. This will prove handy when it comes to doing your assignments, exam, and practice flights. Failure to learn or pass the home works can mean a failing grade for you.
The most important role of a cabin crew is making sure passengers are safe during any emergency. Make sure you’re calm and alert during emergency exercises.
More than just acing standard training requirements, you have to show that you’re a good fit for the job role. One of the criteria you’ll be assessed against is how good you get along with others. A good attitude and pleasing personality can do a lot for you. You might have the best grades in the class, but if you’re at odds with everyone then you could still fail training.
These traits show that you’re a team player and that you have people skills. There are nothing more integral to flight work than these two in addition to customer service skills.
Once you pass training then you’ll be given a FAA Certificate, which will be your proof of demonstrated proficiency. This certification is dependent on the specific aircraft you’ve been trained for. To maintain your certification, you’ll be required to undergo recurring training every year.
Top Valued Flight Attendant Skills
During your training, you’ll be typically assessed on your communication, customer service, physical fitness, and decision-making skills on top of your attentiveness level.
As someone who’ll be working with a lot of people from all walks of life, you have to know how to communicate well. Customer service skills are also crucial because that’s the nature of the job. Outside of emergency aid, you have to assist and make the passengers comfortable. This means providing meals and helping stow away their luggage.
Physical fitness is another vital aspect of the job because it entails long working hours. More than that, you might have to do some bag lifting every now and then.
For decision-making skills, this will come in handy during emergencies and safety procedures. You have to be able to think on your feet regarding the best steps to handle dire situations.
What Happens After the Training Period
Once you pass the training period, you’ll be guaranteed a minimum of 65 hours and maximum of 95 hours of flying time. This could be higher or lower depending on your airline. During summer, the minimum and maximum are increased with an additional 5 hours in anticipation of increased flights.
After completing initial training, new flight attendants don’t typically have their own scheduled flights. They’re generally placed on call, known as reserve status. Having this status means you must be able to report to work on short notice (usually 2 hours) as an additional staff or to fill in for any crew who’s absent. Expect to be on reserve for about a year after starting. However, there are cases when flight attendants are on reserve status for years.
You’ll also likely be relocated once you start. Many airlines will inform you of your impending relocation to weeks before you finish your training. This is to ensure that you have ample time to prepare for the move. If you agree with the move, you’ll be given a relocation allowance that will cover a 7-day stay in a hotel. You will also be given moving expenses and a maximum of 50 kilos of freight, with no charge. Any additional expense that you might incur, such as food or transportation, will come from your own pocket.
Any additional expense that you might incur, such as food or transportation, will come from your own pocket.
Flight Attendant Promotion and Advancement
Flight schedules (blocks) are based on seniority. Those who have tenure in your airline will be the first to bid on blocks. Bidding for blocks is done monthly. Once you achieve seniority, you’ll have more say on your monthly flying schedule. Expect the most popular and high-paying routes to go to tenured flight attendants.
Most airlines also enforce a substantial pay increase yearly, which some basing it on performance. By your 8th year, you’ll be able to reach the highest salary possible for flight attendants. This is assuming you get the yearly pay increase.
If you want to be promoted to a higher position, you’ll be required to have at least 30 months’ of experience. However, this will still depend on your airline’s current wait time before bidding up. Some have as long as 12 years’ wait time.
Once you reach senior status, you’ll be tasked to oversee the work of the crew in international flights. Many are also promoted to management roles, which are more stable. This is ideal for those who are starting a family and prefer not to fly back to back anymore. Those in management positions are usually responsible for recruiting, scheduling, and instructing new flight attendants.
Flight Attendant Job Demands
Although a job as a flight attendant is often admired and idealized, the job demands can be heavy. One of the job’s top requirements is to be prepared to work on holidays, weekends, and night shifts. You have to be able to cope working on irregular hours as well as long duty days (sometimes exceeding 15 hours).
A big part of your working hours will also be usually spent standing up. Additionally, you will also often be required to lift heavy bags (around 10 kg. and up). These conditions sometimes result in chronic back or feet/leg problems.
Expect to deal with turbulence on occasion when the weather’s bad. Although it happens rarely, dealing with unruly passengers or emergencies can be hard and cause you stress. You’ll also spend many days away from home and you’ll likely sleep in shared apartments or hotel rooms with other flight attendants.
