Flight Attendant Salary

Flight Attendants in the United States take home approximately $20.85 per hour on average. Incomes of Flight Attendants vary widely depending on performance components; bonuses and profit sharing that can occasionally exceed $3K cause paychecks to spread between $23K on the low end and $82K on the high end. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but career duration and the individual firm are influential factors as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Most Flight Attendants survey respondents are women (75 percent). Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$20,027 - $65,539
(Median)
$20K
$36K
$66K
MEDIAN: $35,989
10%
50%
90%

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$14.52 - $45.55
(Median)
$15
$21
$46
MEDIAN: $20
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$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$20,027 - $65,539  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,969  
Profit Sharing
$194.00 - $2,980  
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).
)
$22,687 - $82,097  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 485
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$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$14.52 - $45.55  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $6.91  
Overtime
$0.70 - $55.55  
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 - $2,969  
   
Profit Sharing
$194.00 - $2,980  
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).
)
$22,687 - $82,097  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 498
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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


Dominating the field, Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines, United Airlines, Inc., US Airways Group, Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Flight Attendants. Southwest Airlines Co pays the most with a median salary of $57K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $30K to a high of $118K. Flight Attendants will also find cushy salaries at Virgin America (+$51K), Skywest Airlines, Inc. (+$49K), and Frontier Airlines (+$46K).

Known for its small paychecks, US Airways Group, Inc. actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $33K — 70 percent lower than the top payer. Other low-paying employers include Spirit at $39K and Alaska Airlines, Inc. at $40K, though some Flight Attendants there earn up to $119K.

Pay by Experience Level for Flight Attendant

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


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $38K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $48K. On average, Flight Attendants make $62K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn any more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 73 percent, Flight Attendants in Newark receive some of the highest pay in the country. Flight Attendants will also find cushy salaries in Detroit (+9 percent), Los Angeles (+8 percent), San Francisco (+4 percent), and Houston (+4 percent). Seattle ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 13 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Miami (10 percent lower) and Orlando (8 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Flight Attendant Salaries



Mid-Career
up arrow 17%

National Average
$41,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 109 votes.

Gender

Female
75 %
Male
25 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
25%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 11%
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