Flight Attendant Salary

Flight Attendants in the United States can expect to earn an average of $21.17 per hour. Total cash compensation to Flight Attendants ranges from $22K on the lower end to $87K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $3K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the company and years of experience. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Female Flight Attendants make up most of the survey respondents at 74 percent. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$19,592 - $67,863
(Median)
$20K
$36K
$68K
MEDIAN: $36,016
10%
50%
90%

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$14.62 - $46.88
(Median)
$15
$21
$47
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
$19,592 - $67,863  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,006  
Profit Sharing
$195.04 - $3,024  
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).
)
$22,229 - $86,871  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 417
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
$14.62 - $46.88  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $7.12  
Overtime
$0.90 - $56.09  
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 - $3,006  
   
Commission
$140.00 - $6,125  
Profit Sharing
$195.04 - $3,024  
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).
)
$22,229 - $86,871  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 439

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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


Flight Attendants flock to Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines, United Airlines, Inc., US Airways Group, Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Although Southwest Airlines Co heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $70K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $30K to $118K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Virgin America, Frontier Airlines, and American Airlines, where Flight Attendants typically earn around $51K, $49K, or $45K, respectively.

The smallest paychecks in the field are found at US Airways Group, Inc., where the median salary is a mere $36K, just about half of the top paying company's median. Workers at Alaska Airlines, Inc., Republic Airlines, and United Airlines, Inc. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $40K, $41K, and $42K respectively.

Pay by Experience Level for Flight Attendant

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


Flight Attendants generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past 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 — $50K on average. Flight Attendants bring in $67K after working for 10 to 20 years. Flight Attendants who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't higher than those with 10 to 20 years.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 76 percent, Flight Attendants in Newark receive some of the highest pay in the country. Flight Attendants will also find cushy salaries in Phoenix (+12 percent), New York (+10 percent), Detroit (+8 percent), and Los Angeles (+7 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Seattle is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Chicago (4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

United States (change)

Experience Affects Flight Attendant Salaries



Mid-Career
up arrow 19%

National Average
$42,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 116 votes.

Gender

Female
74 %
Male
26 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
24%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 11%