Benefits of Becoming a Flight Attendant: A Comprehensive Guide to Earning Your Certificate! If you want to begin a meaningful career that allows you to travel while utilizing your customer service skills, you may want to consider pursuing a role as a flight attendant. Before you begin this role, you may pursue some certification opportunities to demonstrate your competency and highlight your qualifications. Learning about flight attendant certificates and their requirements can help you develop the skills necessary to prepare for these roles.
In this article, we define a flight attendant certificate, offer benefits and tips, describe how to earn your flight attendant certificate and list some certifications you can pursue to strengthen your resume.
What is a flight attendant certificate?
A flight attendant certificate is a credential that a flight attendant can earn before beginning a position within their field. Issued by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency can show that a flight attendant has completed the necessary training to safely and effectively carry out their role. While airlines may require this certification for a flight attendant to begin a role, these professionals can also pursue optional certifications in skills like first aid that may help strengthen their credentials.
Benefits of getting your flight attendant certificate
Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from receiving a flight attendant certificate:
Career requirement: One benefit of earning a flight attendant certificate is that most employers require it for flight attendant roles. With this certification, you can begin a meaningful career.
Advance your skills: The process of earning your certificate can help you develop skills and competencies that can help you succeed. During the training program, you can complete skills-training activities that can teach you the safety and service procedures used in a flight attendant position within an airline.
Feel more comfortable in your role: As you develop more advanced skills, you can become more comfortable completing your role. Especially in emergency situations or in the case of a problem or issue, you can feel ready to use your training to keep yourself and passengers safe.
Further your career: Once you become certified as a flight attendant, you can more easily transfer to other airlines if you want to advance or change your career. Earning optional certifications can help you develop skills that may bolster your credentials for a new role.
How to get your flight attendant certificate
Here are four steps you can take to earn your Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency as a flight attendant:
1. Meet requirements
While there aren’t many formal education or experience requirements for earning this certificate, there are some factors for you to consider before pursuing this certification. Certificate holders must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or higher education level. They must pass a background test and have a vision level for which they can correct to at least 20/40. You may also have to meet other requirements set by the specific airline. For example, some airlines may require flight attendants to be a certain height or not have tattoos or piercings.
2. Take a training course
If you’ve met the requirements set by the FAA and your given airline, you can begin an FAA-approved training course run through your employer. This training period can last up to six months and can include educational courses and field experience. During training, you can learn about standard FAA safety and service procedures. You can also learn about the specific policies of the airline.
The extent and content of this training period can depend on your employer. One benefit of receiving your training through your employer is that you can eliminate the stress of locating and registering for a training program. Once you’ve received an offer for a flight attendant role, you can automatically begin training with other flight attendants.
3. Pass an exam
After successfully completing your flight attendant training program, you can pass an exam to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. If you pass your exam, you may receive your certificate in the mail within about two weeks. At this point, you can officially begin your position as a certified flight attendant.
4. Maintain certification
Once you’ve earned your certificate, it’s important to maintain your certification throughout your career. Your employer may provide annual continuing education to reflect new rules or procedures within the airline or industry. If you ever switch airlines, you may pursue additional training to learn new rules and procedures.
Additionally, you may update your certificate to reflect your qualification working on different types of aircraft. For example, your certificate can note whether you’re certified to work on Group 1 planes, which are propeller-driven, Group 2 planes, which are turbojet-powered, or both. If you train to work on a new type of plane, you can update your certificate by speaking to your supervisor or contacting the FAA.
Tips for getting your flight attendant certificate
Here are some tips to help you get your flight attendant certificate:
Seek additional experience
While there may not be any specific requirements for previous professional experience to begin training, it can help to pursue some roles that can help you succeed as a flight attendant. For example, you can pursue customer service roles that can mimic the service required as a flight attendant. This can help you prepare to meet the requirements of the role. It can also help you bolster your credentials as you search for a training program that matches your preferences.
Test yourself with available online resources
Your program may not require you to seek additional training resources outside of your designated training, but you can look for resources to help you prepare for your exam. This can be especially helpful if there are certain areas where you’d like to receive more practice. For example, you can locate resources to practice specific skills like remembering airline codes, converting time zones, giving passenger announcements or memorizing complicated flight terminology.
You can find access to many of these resources online for free. If you’re unable to locate a resource that matches your exact needs, you can also speak to colleagues and share study tips and strategies. If necessary, you can also look for generalized test-taking resources to help you prepare for your exam.