During flights, expect cabin pressurization, and chronic jet lag.
Flight attendants, also known as stewardesses, are an integral part of your flying experience. They make flight comfortable and assists in emergency situations. Unknown to many, working as a flight attendant is not all that glamorous. The job requires working long hours and being away from home for the most part.
Many flight attendants relocate and live close to the airport they’re assigned to. If you’re good with this, read on to know more about a job as a flight attendant and the qualifications to be one.
Flight Attendant Duties and Responsibilities
One of a flight attendants main job is to make your flight comfortable. This means providing meals and beverages during a flight. More importantly, flight attendants also assist in emergency situations and provides safety measures before every flight. They are also in charge of some announcements and answer any questions you may have throughout the flight.
One hour before a flight is set to leave, attendants are typically briefed by the captain. This briefing touches on topics such as emergency evacuation procedures, flight length, expected weather conditions, and any issues that may have to do with the passengers.
Flight attendants are also the ones who ensure that all emergency equipment and first-aid kits are available aboard and in working order. This goes the same for the food and beverage supply as well as other amenities that the airline provides. Other minor duties of an FA include greeting passengers, assisting with luggage, accepting tickets, and directing passengers to their designated seats.
Additionally, they are also in charge of the upkeep of the plane’s passenger areas once all passengers have alighted. If there are any disruptive passengers, FAs are the ones that deal with them.
On the whole, work as a flight attendant is demanding. For the right person, however, it’s usually worth the hard work to be able to work on a job that resonates with them.
What is it like to work as a flight attendant?
As we all know, airlines operate the whole year regardless of holidays or weekends. This means that flight attendants usually work on holidays, weekends, and even night shifts. The usual limit for on-duty time is 12 hours daily and could be more for international flights.
In total, flight attendants spend anywhere from 65 to 90 hours a month and about an additional 50 hours for ground preparation. Ground preparation covers any pre-flight work, report writing, and flight waiting time. Many airlines will guarantee their flight attendants at least 65 to 85 hours of flight time a month. However, FAs have the option to work additional hours. Those who work extra hours usually receive extra compensation.
Working as a flight attendant also means you’ll be away from home a lot. The good thing is you’ll be given meal allowances and hotel accommodations.
Another thing to keep in mind is that flights are bid for based on seniority. This means that you’ll be on call or on reserve status once you start. Once you’re in a senior enough position, you’ll be able to better choose your flights to maximize your hours on the plane.
More than the standard benefits that come with the work, you’ll get airfare discounts and will have the chance to visit new places.
Flight Attendant Qualifications
Flight attendant jobs have specific requirements depending on the airline you’re applying to. Although the usual age requirement is 18, some companies such as Delta Airlines require their FA’s to be at least 21. Your height must be anywhere from 5’0″ and 6’0″ without shoes (usually measured during the interview). In terms of educational requirements, you can get in with just a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
If you want a leg up on other candidates, you have to have additional qualifications. Many airlines also prefer candidates with customer service experience. Strong verbal communication skills in English is also a must. Most airlines will also require you to relocate to any of their bases or headquarters. This is why you have to possess a valid passport or Visa, if necessary.
Your level of fitness or strength will also be assessed. This is because you have to be able to do tasks that require frequent standing, walking, and bending below ankle level. You’ll often have to reach above shoulder level as well and open and close emergency exits as well as aircraft doors weighing up to 45 lbs. Additionally, you’ll also have to push beverage cart weighing around 60 lbs. and lift items without assistance.
You’ll also need to complete a medical certification form and pass a pre-employment drug test by FAA. There will also be random tests like this throughout your stay in the company. The drug test administered by FAA will include screening for substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and opiates, to name a few. If you have any tattoos, you will be required to hide it while in uniform. Tattoos are not allowed to be concealed through makeup or bandages.
Flight Attendant Training Requirements
Once you’re hired by an airline, you’ll be required to undergo and pass training. Each airline will have its own training program set for a specific period (usually 3 to 8 weeks). This will depend on the type and size of carrier you’ll be assigned to. For airlines that don’t have their own training centers, new employees are typically sent to train on another airline’s center.
Some airlines also provide transportation allowance to the training centers. They may also include and allowances for room and boarding. However, there are also a select few that charge for training.
