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Flight attendant

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Summary of occupation

Flight attendants ensure the safety and comfort of aircraft passengers. Before flights they conduct pre-flight checks of the cabin, check boarding passes, direct passengers to their seats, help them to store their luggage, and explain emergency procedures. During flights they serve and clear away meals and refreshments, and cater to the needs of passengers requiring special attention such as unaccompanied children, people with disabilities or elderly passengers. In the event of emergencies they advise passengers, administer first-aid and oversee evacuations. Flight attendants may fly to various locations around the State, country and overseas.

ANZSCO description: Provides services for the safety and comfort of aircraft passengers.
Alternative names: Air Cabin Crew, Air Host, Air Hostess, Air Steward, Air Stewardess
Specialisations: Cabin Supervisor (Aircraft), Crew Attendant (Air Force)
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A flight attendant needs:

  • a friendly and polite demeanour
  • a well-groomed and presentable appearance
  • to enjoy working with and helping people
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • good physical fitness and the ability to swim
  • the ability to stay calm in a crisis.
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Working conditions

Flight attendants work in shifts, involving irregular hours. They often work weekends and public holidays, as well as early mornings and late at night. Due to long-distance travel, they are often away from home for extended periods. They work in pressurised and sometimes cramped aircraft cabins, and need to adjust to varying time zones, and atmospheric and climatic conditions.

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Salary details

On average, travel attendants, which includes flight attendants, can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. 

As a travel attendant develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Flight attendants need to be familiar with the emergency equipment on the aircraft that they work on. They work with in-flight food preparation equipment, and also need to be familiar with the layout of aircraft.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

It is possible to work as a flight attendant without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, experience in the hospitality or customer service industry is desirable.

You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a Certificate II or III in Aviation (Flight Operations) offered at TAFE Colleges throughout Western Australia.

To work as a flight attendant, you need to hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate, a Provide First Aid certificate, and a valid passport. You must be over 18 years of age and may be required to obtain an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC). 

Demonstrated fluency in a language other than English is desirable in this industry. Specific height requirements may apply to this job. 

​You could also complete a traineeship in aviation (flight operations). This traineeship usually takes between 18 and 24 months to complete. 

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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