Get certified in other areas
While the FAA’s Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency may be required certification for your role, obtaining additional certifications can help you advance your skills. It can also help you prepare for your Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency exam. For example, taking the necessary training and exams to become certified in CPR may make it easier for you to learn certain safety procedures for the Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency exam. Additionally, earning additional certifications can help you practice test-taking procedures that can help you succeed on other exams.
Additional certifications for flight attendants
Here are some other certification opportunities that can help you become a more attractive flight attendant candidate:
To begin your training as a flight attendant, your airline may require you to earn a medical certificate that demonstrates your good health and ability to carry out your role. To earn this certificate, you may receive medical procedures that test your vision, physical health and mental health. The specific testing requirements can depend on the airline.
Foreign language certificate
While not always a requirement, learning how to communicate fluently in other languages besides English can be helpful for flight attendants. Since they interact with many passengers and may travel to international locations, flight attendants often use foreign language skills. You can pursue language certification in as many different languages as possible. Universities and private organizations offer these certificates to any students who would like to expand their language skills.
First aid and CPR
You may cover some basic health and safety procedures in your Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency training, but you can also pursue additional opportunities that provide enhanced safety knowledge in the case of an emergency. Pursuing certification in basic first aid or CPR can help strengthen your qualification as a flight attendant and make you a more attractive choice as a candidate. For example, an airline may want to hire a flight attendant who can handle any medical emergency that can occur during a flight. You can pursue options like a designated CPR Certification through the American Red Cross.
As a flight attendant, you can also pursue certificate programs that prepare you to work in the travel industry. Certain certificates such as a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) designation from The Travel Institute or a Travel and Tourism Professional (TTP) designation from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) can prepare you to strengthen your geographical knowledge, improve customer service skills and advance your career in the industry. These certificates can help you connect with customers and offer them exceptional service and a quality experience as they travel.
10 Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant
Flight attendants are important members of an airplane cabin crew who assist customers during travel. These professionals work to keep airline travel safe and comfortable for all passengers. If you are thinking of becoming a flight attendant, you might be interested in learning about the advantages this career path offers.
In this article, we explain what a flight attendant is and list 10 flight attendant benefits to help you decide if this career is right for you.
What is a flight attendant?
A flight attendant is an airline service professional who helps passengers have safe flights. Their daily responsibilities may include:
Greeting passengers entering the plane
Stowing and securing luggage safely
Ensuring all safety equipment is on board and functioning correctly
Receiving flight briefs from pilots about weather and travel conditions
Updating passengers on important flight information, such as turbulence
Verifying tickets and seat numbers
Helping passengers to their seats if they need assistance
Instructing passengers on safety protocols, including emergency evacuation plans
Monitoring passengers’ safety by checking seat belts and enforcing rules
Providing customers with food, beverages and comfort items such as blankets and pillows
10 benefits of being a flight attendant
Here are 10 common advantages of the flight attendant career path:
1. Free flights and travel opportunities
Flight attendants get to travel as part of their job, and there may be time between flights when attendants can explore new locations. Flight attendants may have hours or even days between flights to travel and see local attractions.
Some airlines also allow flight attendants to earn additional mileage or flight benefits. This means many flight attendants can fly for free on their company airlines even when they are not working. Airlines typically offer these free flights on standby, which means the paying customers get on first, and then any extra seats can go to crew members. This can be an exciting way to explore new locations.
A flight attendant may want to travel on a different airline to reach a new location or to travel at a certain time. Some airlines offer discounts to all flight attendants, even those who work for different companies. A flight attendant may be able to fly on a different airline for only a small ticket fee. This can help them travel the world on their days off.
2. Flight benefits for family and friends
Depending on the airline company, flight benefits may extend to a flight attendant’s family. Some companies allow parents or children to fly for free, but this benefit most typically applies to spouses and applies to trips outside of work.
Some airlines also provide additional free flights in the form of buddy passes. Flight attendants usually receive a certain number of passes within a year, and they can give them to friends or other family members.
3. Flexible schedule
Flight attendants have unique and flexible scheduling. Airline companies want crew members to be well-rested to ensure safe travel, so a company might limit the hours crew members can work. Many flight attendants work three days per week. This can be a great benefit for some people, as it allows more time for travel, family or personal interests.