Keep in mind that trainees are usually not considered airline employees yet until they complete the training program. Airline training programs consist of emergency procedures, airplane evacuation, and emergency system operation, among others. Additionally, you’ll also be taught flight regulations and duties. Aside from that, you’ll gain knowledge of the company operations and policies of your airline. Some airlines also instruct their FAs on grooming and weight control. If a trainee is set to fly international routes, they’ll get additional instructions in customs regulations.
Trainees are also taught how to deal with disruptive or difficult passengers. This includes demanding passengers and hijackers as well as terrorists.
To pass the training, you must be able to perform the required drills and duties unaided. You will do this in front of the training staff. Throughout training, you will also take tests where failure means elimination from the program.
Before training ends, the remaining trainees will go on practice flights. Once you’ve successfully completed training, you will receive a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency by FAA. Upon being hired, flight attendants are required to train yearly and pass a safety examination by FAA to be able to continue work.
Salary Comparison for New and Senior Flight Attendants
A veteran stewardess revealed the real figure of how much flight attendants really make is somewhere between $18,000 to $20,000. While flight attendants in regional carriers or smaller airline make even less than that. In fact, to get to the median salary of $40,000 that airlines say, you have to have acquired at least 10 years experience.
As an example, she shared a tweet by a flight attendant working 120 hours who said that whatever meager salary he or she earns is spent on vacations that he/she can’t afford.
Although 120 hours might not seem much, it translates to much longer hours than the standard job on the ground. In reality, flight attendants are only paid for their flight hours. Their time spent assisting passengers pre-flight is not paid. Whenever a flight is canceled, it means that the flight attendants don’t get paid as well. Many find another trip to make up for the lost hours.
This is why senior flight attendants always pick long haul flight in order to make the most out of their time in the air. If you’re up to these terms,
Flight Attendant Job Growth in 2016
Flight attendant hiring reached its peak in 2015 and it’s expected that this increase will continue until the end of 2016. More specifically, flight attendant employment is set to grow at 11 percent. This is on par with the outlook of most occupations in 2016.
This growth is largely attributed to an improving economy and is, therefore, set to boost of people wanting to travel. In turn, many airlines are currently expanding their capacity to meet this demand by adding more planes in operation, which in turn requires more flight attendants.
Nonetheless, competition remains stiff as flight attendant jobs are one of the most sought after careers to date. In fact, Delta Airlines received more than 40,000 applications for 1,500 of their flight attendant openings. While US Airways received over 20,000 applications for an opening for 1,000 positions. Southwest also received similar numbers with 10,000 applications for the 750 vacancies they had, which they received in just two hours.
Experts say that to have the best chances of being hired, you should be at least a college graduate with an experience of working with the public. Better job opportunities are also in store for regional and charter airlines due to their fast growth.
Flight Attendant Job Opportunities in 2016
The year 2016 and the coming year are also ripe with job opportunities for flight attendants looking to work for private aircraft. Many of the job opportunities that will be available throughout the year will stem from flight attendants leaving the workforce to transfer to other jobs. The common reason for this is to obtain higher earnings or have a more stable lifestyle.
However, there are still fewer flight attendants leaving their jobs and job turnover is lower compared to past figures. The average job tenure for stewardesses is around 14 years and is set to increase over the years. Opportunities for those seeking flight attendant jobs is likely to improve in line with the growth of the airline industry.
Despite this, demand for flight attendants is likely to fluctuate in the next 10 years. The primary reason for this are the ever changing demands of air travel, which is highly dependent on the state of the economy. As air traffic declines, it follows that hiring of flight attendants also decreases as well. In worst case scenarios, some seasoned flight attendants may be laid off until such time the industry recovers.
Top Sites for Flight Attendant Jobs
If you’re actively looking for flight attendant jobs, here are some of the top sites that post stewardess jobs.
- Monster.com – As one of the world’s biggest job sites, Monster.com frequently posts the latest flight attendant jobs from small to large airlines in various states across the country. They also post various flight attendant related jobs for those that want a related ground job in the aviation field.
- FlightAttendantCareer.com – This site focuses on flight attendant specific jobs from all over the world such as Canada, New Zealand, and much more. They update their site regularly and has one of the most comprehensive job listings for a wide variety of airlines.
- PayScale.com – Although this site is not specific to flight attendants per se, they run a job feed from Indeed which features FA jobs in the whole of United States.
