Pilots are responsible for getting passengers to their destination safely. Flight attendants on the other hand, are responsible for the cabin. They are supposed to look after the safety of the passengers and service their needs. To become a flight attendant, the minimum requirement is a high school degree. However, this doesn’t mean that you can get into the industry right out of high school. There is a long process that you need to complete to become a flight attendant. Let us look at how much time that whole process will take.
Education (4 years)
Depending on the country and the airline, the minimum age requirement for any flight attendant is about 18 to 21. This means that there is time enough to get a bachelor’s degree before applying to be a flight attendant. The only degrees that an airline is concerned with are that of hospitality, tourism and travel or communication. While you are waiting to turn of age, you should get a bachelor’s degree if possible. This degree will also come in use later.
It important that you take up courses like tourism and travel. It is also very important to learn as many languages as you can. A flight attendant who knows how to speak many languages is an asset since they can understand the needs of the passenger better than others. You can also opt for some mass communication courses or courses that will encourage public interaction.
Job Experience (2 years)
One of the only job experiences that an airline values besides that of a flight attendant, is anything to do with customer interaction. After getting your bachelor’s degree, try to get a job in which you have direct interaction with customers. This is possible in hotels, restaurants, call centers, or even as an assistant. Though an airliner may not care about the degree earned by the aspirant, but the people who may hire you here will. Thus, it is important to get an undergraduate degree and a job using it. Most airlines require aspiring FAs to have at least 2 years of job experience before they apply.
Waiting Time (few months)
The most excruciating time is waiting for the airline to call you for an interview after you apply for the post. This can take some weeks. However, in some cases it has also required some years and many callbacks to the same airline. Hence, we suggest that you keep your job and wait for the airline to call back while you work. You may also need to callback intermittently to increase your chances of getting an interview.
Flight Attendant Training (Maximum 6 months)
If you do get through the interview and get selected for flight attendant training, then good work! You are almost there. Depending on the country and airline, flight attendant training may last as short as 2 weeks or even extend up to 6 months. The raining time also depends on how many different types of planes the airline has since the safety procedures may vary as per the plane. During this training, there a lot of safety rules and regulations that you need to learn. Most airlines focus on safety training rather than service training. You can be failed for a lot of reasons like being groomed improperly, failure in tests or even smiling the wrong way. You are taught how to handle the electronic equipment, fill necessary reports and complete your duties on the ground.
Probation (6 months)
Passing out of flight attendant training, you start working as a flight attendant on a very short leash. This means that you must be very careful not to make mistakes during this period. Your seniors will keep an eye on you and report even the smallest regulation that you might break. While on probation you are ‘on call’, which means that you should respond to the airport as soon as possible whenever called. They will accept no mistakes from your side during this probation period. Once the 6 months or so is completed, the perks of the jobs are raised as you become a senior flight attendant. Your salary is also bumped and you are eligible to teach new recruits.
To summarize, it takes about 8 years after high school to become a flight attendant. This includes a full year of waiting time. So, if you are lucky, it might take you just 7 years. The job of a flight attendant is quite stressful. But it really is one of the best jobs out there. Not only do you get to travel to different destinations for free, but you also get a lot of hotel concessions when you travel. In this case, the pros really outweigh the cons. If this article made up your mind about becoming a flight attendant, then we hope to see you during our next flight!