Jenny asks:

“Do you have to possess a college degree or prior flight attendant training upon applying to be a flight attendant?”

The short answer is no. Most major airlines prefer a college degree but, do not require one. Since most major airlines now require you to be twenty one before you apply it makes sense to go to school before becoming a flight attendant. Not only will you make yourself more attractive to the airlines but, it will also give you something to fall back on. Once you are off reserve status, a career as a flight attendant offers a lot of flexibility. You may choose to have a side career, or retire your wings after twenty years as a flight attendant and pursue another career.

If becoming a flight attendant is a second career for you, then you do not need a degree to apply at most airlines. There’s a misconception that you have to be young to apply to be a flight attendant but, many people join the airlines later in life. Most major airlines value life experience. Especially from those who have raised families. I have also found that people who have had “real” jobs appreciate their new career as flight attendants the most.

One thing you definitely don’t need is flight attendant training prior to applying with the airlines. All airlines will provide training once you are hired.

Interested in becoming a flight attendant? Have an interview lined up? I’m offering phone consultations,  we’ll go over how to prepare for your interview, your appearance, the type of interview questions they will be asking,  and how your previous work and life experience can be highlighted to fit the job requirements of a flight attendant while leave time at the end for your questions. The fee is usually $90 for the hour long session but, I am running a special for the summer at $50. Email me at [email protected] for more information.

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  1. Cedarglen @ 2012-02-05 09:18

    If one HAS a degree, why on earth would s/he want to become a FA?

  2. Wow, not usually one to get caught up in comments but that one stung a bit.

    As someone who has a journalism degree from a prestigious Canadian university who is currently in the process of becoming a flight attendant, I could explain why.

    I’ve been working as a talk show producer a major market news station for three years, and I make quite a low salary and quality of life isn’t great. (working tons of unpaid overtime, high stress, ect)

    I found that people tend to go into university so young and with stars in your eyes, that when you get into the workforce, you are often an entirely different person and life experience now shapes your wants.

    Being a flight attendant is a career, and especially in Canada, thousands of applicants apply for these positions. Having a degree is absolutely an asset and shows a strong work ethic.

    Being a flight attendant in Canada offers an excellent salary, benefits (both with flights and medical/dental) and a pretty excellent quality of life.

    I couldn’t be more excited to embark on life’s next adventure.

  3. Well, I can answer that….I obtained a degree in 1979, and was gainfully employed, making more money than I could spend (really) when a girlfriend asked me to interview for the job of F/A. I had no preconceived ideas about it and did so….best move EVER!….flew for 13 years and then moved on to another career. Flying is good for the soul and ego. As Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” Hope that answers the question…..smiles

  4. Most flight attendants have a degree of some kind (even if it’s just an Associate Degree). However, the less education you have the more customer service, leadership experience, and foreign language fluency you will need to have. You must be prepared for 2 months of unpaid training (your hotel will be free). You must be ok with being sent to any base city right out of training and relocating there. You must be ok with not having a schedule during at LEAST the first year of flying (ie being on call 24/7). And you must be absolutely reliable, NEVER ever late for an assignment during your 6-12 month probationary period or you will be fired. You must be ok with earnings of about 20K the first couple of years. If you’re ok with all of that then the rewards that follow will be like nothing any other job could provide.

  5. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to pay the bills and get health insurance. Sure, I make less than $25k each year but the experience is invaluable. Each day I meet people from diverse backgrounds. I have learned that each city has its own personality- and you have to approach those flights differently. The skills I have gained as a flight attendant are valuable skills that many thousands of dollars in student loans never bought me.

    This job affords me the time to develop my own business while having health insurance and the ability to travel to see family & friends, and for leisure to explore the world in my free time. Tell me what other job gives me that?!

  6. I am 20 years old and have recently decided that I want to be a flight attendant. I tried out college and I was just lost with what I wanted to do with my life. I looked into becoming a FA and got enrolled in the Travel Academy in Minneapolis, are you saying that it is a waste of time and money to go to a training program? It has Lifetime placement and that was one thing that got me excited to go to the training program. I would really like to get your opinion on this.

  7. Iana Tomlin @ 2012-07-18 01:57

    Hi Katie Kittleson, Im looking into Travel Academy in Minneapolis and I wanted somebodys opinion on it since I currently live in Colorado and can’t go and tour it in person. Im also wondering if its worth it and which program did you go with, 120 or 300hrs? thanks 🙂

  8. Cheryl Hawley @ 2012-10-09 05:11

    Katie and Iana in reference to your question about “flight attendant academies” I urge you not to go. I am in my 20s and have worked for a major Airline for almost 6 years and never have I heard anyone getting hired after going to one of these schools. They are as far as anyone working in the airline industry is concerned a scam. The “placement” program” is ridiculous (that’s my personal opinion) because most major airlines look for a college degree or special skill such as language qualifications. Just attending their academy is usually not enough when you are applying to legacy carriers such as United or Delta because the applicant pool is usually well over 100,000 people. The airlines that the academy would “place” you in would be most likely be regional carriers such as Mesa, Skywest, Expressjet, or Republic. None of these carriers require a degree and you if you have a great attitude, strong work ethic, desire to travel and can pass the vigorous background check you would get hired on the spot bc these are the things they are looking for in new hires and these are attribute that can’t be taught. Don’t waste your money. Just start applying. Go to every airline’s website and continuously and keep checking under “careers” and apply to every single one. Good luck!


  10. I am a flight attendant and a registerd nurse. I love flying and the perks that come with that job. I still work prn nursing to supplement income and keep my skills and license up to date as one day that will be my full time career again. BUT most flight attendants have degrees and speak multiple languages there are A LOT of fellow nurses flying out there. so next time you assume we are stupid and just pour your drink think again, attendant’s come from all works of life, infact i flew with a wait for it LAWYER the other day!

  11. walks of life*

  12. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  13. Vanessa Vallarta @ 2013-08-22 01:26

    hi, im still in high school grade 12, going to graduate this may 2014 and since i was young i really want to be a FA, but i have no idea how and where to apply for college. please help me.

    [email protected]

  14. Davia Tate @ 2013-08-23 01:24

    Do you need a high school Diploma

  15. The Flying Pinto @ 2013-12-08 00:50