Last Updated: March 10, 2023
As this one-of-a-kind career offers great opportunities for traveling the world and meeting new people, no wonder it’s so popular, with over 111,833 flight attendants currently working in the US.
Another reason for the popularity of this profession is the money. Flight attendants in the US have great salaries and enjoy many benefits.
So, if being an airline stewardess is on your bucket list, or you’re simply curious about how much do flight attendants make, the following facts and statistics might interest you. Let’s dive in!
So, How Much Do Flight Attendants Make, Really?
- In 2021, the average salary of a flight attendant in the US was $79,195.
- Flight attendants in the US spend between 75 and 100 a month in flight.
- The salary of a flight attendant working in American Airlines is $42,493 on average.
- 56% of the flight attendants in the US have a Bachelor’s degree.
- 74,6% of the flight attendants in the US are women.
- The average stewardess salary in the US is higher than a rail transportation worker’s salary.
- The average age of an employed flight attendant in the US is 48 years old.
- From 2020 to 2030, the employment of flight attendants is estimated to grow by 30%.
Flight Attendants Salary And Statistics
1. In 2021, the average salary of a flight attendant in the US was $79,195.
Today, flight attendant salaries in the US can vary between $63,564 and $98,186, which is above the average American income.
As the statistics show, there is an evident increase in the salaries of flight attendants in the US. However, these numbers depend on many important factors, like the level of education, certifications, communicative skills, or experience.
2. A stewardess in the US earns more than rail transportation workers, whose average salary is $49,330 per year.
An average stewardess’s salary in the US surpasses the average salary of many other common professions, like office clerk, service worker, marketing specialist, or police officer. On the other hand, as in many other countries, flight attendants earn significantly less than college professors, doctors or other positions that with salary over 500k a year.
However, according to the statistics, the flight attendant salary is overall above average compared to other common professions.
3. In Oregon, the average salary for a flight attendant is $80,410 a year.
When it comes to flight attendants in the US, some states may offer better opportunities than others. Oregon is considered the highest paying state for flight attendants in the US, followed by Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Arizona which also offer high flight attendant pay.
4. The lowest-paying state for flight attendants in the US is Colorado, with an average salary of $47,150.
Besides Colorado, other states that flight attendants should avoid are Utah, New York, and Minnesota, as they’re also listed among the states with the lowest average salary of a flight attendant.
It is important to note that many factors affect the salaries of cabin crew in these states, such as the cost of living in these places, the airline companies, the population of the town, and so on.
Even so, this doesn’t mean that there is no prosperity for flight attendants working in these low-paying cities in America.
Working Schedule And Bonuses
5. Flight attendants work around 150 hours a month.
Because the travel destinations vary from week to week, flight attendants don’t have a fixed working schedule.
However, they only spend between 75 and 100 hours a month in flight, and the rest on the ground. As most of them only get pay per flight hour, this means the time they spend on the ground (usually in the airport) which amounts to about 50 hours a month, is not paid.
6. Airline hostesses usually make $1,50 to $2,00 per diem for domestic flights.
In addition to their monthly salary, a flight attendant can also get hourly pay, which is called per diem, and is supposed to compensate for expenses on the job, such as meals and incidental expenses. Many airline companies pay per diem to their employees, the sum of which varies depending on whether they’re international, domestic, or charter airlines.
This additional money increases their income, especially if they have more international flights and spend more time away from home. Outside their job, they have the privilege of free flights or at least discounted airfares on top of the flight attendant yearly salary, which sure saves some money as well.
7. On-duty shifts can vary from 12 to 14 hours.
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Stewardesses’ working hours and schedules can vary depending on whether they’re on a long or short-haul flight. With only 7% of flight attendants in the US working part-time, those with busy social and family life may find this hectic working schedule challenging, but the average salaries for flight attendants can make up for it to some extent.
Demographics And Statistics
8. As a profession, the flight attendant is fourth on the list of the Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree.
Even though you only need a high school diploma to be a flight attendant, this profession does require official certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and most flight attendants receive training a few weeks after the date of hire. So, this is a good option for a job that pays well without a degree.
Future cabin crew members have the option of attending an online course for flight attendants and as the statistics for online education show, many students choose e-learning, as it’s a more approachable and cost-effective method. Nevertheless, there is no significant difference in the salaries for flight attendants with and without a college education, as what matters the most in this profession is the flight attendant’s level of experience.
9. 56% of the flight attendants in the US have a Bachelor’s degree.
Statistics show that there are plenty of airline crew employees with higher education. Although a high school diploma will get the job done, flight attendants have to be fluent in a foreign language and have great communication skills. This is especially required if they work on international flights and private jets, so many of them are fairly educated. Still, it is the experience that is more likely to raise salaries for flight attendants, rather than education level.
