Flight Attendants Transition Opportunities

flight attendant

A flight attendant’s career is, without doubt, one of the most thrilling. Traveling the world, meeting new people, reduced costs whenever you fly, free accommodation, the perks are endless. Put simply; it’s one of only a few careers you’re guaranteed to enjoy.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. A time comes when even the most dedicated flight attendant feels like seeking change, progress, or both. When this time comes, many flight attendants are usually left wondering what’s next.

In this article, we discuss possible career transitions for the flight attendant. In general, there are three options to explore;

  1. Natural progression through job promotion
  2. Making a lateral shift, within the industry
  3. Taking a step outside the industry

Natural Progression Through Job Promotion

You might not believe this, but in an airline, a chain of command exists, and most of the higher roles transition from the flight attendant positions. The only challenge is experience and expertise. So, before you consider making the next step, ensure that you’ve amassed sufficient expertise in your current role.

The typical hierarchy is as follows;

  1. “Ready Reserve” Flight Attendant
  2. Flight Attendant
  3. Senior Flight Attendant
  4. Check Flight Attendant
  5. Flight Attendant Supervisor
  6. Base Manager
  7. In-Flight Manager
  8. In-Flight Vice President

It means that, if you’re starting at #1 (Ready Reserve Flight Attendant), you have at least seven more positions in front of you that you can get into just through promotions. Even if you’re already a Flight Attendant, there are at least five more positions to claim. So, if you love being a flight attendant but desire progression, there is an opportunity to advance your responsibilities while remaining in the Flight Attendant niche.

Make a Lateral Shift, Within Aviation

If you’d like to move away from the flight attendant line of work to explore other opportunities within the aviation industry, you have plenty of options. We recommend the following careers;

  • Flight attend instructor

When joining the airline, someone trained you on how to do your job. After serving in the industry for several years, you can use the acquired knowledge and experience to "return the favor" by shifting roles to become a flight attendant trainer.

  • Recruitment

You can also join your airline’s human resource department as a flight attendant recruiter. In this position, you’ll be tasked with screening candidates, performing interviews, and helping the HR team make important decisions about the airline’s future.

  • Risk management

Risk management in aviation is a highly technical role that significantly differs from the day-to-day work of a flight attendant. But it’s another area that you can explore as a career move within Aviation. Among other things, you’ll be assessing, communicating, and responding to risks within your airline. You’ll also be tasked with ensuring that the airline’s risk management strategy is upheld.

Aside from the three above, flight attendants can also transition into marketing, administration, and customer service departments based on their current skill set and/or prior experience.

Take a step outside aviation

Finally, flight attendants can also explore the world outside the aviation industry. The knowledge and experience gained over the years qualify you to work in many other positions in various fields.

One industry that would instantly benefit from your expertise, for example, is tourism & hospitality. Managers in these industries work with all sorts of customer concerns. Your background in that area can prove invaluable to them.

Thanks to their customer service skills, flight attendants can also work as; call center agents, restaurant managers, and administrators. Lastly, you could also become a paramedic, firefighter, or even an emergency medical technician.

So, No Need to Worry

If you’re a flight attendant thinking about taking on a new challenge, your options are endless. Whether you’re thinking about progression through promotions, moving to a different area of aviation, or stepping outside the field altogether, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

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