What they do
Flight attendants ensure the safety and comfort of aircraft passengers. Before flights they conduct pre-flight checks of the cabin, check boarding passes, direct passengers to their seats, help them to store their luggage, and explain emergency procedures. During flights they serve and clear away meals and refreshments, and cater to the needs of passengers requiring special attention such as unaccompanied children, people with disabilities or elderly passengers. In the event of emergencies they advise passengers, administer first-aid and oversee evacuations. Flight attendants may fly to various locations around the State, country and overseas.
Flight attendants work in shifts, involving irregular hours. They often work weekends and public holidays, as well as early mornings and late at night. Due to long-distance travel, they are often away from home for extended periods. They work in pressurised and sometimes cramped aircraft cabins, and need to adjust to varying time zones, and atmospheric and climatic conditions.
Tools and technologies
Flight attendants need to be familiar with the emergency equipment on the aircraft that they work on. They work with in-flight food preparation equipment, and also need to be familiar with the layout of aircraft.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as a flight attendant without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, experience in the hospitality or customer service industry is desirable.
Entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in aviation (cabin crew). The Certificate III in Aviation (Cabin Crew) is offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.
You can also undertake a traineeship in aviation (flight operations) (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
Demonstrated fluency in a language other than English is desirable in this industry. Specific height requirements may apply to this job.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a flight attendant in Western Australia you will need to obtain a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate and a Provide First Aid certificate. The training courses for these qualifications are available at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse My Skills to find your nearest registered provider.
You must be over 18 years of age, hold a valid passport, and you may be required to obtain an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC). A list of organisations approved to issue ASICs is available from the Department of Home Affairs.