Some airlines allow flight attendants to choose their own flights in order of seniority, which means flight attendants who’ve worked the longest can pick first. Over time, a flight attendant can build a schedule that works well for them.
4. Opportunities to meet new people
Another great perk of being a flight attendant is meeting new, interesting people daily. Flight attendants work closely with passengers and get opportunities to talk to people from all over the world. These people can include celebrities, athletes and families going on vacation. Some trips involve staying overnight, and flight attendants may have time to explore the new area and meet local people between flights.
Also, some airlines rotate crews and schedules regularly. Flight attendants may get to work with new colleagues and meet coworkers from new locations.
5. Food expense reimbursement
An exciting advantage of being a flight attendant is free food or food reimbursement. Not only are in-flight snacks and meals provided, but many companies also reimburse crew members for outside food expenses during travel. When flight attendants land in one city and have time before their next flight, they can explore local restaurants and try new food for free.
Airline companies typically pay for food reimbursement per hour. For a long trip, flight attendants receive more money to spend on food. Airlines may pay employees for these expenses up front or use a reimbursement system such as checking receipts to pay employees back.
6. Overnight hotel stays
Airline attendants may need to stay overnight in a location before the return flight. When traveling overnight for work, these stays are free for crew members. Often, this hotel stay is for flight attendants to sleep and rest for the return journey, but sometimes there may be extra time available for crew members to explore cities. This benefit allows flight attendants to travel to many places without having to pay expensive hotel fees.
7. Ability to self-direct
Flight attendants travel without a manager on board, which means they manage their own responsibilities. They need to follow airline training and guidelines and work with a crew team, but flight attendants can self-direct their daily tasks. This might be a benefit for professionals who prefer self-motivation and leadership.
8. Health insurance
Most airlines also offer great health packages to employees. These can include medical, vision, dental and life insurance policies for flight attendants and their dependents. These plans may also include health savings accounts and other medical benefits.
9. Retirement plans
Many flight attendants also receive retirement benefits or saving plans. This benefit helps employees plan and budget for the future.
Flight attendants also receive a competitive salary for their work. The average flight attendant makes $61,640 per year, but this number varies depending on the airline and experience. Some airlines also include other profit-sharing packages as part of their compensation plan.
Airline crew members may also receive additional compensation in the form of employee discounts. For example, many cruise ships and hotels offer discounts to flight members for working in the travel industry.
5 Flight Attendant Skills and How To Highlight Them
A career as a flight attendant enables you to travel to destinations around the world and collaborate with crew members to ensure passengers have enjoyable flying experiences. As you pursue this position, prospective employers may expect you to have the ability to cater to passengers and maintain a safe environment inside the cabin. Exploring the skills you can use to be a successful flight attendant can help you prepare for the role.
What are flight attendant skills?
Flight attendant skills are competencies that qualify you to work as a crew member aboard a commercial aircraft. They enable you to complete the responsibilities of a flight attendant, which can include helping passengers find their seats, demonstrating the correct usage of safety equipment and inspecting the airplane before and after takeoff. The skills can be soft or technical, and job candidates with proficient skills may be more likely to fulfill flight attendant roles.
Examples of flight attendant skills
Here are examples of abilities that flight attendants may practice during a typical workday:
Flight attendants work with other members of a crew, such as the pilot and fellow flight attendants. Clear and frequent communication allows them to collaborate effectively and keep passengers safe while the plane is in the air. For example, a flight attendant may speak with the pilot about changes to the flight trajectory or the time before takeoff. This employee also communicates with passengers. For instance, they explain to passengers to fasten their seat belts and store their luggage so it remains secure for the flight. Flight attendants also communicate safety information in ways passengers can comprehend.
Communicating competently also helps flight attendants deliver exceptional customer service. When passengers board the plane, they direct their questions and concerns to flight attendants. Good customer service increases the likelihood that passengers choose the airline for their traveling needs in the future. Here are examples of responsibilities that require customer service from flight attendants:
Speaking with passengers as they board and exit the plane
Directing passengers to their seats
Assisting with storing bags and suitcases in overhead compartments
Distributing snacks and drinks during the flight
Picking up trash before the plane descends
When flight attendants are competent in interpersonal communication, they may have cultural awareness, which is the knowledge of different cultures. As they orchestrate flights that travel to global destinations, flight attendants may encounter passengers who speak foreign languages and practice unique cultural norms. For example, crew members may know how to greet passengers in respectful ways or switch between languages to address every passenger’s needs. Having cultural awareness can enhance the customer service that flight attendants deliver.
