If you are considering becoming a flight attendant, you might have read about the Flight Attendant Certification. This is sometimes a cause of concern for someone looking to apply for their first job in the aviation industry since it sounds complicated and intimidating. This article is meant to walk you through what the certification is, how you obtain it, and answer other questions you might have on it.
What is Flight Attendant Certification
The Flight Attendant Certification is a an act passed by Congress in the fall of 2003. It states that effective December 11th 2004 no person can serve as a flight attendant without holding a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency (certificate) issued by the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority).
This law was created to ensure that all flight attendants had a standardized level of training, education, and experience in order to work as s flight attendant on any flight carrying 20 or more passengers.
The goal of the certification is to make air aviation as safe as possible through the education and training of flight attendants. Since flight attendants play a critical role in helping passengers navigate the emergency procedures while on a flight, the law was created to ensure a standardized level of training.
How to Earn Certification
Once you are hired by an airline to work as a flight attendant, you’ll have to go through their training program. The training program that your employer has you complete includes FAA standardized training in addition to any training specific to the policies of the airline.
Once you have completed the FAA training program (in addition to operational experience) the Director of Operations (DO) at your airline will complete the necessary steps on your behalf to get you your certificate.
This is good news since it’s one less thing you have to worry about doing on your own. You just have to focus on going through training and learning as much as you can. Once you’re ready to be certified you will have to take and pass an exam.
Once all of that is complete, your employer will take care of the process and follow up with you on any information you might need to provide if you haven’t already done so.
Requirements for Certification
Before becoming certified, you’ll have to meet certain requirements to be able to be hired as a flight attendant. This includes:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a high school diploma or higher education
- Be a citizen or eligible to work in the United States
- Pass a background test
- Pass a drug screen
- Have vision correctable to at least 20/40
- Meet other requirements set by the airline (height, tattoos, piercings, etc)
In order to qualify for the certification itself, you will have to complete the FAA approved training provided by your airline and pass an exam.
Getting the Certificate
The certificate itself will be issued to the flight attendant and NOT the airline. That means that you will have to make sure to keep your certificate in a safe place. You should receive your certificate in the mail 10-14 days after the application is submitted.
Are Flight Attendants Required to Carry their Certificate?
No, flight attendants are not required to carry their certification with them while working. However, they must be able to present it within a reasonable amount of time if the FAA requests they do so. A reasonable amount of time is typically considered to be 15 days.
Information Needed by FAA
In order for the FAA to process the application for the certificate, the following information must be entered for the flight attendant into the Flight Attendant Certification System by the Director of Operations at the airline.
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Home address
- Physical description (including height, weight, eye and hair color, gender)
- Qualification in Group 1, Group 2, or both
The airline you work for will provide continuous annual training to make sure you are up to date on any changes when it comes to FAA safety regulations. In addition, there can be additional training depending on the aircraft you will be working aboard as a flight attendant.
Earning your Flight Attendant Certification is a necessary and required part of becoming a flight attendant. However, the airline that hires and trains you will assist in the process and complete the request to the FAA on your behalf. Your best course of action is to focus
If you’re interested in becoming a flight attendant but aren’t sure where to start, make sure to read our guide on becoming a flight attendant as well as our page of frequently asked questions about the job.
Information for this articles was gathered from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) official website. For more information or to read the regulation for yourself, please visit their page on the topic here.