How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

In the air travel industry, flight attendants are an asset to air travel brands, pilots, and most importantly, the passengers. They are responsible for the safe travel of passengers, passenger education, and passenger hospitality.

They keep flights in an orderly manner by coordinating a structured method for assisting passengers on and off of flights. They must take the time to indicate all of the safety features of the aircraft, and educate on the steps to take in case of an emergency.

They also are excellent customer service providers, and answer any questions, and provide hospitality services such as pillows, snacks, and beverages to passengers of the flight. They are the face of the air travel industry, and are typically the only face that passengers associate with their flight.

Flight Attendant Salary

So how much do Flight Attendants make? Flight attendants salaries have experienced an impressive increase within the past ten years. The average salary of flight attendants in the United States is $56,000. The flight attendant starting salary is typically between $25,000-$30,000. The lowest earners earns an average of $28,950. The highest earners earn an average of $80,870.

Flight Attendant job descriptionThey are typically union members, which can offer pay scale stability. Additional assets that the air travel industry gives to them include medical and other health benefits, in addition to premium pay opportunities on holidays and even nights and weekends. The gap between the lowest salaries and highest salaries are based upon several different factors.

The differences in salary can be attributed to factors such as location, experience, education, and employer. Taking each of these into consideration when seeking for a position  can help an aspiring flight attendant reach their full earning potential.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Florida FlagFlorida 0.97$55,870
Georgia FlagGeorgia 2.22$52,200
Texas FlagTexas 0.68$50,260
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin $47,190
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina $47,010

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Management of Companies $81,120
Support Activities for Air Transportation$63,330
Oil and Gas Extraction 0.02$55,540
Nonscheduled Air Transportation$49,490
Scheduled Air Transportation23.31$46,110

What Does a Flight Attendant Do?

The main priorities of flight attendants include improving the comfort and safety of all passengers on a flight.

Before the Flight has Started

Flight Attendant before flightThey begin a flight by first directing passengers to their seats, and giving any assistance if needed. Explaining the flight details to the passengers, in addition to giving safety education to passengers. When educating, they demonstrate how to accurately use the safety equipment, and indicate where the safety equipment may be. They observe that proper safety measures are followed, such as seatbelt safety, and ensuring technological restrictions are being met.

After the Flight has Started

When the flight has started, they may communicate with the passengers, in addition to when the plane will be landing. They are also responsible for maintenance of refreshments that are on the plane prior to the flight, in addition to general maintenance of the seating area in the plane. They serve refreshments, snacks, alcoholic beverages, and meals to the passengers while the plane is in flight.

Emergency Situations

flight attendant oxygen maskThey can observe and attend to minors on the plane, as well as those with special needs. In an emergent situation, they may need to direct passengers of what to do, and may even need to provide first aid to passengers.

They must be experts of hospitality, and their primary concern should be the happiness, comfort, and above all, safety of all passengers. It is required that all flight attendants are knowledgeable of what to do in an emergent situation, and would be able to get passengers to safety in the event of an emergency.

All flights are at risk for many elements, such as inclement weather, fires, and mechanical issues, and it is the duty of the flight attendant to be knowledgeable and demonstrate the ability to keep passengers safe, and give them the education to use the necessary tools in an emergent situation.

Due to this being a customer-service oriented position, passengers will speak with them about concerns, and may even become enraged while speaking with them. This could be due to the environment of being on a plane, which can increase anxiety and stress. Flight attendant careers are high-stress.

Work Environment

Fligt attendant work enviroment Flight attendants are expected to work long shifts due to the amount of flights being flown on any given day, and may range between twelve and fourteen hours. They can expect to spend a few nights away from home as a result of the scheduling patterns. Flexibility is a necessity for them, especially for new ones. Approximately 25%  work part time, and most are expected to fly for up to ninety hours per month.

Prospective flight attendants should anticipate limited position options due to a decrease in job growth in this field. The majority of new  positions will be filling the positions of those that have retired or have been terminated, with few new opportunities. The air travel industry is looking for customer-service oriented personalities to represent their travel services.

Flight Attendant Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
California FlagCalifornia0.736$45,530
Colorado flagColorado1.267$43,490
Connecticut FlagConnecticut0.031
Florida FlagFlorida0.965$55,870
Georgia FlagGeorgia2.223$52,200
Illinois FlagIllinois1.691$41,590
Indiana FlagIndiana0.483$46,730
Kentucky FlagKentucky0.219$37,830
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts0.492$43,240
Michigan FlagMichigan$41,110
Minnesota FlagMinnesota1.187$45,820
New York FlagNew York1.178$43,690
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina0.871$39,750
Ohio FlagOhio0.193$40,080
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina$47,010
Texas FlagTexas0.68$50,260
Utah FlagUtah$34,880
Virginia FlagVirginia0.998$37,980
Washington FlagWisconsin$47,190

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

With a little data available for flight attendants Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropolitan Division is the top paying metropoitan area for this profession with an annual salary of $73,140

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Nassau / Suffolk – NY Metropolitan Division $76,280
Miami / Miami Beach / Kendall – FL Metropolitan Division 3.46$55,090
Atlanta / Sandy Springs / Marietta – GA 3.69$52,360
Orlando / Kissimmee / Sanford – FL $49,160
Houston / Sugar Land / Baytown – TX2.05$49,160

Flight Attendant Career Information Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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