While there’s a routine that crew members follow, every flight may not be the same, which is why it can be important for flight attendants to adapt to changing circumstances. For example, if there are schedule delays, the flight attendants may assist passengers during the boarding process to ensure the flight takes off as soon as possible. The crew members may also change their routines depending on weather conditions and the number of passengers aboard the aircraft. For instance, if there’s inclement weather, the flight attendants may alter the number of times they distribute drinks and food.
Flight attendants prioritize their safety and the safety of the passengers while the plane is airborne. With an extensive knowledge of safety procedures, flight attendants can make sure the aircraft is ready for takeoff and descent. For instance, they can walk the aisles of the plane to confirm that luggage is secure in overhead compartments, every passenger is sitting in a seat with a seatbelt on and they have their tray tables in upright positions. The attendants may also secure the entry doors of the cabin and demonstrate to passengers how to wear safety gear in case of an emergency.
How to improve flight attendant skills
The following steps demonstrate how to strengthen your hard and soft skills as you pursue flight attendant positions:
Identify your strengths. Once you know the skills that you’re already competent in, you can determine the areas where you want to improve. Think about what you want to be more confident in using so you know where to direct your energy and extra training.
Ask for feedback from your peers. As a cabin crew member, you may be working with experienced pilots and flight attendants who can observe your work performance and provide constructive criticism. Ask them to rate your ability to assist passengers in a timely manner, lead safety demonstrations that are easily understandable and conduct thorough inspections of equipment before takeoff.
Look for challenges. Challenging yourself can help you feel more comfortable applying your skills to the workplace. For example, you can volunteer to work aboard a flight that travels to a new continent to test your cultural awareness, or you can work on flights throughout different times of the year to gain experience adapting to different weather conditions.
Seek additional certifications. Although they may not be requirements, certifications can represent your advanced knowledge of a specific area, such as medical care or safety protocols. The certification process can also test your skill set with an exam or an assessment, helping you determine where you can improve.
Flight attendant skills in the workplace
Here are tips for applying your flight attendant skills to a real work environment:
Maintain a positive and friendly attitude. The passengers on the plane may feel more satisfied with your customer service as a flight attendant if you welcome their presence on the flight and address their needs with pleasantries.
Carefully review your work. If you’re adapting to changes in a flight schedule, create a routine for reviewing your work, including inspecting equipment and leading safety demonstrations. You can also communicate with other crew members to ensure you’re fully aware of the changes and how to alert passengers.
Research different cultural practices. Conduct research on the norms of cultures other than your own and learn the proper greetings and basic phrases in a foreign language. The next time you encounter a passenger who speaks a different language, apply the findings of your research, which can also highlight your communication and customer service skills.
Update your industry knowledge. Make sure your knowledge of safety procedures is current so you can properly educate passengers and work efficiently as a cabin crew member.
How to highlight flight attendant skills
Here are ways you can showcase your flight attendant skills during your job search:
Flight attendant skills for resume
A hiring manager often uses your resume to form a first impression of you as a job candidate. Emphasizing your skill set on your resume can help you distinguish yourself, especially if you’re applying for a competitive flight attendant position. In your professional summary, identify one or two relevant skills that you believe can help you be successful in your desired role. In the work experience section, describe responsibilities that you completed in previous roles that involved flight attendant abilities. You can also place your competencies in categories in the skills section of your resume.
Flight attendant skills for cover letter
Use your cover letter to draw more attention to your skill set and elaborate on the information that your resume included. Provide specific examples of you practicing your abilities in the workplace. For example, you can describe an instance when you adapted to a flight delay and still met passengers’ needs while the plane was airborne. Write about how your training and certifications have enabled you to strengthen your skills. With specific details in your cover letter, the hiring manager can gain insight into how you can perform as an employee and feel confident in hiring you for the job.
Flight attendant skills for the job interview
Every response you deliver to the hiring manager’s questions during a job interview is an opportunity to highlight your skill set. For instance, if the interviewer asks you to summarize your professional background, you can mention your commitment to customer service and fluency in multiple foreign languages. Consider researching common interview questions to prepare your answers in advance. Think about how you can discuss your career accomplishments while showcasing the skills that helped you achieve your goals. Make sure the way you present yourself during an interview is a reflection of the impressive qualifications you included in your job application.