In this article we will discuss:
- How to become a flight attendant
- Do you need flight attendant specific training
- The 14 best schools to get your flight attendant training
I can’t be the only person that did this: Hop on social media to look at friends and various travel influencers completely clueless as to how they could afford to travel so much and not be totally in debt.
I was doing this one time and decided to reach out to a friend and ask what they did to afford it. They said if you become a flight attendant then the company will actually pay you to travel.
Although I knew the career existed, it just always seemed to foreign and impossible to me. Naturally, this sent me on a journey to figure out how I could become a flight attendant and get paid to travel the world.
It’s difficult to think you can become a flight attendant with no experience, but it’s possible. Everyone has to start somewhere, so I set out on a course to figure out how I could also get in this field.
With the help of Google, I searched a lot of places to find how to become a flight attendant with no experience. I learned it’s entirely possible. I saw some wild claims that certain airlines preferred more experience than others, and some even wanted their applicants to not have any experience so they could be trained the way they want.
Most commonly, I saw the best way to get into the field was to go to a flight attendant training program.
Essentially, it’s like going to college or trade school specifically for flight attendants.
When it came to single flight attendant operations, such as working for a charter or on a corporate jet, there were very specific training requirements to make sure you were educated and prepared for any situation. This included medical emergencies and evacuation.
I also learned that aviation in general is a field that’s completely based on seniority.
This was eye opening in this day and age where people continually discuss their quality of work being the primary factor in their pay. Yet, when it comes to aviation, it’s all about how young you were when you got hired so that you can make the most money long term while traveling the world.
So, after doing the research I learned there are really two routes: Apply to various airlines knowing my best chance was to get on at a regional or ULCC (Ultra Low-Cost Carrier) to get experience then move on to a bigger airline.
The second option was to go to a flight attendant school and get hired straight away at a mainline airline.
This second route led me to a whole new world of research, and here are the 14 best flight attendant schools in the United States.
1. The Travel Academy
The Travel Academy takes the top spot because it has two different offerings: On campus or online.
The best way to become a flight attendant with no experience is to go to school for it. With the Travel Academy, you can take a 20 or 30 week long online course that works with your life, or you can take a trip for 10 weeks and participate in class on campus.
2. Inflight Institute
The Inflight Institute is one of the top choices because it has two incredibly important aspects: Online classes and cheap prices.
Though not as well known as some other schools on the list, Inflight Institute offers 3 different kinds of training for your desired flight attendant career. They have an option to train for single flight attendant operations, multiple flight attendant operations, and wide body crew training.
These three come in at $169.95, $199.95, and $225.95 respectively.
3. Academics of Flight International
The Academics of Flight International is one of the top schools worldwide and has been for over 30 years.
They go above and beyond in their teaching program, and are recommended by many airlines across the world. This would give international access as a flight attendant as well.
The total cost is $1,500 and gives you a few days in Queens, NY to take the courses (with the added bonus of being in NYC on your off days!).
4. The Airline Academy
One of the top schools in the world is The Airline Academy because of their unique hybrid model.
The Airline Academy begins the program with distance learning then brings the students in for a week of training in person to give a hands-on approach.
With tuition being $3,995, it’s worth it to get paid to travel the world.
5. Beyond and Above
If the goal is to work on a corporate jet and get to know the passengers in a more intimate setting, then Beyond and Above is the best school for you.
Initial training is $2,900 and recurrent training (a government issued requirement) is only $1,950. These prices are so worth it, that you will be making your way back to Fort Lauderdale for this training every year.
6. Triad Aviation Academy
When you are ready to start your career in the sky, venture to Greensboro, NC to attend Triad Aviation Academy.
This program sets itself apart from the rest by having a working Boeing 737 overwing exit simulator. This would make you more prepared than just about any other program to perform the evacuation if necessary.
They offer two different price points too. $1,095 for locals and $1,595 for those needing housing during the program. The latter also includes breakfast, both include lunch.
7. Cypress College
Ever wanted to hang out in beautiful Cypress, CA and also get set up for your future career? Conveniently, that is exactly what you can do at Cypress College with their Flight Attendant training program.
The total price is variable with tuition prices, but the program can take 18-60 credits depending on how much schooling you want to take up in your time there. Regardless of your total credits, you will be more prepared for your career as a flight attendant.
8. Flight Attendant Prep Academy
Offering an online as well as in-person program, Flight Attendant Prep Academy is a great school to prepare you for your flight attendant career.
The online program cost $999 and the in-person program, taking place in Scottsdale, AZ, cost a total of $3,999 for a full week. All this is going to prepare you to be the best flight attendant of all time.
9. Jet Set Aviation
Jet Set Aviation is such a cool flight attendant training program for one specific reason: it changes locations where it does the training.
Jet Set is only in-person training, but the location varies based on date and lasts 5 days. It costs $5,500 per training, so it’s a pretty great way to get some travel experience before actually starting your career…assuming you had to travel to get to training as well.
10. PanAm Flight Academy
Is there a name in aviation more well known and historic than PanAm? I don’t think so either. It’s absolutely astounding there is still a flight training program that holds the moniker of PanAm Flight Academy.
There is an issue nailing down the exact cost of this, but it’s assumed to be variable based on tuition rates.
The biggest plus side is that they have all the Boeing models and an A320 main cabin door to practice evacuations. There is also a myriad of different safety equipment pieces they have available for you to learn and master. This prestigious name is enough to get you a solid talking point on your flight attendant resume.
11. Sinclair College
In one of the major cities in aviation history, Dayton, OH, sits a wonderful little college named Sinclair College. At this prestigious college is one of the top flight attendant programs in the nation.
It only takes a total of 12 credits, which is essentially only one semester of college if you’re studious. Plus, you get excellent education that is going to be at a collegiate level instead of the bare minimum to get the job.
12. Aircare International
Some people just want to work in the corporate/private sector of aviation, and that’s okay! If that is your goal, then Aircare International is one of the best schools out there.
It’s a 3-4 day training and the location and total cost are variable. It moves around to give more people the opportunity to get their initial training or recurrent training done. The main goal is to keep the skies safer for longer and Aircare does that.
13. International Air and Hospitality Academy
A 20 week program that focuses on actually taking care of the people that you will be stuck in the metal tube with; yeah, that sounds good.
That’s exactly the goal of the International Air and Hospitality Academy. They know that the main goal is safety when it comes to aviation, but they also know a large portion is taking care of people. This is one of the best ways to keep a happy and safe flight.
14. The Airline You Want to Work For!
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat answer. It’s so true though!
You can always just apply for any airline and hope for the best. Something that really helps in the aviation world is to have connections. For that reason making friends with other flight attendants and getting them as recommendations on your application will help a ton to get your foot in the door.
Many mainlines have regional airlines that work under their name. If you start working at one of these regional airlines, then you can test the waters and eventually upgrade when you know what the mainline is looking for.