- United.com – United is an airline company that features its own career section on its site. Their FA jobs are often based New York and San Francisco City airports. They also hire a lot of flight attendants who know other foreign languages such as Cantonese, French, and Dutch, to name just a few. For more info, check out their site linked here.
- AirlineCareer.com – Air Career frequently publishes an updated list of flight attendant hiring updates from airlines such as Emirates and SkyWest, to name a few. Each listing includes the cities and dates where the open house interviews are going to happen.
Should you pursue a job as a flight attendant?
If you don’t mind the above information and still like to be a flight attendant, then, by all means, do so! It will help if you have a dynamic personality and a people person as well. Becoming a flight attendant is a tough job, but an amazing experience for the right person. Many airlines don’t usually require previous experience. But to be able to pass the applicant phase, you have to show that you possess standout customer service skills. A love of travel and adventure would definitely help too!
Criminal justice bachelor degree jobs give you the knowledge as well as expertise in order to pursue your professional goals in a criminal justice career.
It’s an ideal stepping stone for someone who has completed their criminal justice credits or associate degree. Or just anyone who has built some experience in the criminal justice system.
Delegates who have undertaken this degree will have attained the preparation and qualification that will enable them to advance in various careers including law and corrections, court administration as well as crime-related support and prevention services in their communities.
The degree not only makes you proficient in your roles in the criminal justice system but it also puts you on a solid foundation in terms of both the skills and knowledge required to perform competently in these roles. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of the justice system and learn to respond effectively to various challenges that will arise including the various types of crime involved. Furthermore, graduates of the program will be able to distinguish the constitutional, organizational and procedural differences which exist in the criminal justice system along with the many representative systems.
This degree gives you the capability to make a distinction between the many unique characteristics that separate procedural from the substantive criminal law as well as the interaction between the two. As a result, you will be able to develop strong managerial and leadership skills that put you in a great position to take advantage of future career opportunities. Through the bachelor program, students are generally able to develop good oral and written communication skills required to communicate effectively in both personal as well as professional environments in the criminal justice practice.
The graduates will be highly competitive in local, state and federal jobs in the criminal justice service. The degree programs offer students concentrations in some of the most important and practical areas of criminal justice such as Justice Policy, Crime, and Criminology, as well as Community Justice.
Prerequisites for Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree
Before acceptance into the bachelor degree program, students must have completed a justice minor. Prerequisites may vary from one state to another or institution to another. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate these when submitting your application.
Typical Coursework for Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program offers students both theoretical as well as practical knowledge in criminal justice. This is directly applicable to the job role. These courses include the following:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice
- Correctional Administration
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Police and Society
- Constitutional Criminal Procedure
Apart from the above majors, students can also earn credits from various electives. Coursework in these include some of the following:
- Judicial Process
- Criminal Law
- Law enforcement
- Juvenile Justice
- Homeland security
- Diversity awareness
- Dispute Resolution
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Forensic Psychology
- Crime Scene Investigation
Benefits of the Bachelors Degree
There are a variety of careers that you can unlock with a criminal justice degree. Even for those who are already serving in law enforcement roles without a criminal justice degree, pursuing this program can open the gates of success in many ways. The most obvious benefit is that you are able to take more complex and challenging roles in your career which will be infinitely more rewarding. Graduates will also be able to earn higher salaries with a bachelor’s degree.
Criminal Justice Bachelor Degree Jobs
There are numerous job categories that one can choose in this field. These include the following:
- Detective and private investigative work
- Paralegal work
- Police work
- Correctional Officers
- Probation and Parole
- Social Services
- Secret Service
- Drug Enforcement Work
- Private Security
A bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice will enhance some of your essential skills and increase your competence in your role in the criminal justice system. Furthermore, you’ll develop solid report writing skills which are a very important component in criminal justice.
The courses equip you with skills to articulate your thoughts with a great deal of clarity as well as defend points of view in cases. This will be an important skill as law enforcement officers are constantly under public scrutiny and pressure is always forced to explain or defend their actions.
Hence, one of the best advantages of a degree in Criminal Justice is that this is a field with a very positive career outlook. Opportunities have been expanding every year as various disciplines in criminal justice service are poised for strong growth through 2022. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for graduates in Criminal Justice is $43,050.