We have compiled the most important Flight Attendant Requirements so that you can really understand what you need to get a job. While these will vary slightly based on the airline you’re looking at these requirements should outline the basics for you in applying for a flight attendant job. There are two things to remember that are of utmost importance to the airlines when understanding the flight attendant job requirement. These are safety of the passenger and image of the airline. Keep these two items in mind when going through the job requirements.
Flight Attendant Requirements:
- Age Requirements
- School and / or Flight Attendant Training
- Work Experience
- Physical Requirements
- Language Skills
- Professional Image
Remember that the primary focus of the position is to ensure passenger safety so one of the basic flight attendant requirements is to meet a minimum age. The exact number varies from airline to airline but almost always set at 18 – 21 years old. To ensure passenger safety the flight attendant must at minimum be an adult capable of taking charge in emergency situations. Also important in the minimum is the likelihood that you will be serving alcoholic beverages.
On the other end of the spectrum there is no maximum age requirement to being a flight attendant. As long as you feel you can endure the physical requirements and are up to the demanding environment of constant travel then you can apply at will!
School / Training Requirements
Specific flight attendant training is not a requirement although it would obviously be beneficial. In terms of flight attendant requirements you will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Further to that a college education of some form is preferred but no a necessity in most cases.
The flight attendants career is focused on working with and serving passengers so experience in a customer service role is very applicable and desirable. This shows the airline that you’ve dealt with customers requests before and you will be comfortable in this face to face environment with the clientele. In the private airline sector previous flight attendant experience may be desired due to the smaller flight crew but most posting don’t require any flight attendant experience.
Most of the physical requirements are set to ensure that the flight attendant can reach all equipment, fit comfortably in the service areas and operate all necessary systems. Safety is paramount so each airline will structure their physical requirements to line up with the fleet of airplanes that they operate. So in reality you may be too short (or too tall) to work for one company but it will be no issue with another. Let’s look in more detail:
This is a necessary flight attendant requirement as you need to be able to reach the over compartments and you cannot be so tall that you can’t fit in the seats and harness equipment designated for the flight attendant. Most companies suggest that you’re height be in the range of 5′ to 6′ but being able to pass the reach test (below) is just as important.
Again being able to reach all the components of a plane is vital to your job so a “reach test” will be performed to ensure you satisfy this. For reference the reach height is usually around 210 cm but this will change depending on the airline. Also some airlines allow to reach on your tip toes while others do not.
The days of having to meet a specific weight are gone but the consensus is that your weight must be proportional to your height. This goes with the fitting in all the safety equipment requirement. You don’t have to be super thin but it would help to have a healthy weight to ensure that you have the endurance to get through this demanding work environment.
The absolute minimum vision allowance that we have seen is 20/40 vision but in all cases this must be correctable to 20/20 vision. So you may not have the best vision but as long as you have glasses or contacts that can correct things for you this should not be an issue.
Airlines need to have the certainty that you are legally able to travel internationally (if necessary) and that you qualify for employment based on federal regulations. A valid passport is a necessity and you should ensure that it is valid long enough to get through the entire training period (4-6 weeks). If you are not a citizen of the country you live in you must prove that you have the legal right to seek employment when applying for a position.
Communication between flight attendants and to the passengers is key. Airlines value good language and communication skills very highly. A flight attendant (in North America) must have the ability to read, write and speak English fluently.
The ability to speak other languages is not a generic requirement but it is always beneficial. In fact there may be postings specifically looking for candidates who can speak specific languages. These will be explicitly stated and this language skill is then a requirement in those cases. If you do have a 2nd or 3rd language you haven’t used in a while it would definitely help brushing up on it!
We’ve all been on a flight and noticed how all the flight attendants follow very specific look. This is no accident as airlines are very cautious about protecting the image of their company and their employees. It for that reason that they do not allow any visible tattoos or any facial, multiple or upper ear piercings. In fact most airlines also specify that no extreme hair color or style can be used while in uniform.
Clearly there are a number of requirements that you should consider when applying for a flight attendant job. Many of the topics here can and should be addressed in some form on your resume (more resume details here). Although these provide general guidelines you need to ensure that you focus your efforts on the specific posting you are targeting. Knowing all of this brings you one important step closer to landing your dream job.