How Much Can a Flight Attendant Make?

There are approximately 30,000 flights every day, most of them (besides for private jet flights) require flight attendants on-board to assist with the passenger’s and pilot’s needs.  Flight attendants are responsible for a number of important tasks, including making sure the passengers are properly seated before takeoff, that luggage is correctly stored, and that all tray tables are locked in their upright position.

People often wonder. How much do flight attendants make each year?

There are several factors tEmpty Leg Flight Picturehat determine the earning potential of a flight attendant.  After a brief schooling period, many attendants are eager to jump into the job pool before they are entirely aware of how much money they can make by doing so.  Here are some of the main items that determine how much a flight attendant can make.


Hourly wages can improve depending on how long a flight attendant has worked for a specific airline company. Or where they are stationed for example Las Vegas.  If they are just starting, their pay will usually be around $12 – $14 per hour, and will increase as their experience does.  Almost all flight attendant wages are based on hourly rates, rather than monthly rates, or a flat rate per flight.

Number of Hours Flown

Similar to seniority, the amount of experience a flight attendant has does affect their income.  An attendant coming from one airline to another may make more than one who has already been with the company simply based upon the number of hours they have flown.  Flight attendants often change airlines that they are working for, and their flight hour record travels with them from one job to the next.

How Many Languages They Can Speak

Flight attendants who are able to speak more than one language tend to receive more money, as they become more valuable to the airline they work for.  Being bi-lingual, or being able to speak more than two languages gives the airline flexibility to schedule the flight attendant on international flights with passengers who speak different languages.

The Full Picture – How Much Money do Flight Attendants Get Paid Per Year?

Based on the factors above, the salary for a newly hired flight attendant in the U.S. is $24,000 – $38,000 on an annual basis, depending on the number of flight hours they are given.  The average salaries end up leveling off around $45,000 – $60,000 per year.  This higher end is common for someone who has been in the business for a few years, and is flying a decent amount of hours every week.  Some flight attendants can make upwards of $60,000 annually towards the end of their career, especially if they have established a long standing relationship with one airline.

An interesting fact to take note of is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that flight attendants typically work 65 – 90 hours per month, while they actually spend another 50 hours unpaid on the ground preparing for flights.  This occurs because flight attendants are only paid for the time between the cabin doors being closed.