How Much Money Does a Flight Attendant Make?


A life filled with travel -- not high pay -- is the main attraction of a flight attendant job. You need only a high school diploma at a minimum, but some employers prefer college grads. Airlines provide the necessary training for Federal Aviation Administration certification. The average income of flight attendants was less than $44,000 a year in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wage Range

  • Flight attendants earned a median annual income of $40,520 as of 2013, according to the BLS, which means half earned more and half earned less than this amount. Flight attendants reported an average wage of $43,860 per year. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned $28,910 annually or less, while the top 10 percent received $67,290 per year or more.

Major Industry Wages

  • Most flight attendants work in only one industry -- scheduled air transportation, or the airlines. Out of 93,550 attendants nationwide in 2013, 89,600 worked in this industry, earning an average annual income of $43,780, according to the BLS. In other industries, corporate flight attendants earned an average of $69,430 per year, the highest of any industry. Attendants for air transportation support activities averaged $59,420 annually, while those for nonscheduled air transport, or charter flights, averaged $43,080 per year.

Salaries Over the Map

  • California had 10,830 positions for flight attendants in 2013, the largest number of any state, according to the BLS. Attendants based there received an average annual wage of $41,220. The top-paying state for flight attendants was Florida, where they averaged $51,590 per year. In second place for pay, flight attendants in Georgia earned an average $50,760 annually. Dallas had the highest pay among cities reporting a specific number of jobs. The greater Dallas area had 2,080 flight attendant jobs with an average salary of $61,190 per year.

Perks and Benefits

  • It's the extra benefits that induce large numbers of applicants to compete for jobs as flight attendants, according to "Bloomberg Businessweek." Flexible schedules with days off during the week; discounted air travel, even in first class; and free stand-by tickets often come with the job. The employment benefits for full-time flight attendants typically include retirement plans and health insurance, and many attendants receive extra pay for holiday, weekend and night shifts. The BLS predicts a 7 percent decline in flight attendant jobs between 2012 and 2022, compared to an 11 percent increase for all occupations.

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