10. Flight attendants with only a high school diploma earn more than those without any education or certificate, with an estimated $37,985 annually.
Even though a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for this profession, most airline companies prefer candidates with a college degree and some kind of experience in the field of customer service. However, the average salary of a flight attendant is only slightly higher for those with an Associate degree.
11. Flight attendants who are based in the Middle East and Asia earn higher salaries than those in North America and Europe.
Since geo-location impacts the annual salary of a flight attendant, the international flight attendant’s salary varies depending on the area or country where an airline operates. Commonly, the largest metropolitan areas have the highest-paid jobs for flight attendants, whereas the salary of those working in small countries may be significantly lower.
12. For every dollar earned by men, women get 94 cents.
(Zippia) (Data USA)
Despite being the majority, women make less money than men do, earning only 94% of men’s yearly income. Out of 111,833 stewardesses currently working,
- 74,6% of the flight attendants in the US are women.
- 21,6 of the flight attendants in the US are men.
The average salary of a flight attendant in the USA is also affected by this discrepancy, with female workers earning $48,262 and men $55,985.
Though these days there are many male flight attendants in the airline industry, with these percentages they are not likely to ever surpass the number of women in the airline industry.
13. 59,9% of flight attendants in America are white (non-Hispanic).
Though the majority of flight attendants in the US are white, the airline industry is fairly inclusive, employing a great number of people of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. However, the equality among these different ethnicities cannot be seen from the salary of a flight attendant in the USA, as some ethnic groups are paid better than others.
14. Compared to other ethnicities, Asian stewardesses in the US have the highest average salary of $38,539.
Even though white flight attendants have a higher salary than some other ethnicities, compared to Asian stewardesses they are among the lower-paid flight attendants, as the salary of Asian flight attendants averages at $38,539.
15. The average age of an employed flight attendant in the US is 48 years old.
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With an average age of 43,5, male flight attendants are generally younger than female flight attendants, whose average age is 46,4. In the aviation industry around the world, the seniority and experience of flight attendants play a crucial role in getting the job or earning a salary increase.
In almost every airline company, candidates need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a job as a cabin crew, but this number can vary.
When it comes to US airlines, Delta has a minimum age requirement of 21, whereas you should be at least 20 years old to be able to earn an American Airlines flight attendant salary.
On the other hand, there is no maximum age to become a flight attendant. Currently, the oldest flight attendant in the world is 84 years old. This surely gives hope to everyone!
The Best Major Airline Companies for Flight Attendants in America
16. American Airlines is among companies that give high salaries to flight attendants.
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Even though it offers a variety of red-eye flights, this company is far from a low-budget airline. Averaging at $42,493, the American Airlines salary is at 27% above the national average. The average American Airlines flight attendant’s salary includes payments for flight hours, per diem, and many bonuses. These additional forms of payment can add up to $2,825 per year.
17. Delta Airlines pays a $40,236 average salary for a flight attendant.
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- Delta’s Airlines`average pay is $31 an hour.
- The most experienced flight attendants in Delta Airlines can earn up to $91,000 annually. while beginners can go up to $24,000 per year.
For bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing Delta Airlines pays an average of $6,400 per year. The fact that Delta Airlines is planning to hire 3,000 new cabin crew members in 2022, of which 1,500 flight attendants, proves just how successful this company is.
18. Southwest Airlines at this moment has 16,000 flight attendants hired.
- Beginners in Southwest Airlines can expect to average under $30,000 per year.
- The average flight attendant’s yearly salary in Southwest Airlines is around $42,000 and for the most experienced flight attendants, this company pays $65,000 annually.
Southwest Airlines has one of the best programs for additional pay in the airline industry. Their programs for flight attendants bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing amount to $4,800 per year. Along with having one of the highest average salaries, Southwest is also known to have the happiest employees of any airline.
The Future Is Bright
19. From 2020 to 2030, the employment of flight attendants is estimated to grow 30%
(U.S. Bureau of Labor) (U.S. News)
It is predicted that 31,100 new cabin crew positions will open up in the next few years, leading to more flight attendant jobs and a higher average flight attendant salary.
With flights becoming more popular and accessible, the profession of a flight attendant will likely be in demand in the aviation industry of many countries.
Considering the statistics about how much flight attendants make, it’s easy to conclude that this profession will face upward progress in the following years.
Whether this profession is profitable or not can be a subjective thing, but these numbers don’t lie! Sure, working for an airline may be challenging, as it often depends on the flight attendant’s level of experience, but after all, it’s worth the try.