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Flight Attendant Salary

The average Flight Attendant in the United States earns approximately $21.45 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Flight Attendants vary widely between $22K and $87K; for a few high rollers, the final number can encompass upwards of $3K each from bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by residence, but years of experience and the individual firm are influential factors as well. Female Flight Attendants make up most of the survey respondents at 74 percent. For the most part, Flight Attendants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
$19,436 - $65,525
(Median)
$19K
$36K
$66K
MEDIAN: $35,734
10%
50%
90%

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$14.61 - $46.29
(Median)
$15
$21
$46
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$19,436 - $65,525  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,971  
Profit Sharing
$196.52 - $2,985  
Commission
$140.00 - $6,125  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,924 - $86,935  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 373
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$14.61 - $46.29  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $7.26  
Overtime
$1.55 - $57.61  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,971  
   
Commission
$140.00 - $6,125  
Profit Sharing
$196.52 - $2,985  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,924 - $86,935  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 426
United States (change)

Job Description for Flight Attendant

Flight Attendants work to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Common workplace duties include serving meals, instructing passengers during emergencies, loading luggage into the proper overhead compartments for the convenience of the passengers, and assisting passengers, especially the handicapped. Flight attendants also explain all safety equipment to the passengers before takeoff to ensure the safest possible conditions in the event of an emergency. In addition, flight attendants must constantly check for FAA compliance in regard to both the aircraft and the passengers. Flight Attendants usually must have a high school degree of GED and speak fluent English, though not necessarily as their first language. Flight attendants can expect long periods of standing and walking, extended periods of travel, lifting of light loads of up to 35 pounds, and pushing of carts up to 200 lbs. Since most work is completed during air travel, flight attendants must be of a proper height to work in an aircraft and be accustomed to working indoors. Flight attendants also must be 21 years of age or older, have passports, and be allowed to travel to most countries worldwide. In addition, flight attendants must be open-minded and willing to work with people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

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Flight Attendant Tasks

  • Serve and/or sell meals, beverages and in-flight entertainment.
  • Provide safety overviews to all passengers, particularly the exit rows.
  • Make announcements, answer questions, and resolve emergent problems.
  • Greet fliers, accept tickets, assist with luggage, and direct passengers to their seats.
  • Keep the passenger area hygienic and in keeping with appearance standards.

Flight Attendant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Flight Attendant


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Flight Attendants include Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines, United Airlines, Inc., US Airways Group, Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co. Flight Attendants seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Southwest Airlines Co, where the median salary comes to $70K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($31K) and those starting out ($117K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Flight Attendants can also look forward to large paychecks at Delta Airlines ($45K), Frontier Airlines ($44K), and Delta Air Lines Inc ($42K).

The smallest paychecks in the field are found at US Airways Group, Inc., where the median salary is a mere $40K, 76 percent lower than the top payer. Other low-paying employers include Alaska Airlines, Inc. at $41K and United Airlines, Inc. at $41K, though some Flight Attendants there earn up to $97K.

Pay by Experience Level for Flight Attendant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $38K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $51K on average. After working for 10 to 20 years, Flight Attendants make a median salary of $69K. Survey participants with more than twenty years of experience only make around $65K on average, though; this group reports a lower median than the one claimed by mid-career individuals.

Pay Difference by Location


Newark is home to an above-average pay rate for Flight Attendants, 82 percent higher than the national average. Flight Attendants will also find cushy salaries in Phoenix (+19 percent), Philadelphia (+18 percent), Detroit (+11 percent), and Los Angeles (+9 percent). Flight Attendants in Washington report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 23 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Workers in Seattle and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (15 percent less and 3 percent less, respectively).

Experience Affects Flight Attendant Salaries



Mid-Career
up arrow 21%

National Average
$42,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 118 votes.

Gender

Female
74 %
Male
26 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
23%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 12%