Flight Attendants

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Flight Attendants

Flight Attendants - Preparation

To work as a flight attendant, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • be at least 18 or 21 years old, depending on the employer;
  • complete a flight attendant training program; 
  • have one to two years of related work experience; and
  • complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.

Education after high school

No formal education is required beyond high school. However, many flight attendants have a bachelor's degree.

Flight attendants must complete their employer's training program. During training, you learn emergency procedures, first aid, and flight rules and duties. You also learn about flight procedures, customs regulations, and customer service.

Smaller airlines may send trainees to a larger airline's training program. Some airlines provide transportation to the training centers and pay for housing and school supplies. However, as a new trainee you are not viewed as an employee until you successfully complete a training program. Some airlines charge students to attend a training program.

Training lasts from three to eight weeks.

Work experience

Flight attendants typically need one to two years of prior work experience in customer service.

On-the-job training

After completing a training program, flight attendants work on practice flights. This training may last up to three months.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be transportation specialists. Training lasts six to nine weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.