Do you love traveling the world, flying the friendly skies, and interacting with new people? Wouldn’t it be great to have a job that paid you to do this? If you said yes to these questions well being a Flight Attendant is the perfect job for you! But you may be wondering how much money do flight attendants make? Find out below how much you can get paid to be a flight attendant and jet set around the world!
How Much Money do Flight Attendants Make?
The latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average flight attendant salary is $56,000 per year, with the equivalent hourly wage being $26.92 (based on 2080 work hours a year). This is above the national salary average of $48,672 a year.
There is a wide pay gap with highest earning 10% of flight attendants making over $80,870 a year or $38.88 an hour, while the bottom earning 10% make less than $28,950 a year or $19.92 an hour. The three main factors being experience, location and airline.
Most airlines pay flight attendants a Per Diem to help them offset expenses associated with the job. For instance, United pays their flight attendants an hourly Per Diem of $2.20 an hour for domestic flights and $2.70 an hour for international flights.
Flight attendants also typically receive benefits such as 401k’s, medical, dental, and free travel which can add great value in addition to their salary.
Flight Attendant Starting Salary
The national annual starting salary for a flight attendant is around $44,000 a year, or $21 an hour. Location and airline are the biggest factors in determining the flight attendant starting salary. This is well above the average starting salary of $30,500 for workers without a college degree in the United States.
3 Major Areas that Determine Flight Attendant Salary
- Experience: Like most job fields, flight attendants with the most experience typically are the highest paid. They also get the best flight routes and are the ones in charge of their flight attendant team. Pay increasing is typical with experience and responsibility in the airline world.
- Location: Sure all flight attendants fly a similar amount of hours and go to the same destinations, but their hometown or where their flights originate from play a huge factor on how much money flight attendants make. Generally the largest metropolitan areas have the highest pay and the most flight attendant jobs available.
- The Airline: Not all airlines are created equal when it comes to paying their employees. Some pay more than other, while some have better benefits. Keep reading to find the answer to, how much money do flight attendants make at the top airlines?
How Much do Flight Attendants Work?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average flight attendants work about 150 hours a month. 75 to 100 hours of this is spent in the air flying. Around 50 hours are usually spent on the ground preparing for flight, writing reports, and waiting for their next plane to arrive.
Flight attendants mostly work a variable schedule. Where their hours and locations vary from week to week. They also spend many nights away from their home in different destinations. This can be challenging, so you must prepare for last minute changes or unexpected work hours. Many flight attendants do have the option to work part-time.
Qualifications and Training
- High School Diploma – Most airlines require you to have at least a high school diploma to be hired. This is great news for most because they can skip the expenses of extra schooling and jump right into a great career field with a higher starting salary than normal.
- FAA Certification – Flight attendants are required to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airlines usually provide 3-6 weeks of training after being hired to get you prepared to pass your FAA Certification exam.
- Must be at least 18 Years Old
- 1 to 2 years of Customer Service Experience – Typically airlines require 1 to 2 years of customer service experience, to ensure that you work well with customers. This can be anything from serving in a restaurant or working at a hotel.
- Have 20/40 Vision – Being a flight attendant requires great eyesight. You must have vision that is correctable to 20/40 with glasses or contact lenses.
- Physical Limitations – Planes are usually small and cramped, that is why some airlines may have height and weight requirements. You may also have to pass medical evaluations to ensure you can help the passengers in an emergency, and also won’t have a medical emergency of your own because help can’t come quickly.
Top 10 Highest Paying Locations for Flight Attendants
Average Annual Salary: $82,710
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $39.76
High-end Salary: $115,822
Low-end Salary: $49,475
Average Annual Salary: $77,560
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $37.29
High-end Salary: $121,230
Low-end Salary: $51,785
Average Annual Salary: $65,730
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $31.60
High-end Salary: $109,804
Low-end Salary: $46,904
Average Annual Salary: $63,530
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $30.54
High-end Salary: $107,877
Low-end Salary: $46,081
Average Annual Salary: $62,860
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $30.22
High-end Salary: $105,417
Low-end Salary: $45,030
Average Annual Salary: $61,610
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $29.62
High-end Salary: $125,075
Low-end Salary: $53,427
Average Annual Salary: $58,190
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $27.98
High-end Salary: $109,744
Low-end Salary: $46,878
Las Vegas, NV
Average Annual Salary: $57,190
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $27.50
High-end Salary: $114,858
Low-end Salary: $49,063
Average Annual Salary: $55,690
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $26.77
High-end Salary: $113,540
Low-end Salary: $48,500
Average Annual Salary: $54,700
Equivalent Hourly Wage: $26.30
High-end Salary: $105,902
Low-end Salary: $45,237
Locations with the Most Flight Attendant Jobs
- New York, NY: 15,860 jobs
- Dallas, TX: 10,850 jobs
- Chicago, IL: 10,650 jobs
- Los Angeles, CA: 9,030 jobs
- San Francisco, CA: 6,210 jobs
- Miami, FL: 5,500 jobs
- Seattle/Tacoma, WA: 4,140 jobs
- Denver, CO: 3,920 jobs
- Minneapolis, MN: 3,830 jobs
- Detroit, MI: 3,340 jobs
How Much Money do Flight Attendants Make at the Top Airlines?
United Airlines: Average pay $45 an hour.
United leads the way among major airline carriers when it comes to paying their flight attendants with an average of $45 an hour.
Southwest Airlines: Average pay $36 an hour.
American Airlines: Average pay $35 an hour.
Alaska Airlines: Average pay $35 an hour.
Delta Air lines: Average pay $31 an hour.
Allegiant Air: Average pay $25 an hour.
Hawaiian Airlines: Average pay $23 an hour.
Spirit: Average pay $22 an hour.
JetBlue Airways: Average pay $21 an hour.
Frontier Airlines: Average pay $20 an hour.
Live the Flight Attendant Dream
Flight attendant jobs are expected to grow by 10% over the next 10 years. This is great news for you, as there will be increasingly more opportunities for you to get into this highly sought after career field. Many speculate that this could lead to greater salaries in the future with the greater demand for flight attendants.
So how much money do flight attendants make? On average they make $56,000 a year, but they have great benefits that no other industry has, such as flying for free! We all know how much it costs to fly these days, so this benefit is huge and gives you the opportunity to do what most people only dream about! Flight attendants get to fly around the world to explore new locations and cultures!