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Career Profile: Flight Attendants

Monitor safety of the aircraft cabin. Provide services to airline passengers, explain safety information, serve food and beverages, and respond to emergency incidents.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 102,500 people employed as flight attendants in the United States. The median annual salary is $59,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $30,930 per year and senior employees earn approximately $84,790 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Reassure passengers when situations, such as turbulence, are encountered.
  • Check to ensure that food, beverages, blankets, reading material, emergency equipment, and other supplies are aboard and are in adequate supply.
  • Prepare reports showing places of departure and destination, passenger ticket numbers, meal and beverage inventories, the conditions of cabin equipment, and any problems encountered by passengers.
  • Announce flight delays and descent preparations.
  • Greet passengers boarding aircraft and direct them to assigned seats.
  • Assist passengers entering or disembarking the aircraft.
  • Conduct periodic trips through the cabin to ensure passenger comfort and to distribute reading material, headphones, pillows, playing cards, and blankets.
  • Inspect and clean cabins, checking for any problems and making sure that cabins are in order.
  • Operate audio and video systems.
  • Prepare passengers and aircraft for landing, following procedures.
  • Administer first aid to passengers in distress.
  • Determine special assistance needs of passengers, such as small children, the elderly, or disabled persons.
  • Attend preflight briefings concerning weather, altitudes, routes, emergency procedures, crew coordination, lengths of flights, food and beverage services offered, and numbers of passengers.
  • Verify that first aid kits and other emergency equipment, including fire extinguishers and oxygen bottles, are in working order.
  • Announce and demonstrate safety and emergency procedures, such as the use of oxygen masks, seat belts, and life jackets.
  • Monitor passenger behavior to identify threats to the safety of the crew and other passengers.
  • Walk aisles of planes to verify that passengers have complied with federal regulations prior to takeoffs and landings.
  • Direct and assist passengers in emergency procedures, such as evacuating a plane following an emergency landing.
  • Answer passengers' questions about flights, aircraft, weather, travel routes and services, arrival times, or schedules.
  • Collect money for meals and beverages.
  • Heat and serve prepared foods.
  • Inspect passenger tickets to verify information and to obtain destination information.
  • Assist passengers in placing carry-on luggage in overhead, garment, or under-seat storage.
  • Take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, and money collected.
  • Sell alcoholic beverages to passengers.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
102,500
Annual Openings:
17,600
Increase in Openings by 2030:
30%
Annual Salary Range:
$30,930 - $84,790
Education Requirements:
High school diploma