Do You Need a College Degree to Become a Flight Attendant?

As a flight attendant, I receive loads of questions about the job. People are curious about what it takes to become one.

That’s why this article is tackling the question: “Do you need a college degree to become a flight attendant?”

We’ll check out the requirements, talk about the pros and cons of having a degree for this job, and explore other alternatives that can help you get into this exciting career.

💡 Key Takeaways

  • No college degree required to become a flight attendant. It can be beneficial but it’s not a deciding factor in getting flight attendant job.
  • Degree gives a competitive edge – shows dedication and ability to apply yourself.
  • Customer service experience also highly valued.
  • Degree opens future job opportunities within airline or aviation.
  • How you present yourself and convey your strengths is the most important for getting hired.

Do I Need a College Degree to Become a Flight Attendant?

No, you do not need a college degree to be a flight attendant. 

This job is open to almost all, and you do not need to be within the four walls of a college to apply for it.

If hired, the airline will train you and give you all the education you need for the job.

However, I always tell flight attendant aspirants that having a college degree will give them more advantages in their career. Especially if you decide you want to pursue other avenues at your specific career.

Having a degree does give you a competitive edge because airlines give more preference to applicants with more education. It shows that you are dedicated, can apply yourself, reach deadlines, and ultimately you can apply yourself.

A college degree can definitely give you an edge over others, but it’s not the sole factor that airlines consider. 

Experience in customer service or related fields, such as public relations, communications, tourism, and hospitality, can also give you a competitive edge.

Additionally, backgrounds in medical fields or criminal justice can be valuable, considering the diverse responsibilities of a Flight Attendant.

Basic Requirements to Be a Flight Attendant

Basic requirements to be a Flight Attendant tend to be:

  • Customer service experience
  • A professional and well polished appearance
  • Flexibility
  • Age requirements (look at the specific carrier you are applying for to ensure you are of age)
  • Ability to sit in a jumpseat with the harness around you comfortably
  • Ability to fit through an emergency exit
  • Ability to open and close overhead bins, a friendly and competent demeanor
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Time management.

Again, each airline has their own qualifications. 

Many European airlines require very specific qualifications to even be considered. Many including the ability to speak multiple languages.

A high school degree is usually a specification across the board, but I have yet to see a carrier, at least that I know of, who requires a four-year college degree.

As stated above however, any education you possess, really can help you in the long run.

Pros of Holding a College Degree for Aspiring Flight Attendants

A college degree is not required to apply for a flight attendant job, but having one will give you added advantages.

Some of the advantages of having a college degree include:

✅ Competitive Advantage

When applying for flight attendant jobs, people with education, quality academic background, and a college degree have added advantages compared to those that do not.

Again, this is definitely not the deciding factor, I know plenty of people in the industry who have no college background. However, I will definitely say that many of the new hire Flight Attendants possess a college degree.

✅ More Job Options

When you finally get the job as a Flight Attendant, you might want to consider other jobs, or positions within the airline.

For instance, you might want to become a manager of Flight Attendants, take advantage of some training opportunities, or manage other opportunities in the airline or aviation industry.

This industry is very heavy on seniority, but if you have the right qualifications, and prior experience, there are a lot of opportunities available to you.

✅ Work with Private Jet Companies with Ease

Another major advantage of a college degree is that it comes in handy in securing a job with private jet companies as a corporate Flight Attendant.

This is a highly beneficial and competitive sector that many people want to be in. Most of these private aviation firms require a minimum of five years of experience in corporate aviation or high-end services and a Bachelor’s Degree.

Cons of Holding a College Degree for Aspiring Flight Attendants

There are many reasons why many people do not have college degrees. Some of the reasons individuals decide to pursue other opportunities over obtaining a degree are:

❌ Expense

A college degree does not come cheaply.

Earning a college degree could cost you about thousands-and-thousands of dollars. I know mine wasn’t cheap and here I am not even using my degree.  

❌ Time-Consuming

Obtaining a college degree is extremely time consuming. Many change their majors multiple times over the duration of their studies, as well as needing to work at the same time.

You have to be able to have the flexibility and drive to do whatever needs to be done to get that degree.

You could be in school much longer than four years, depending on your circumstances.

❌ Might Not Use It

Although I personally feel like having a degree, no matter what it is in, is always extremely beneficial. You can always use it to fall back on, if needed.

However, many individuals obtain that degree, but never use it. That is a very big con, due to the fact that you spent a lot of time, effort, and money to get that degree.

❌ It Doesn’t Always Help

Just because you have a degree, most certainly, does not mean you are going to get the job. 

You need to ensure that you are well rounded. Relying on your degree to give you an advantage, will not work out in your favor. It’s definitely a benefit, but a lot of people out there have degrees.

Alternative Routes to a College Degree

➡️ Certifications

Many people opt to gain certifications instead of going to a university.

➡️ Join a Flight Attendant School

Honestly,  in my opinion, this would most definitely be a waste of your time.

Every airline will provide the training you need to be a successful Flight Attendant.

➡️ Customer Service Experience

Although it isn’t something that is said to be a prerequisite, it most definitely is.

This is one part of the equation that you would have a big advantage if you have consistent customer service positions to add to your resume.

I highly suggest making this one of your key points when you apply for a Flight Attendant position. Customer service is key to this role, as well as you being on your own a lot.

You have to be able to provide the customers with exceptional service, and be able to regulate yourself while doing so. This position isn’t like others, where your boss is constantly around monitoring you. They need to know you can do what is expected of you, as well as go above and beyond for the passengers you are taking care of.

Final Thoughts: Do flight attendants need a college degree?

Although a college degree is not a requirement at this time, it does not mean it doesn’t come with its advantages. 

Specially if you have a degree that pertains to aviation, the medical field, hospitality, tourism, criminal justice, etc. This really could help set you apart from others who might not have this.

I will say though, the biggest piece is how you portray yourself.

Yes, you might have a college degree, but if you don’t know how to properly express how that could be an attribute, then it could get overlooked. It is imperative that you focus on what you can bring to that table. 

Customer service experience, your degree, your personality, how you’ve handled stressful situations, what your goals are with this position, how you can make a difference for all of your passengers, etc.

Again, a degree is not required.

It is most definitely a requirement to ensure that you tell these airline carriers exactly how and why you would make an excellent Flight Attendant. If you feel like a college degree will be something that sets you apart, go for it!

Education is never going to be something you should feel bad about pursuing.

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