How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Stewardess: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $46,750
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 2.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute

Also known as flight attendants, stewardesses are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of all passengers on a flight. They provide safety instructions to passengers before takeoff, ensure everyone has their seatbelts fastened when required by the pilot, and serve food and drinks during flights.

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What is a Stewardess?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in stewardess roles:

  • Inspect aircraft safety equipment and food/drink stock before flights
  • Assist passengers with flight boarding, helping with carryon luggage storing and ensuring all passengers are wearing seatbelts before takeoff
  • Provide pre-flight safety instructions
  • Serve food and drinks and sell alcoholic beverages during flights
  • Assist passengers and provide care when emergencies occur during flights

A Day in the Life

Stewardesses are best known as the individuals who serve drinks on airplane flights, but the role of the stewardess is much more complex than what most aircraft passengers see. Stewardesses are responsible for ensuring the comfort and safety of all passengers on a flight. This encompasses many responsibilities ranging from providing pre-flight safety instructions, to administering emergency care to passengers with health issues during flights, to helping people exit the plane during an emergency.

Before passengers arrive, the stewardess checks the plane to ensure all emergency and safety equipment is present and functional. She also ensures that there is enough food and drinks on board the plane to cover the flight and any emergency situations. When this is complete, she helps passengers board the plane, assisting with finding storage locations for carryon bags and helping people find their seats. Before takeoff, she reads the safety instructions and ensures all passengers have seatbelts on.

During the flight, stewardesses serve food and drinks to customers and sell alcoholic beverages. They also watch for any suspicious activities or unruly behaviors that could result in a dangerous or unpleasant situations for other passengers. If an emergency were to occur during a flight, the stewardess is in charge of letting everyone know what to do, and she helps everyone exit the plane if required. She also may provide minor emergency and first aid care when passengers experience health problems.

Typical Work Schedule

Most flight attendants work full-time, though their schedules are irregular. They may be away from home several days a week on flights, staying in hotels in different cities or countries. They often work 9-12 hour shifts, though they may work longer shifts when attending international flights.

Typical Employers

Most flight attendants are employed by the major U.S. airlines: Delta, Southwest, American, United, and Alaska. Some also work for smaller airlines like Virgin and Allegiant, and some may work for individuals, corporations, or government entities with charter jets.

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How To Become a Stewardess

The basic requirements for working as a flight attendant are a high school diploma, a valid passport, being at least 18 years old, and having some professional customer service experience. The customer service experience can be earned by working as a server in a restaurant, in hotel guest services, or in a call center while still in high school. Additionally, while it may not be required, a college degree in a hospitality field can help aspiring stewardesses stand out when applying for these competitive positions.

Once you’ve met all of the prerequisites, you can begin applying for open flight attendant roles. If you find an employer who’s willing to hire you, you’ll have to undergo employer-provided training that lasts 3-6 weeks to learn how to perform your new role. At the end of the training program, you’ll have to take and pass a test to become FAA certified. Additionally, you’ll have to go through training and pass a test for each type of aircraft you work on, and recertification must occur every year to maintain licensure.

Most flight attendants start off on-call and do not have set working schedules. Instead, they must be willing and able to travel on flights at the last minute to fill in for other flight attendants that cannot work their shifts. After working on call for a year of more, you may be able to advance into a position where you can bid for a monthly schedule. For the most part, the stewardesses with the most seniority get the best shifts, so you may need to work in the role for many years before you get your ideal shifts.

Stewardess Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Stewardess salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Stewardess's can make an average annual salary of $46,750, or --- per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $36,260 or --- per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #428 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Stewardesss

  • 0.7%   Doctorate
  • 3.8%   Masters
  • 33.5%   Bachelors
  • 13.4%   Associates
  • 33.9%   College
  • 14.2%   High School
  • 0.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Stewardess job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,200 jobs for a total of 100,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 2.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #544 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Stewardesss

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Scheduled air transportation 94,300 1,700 2%
Management of companies and enterprises 100 --- ---
--- --- ---

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